Fine Gael Dublin Senator, Catherine Noone, has today (Tuesday) suggested that we should aim to have Irish traditional music formerly recognised by UNESCO, by getting it added to its list for Intangible Cultural Heritage. Senator Noone made the suggestion in the Seanad, adding that a similar move in Portugal last year led to a boost in cultural tourism.
“By Intangible Cultural Heritage, UNESCO means all kinds of oral traditions or living expressions of culture, of which music is an obvious and very important example. By having Irish traditional music recognised by UNESCO in this way, we could help to boost cultural tourism here.
“We need to work to ratify the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Ireland has yet to do this, even though 142 other countries have already done so. Ratifying the Convention could act as the first step towards having Irish traditional music recognised in the UNESCO program.
“Once the Convention has been ratified, a country is then in a position to nominate some aspect of its Intangible Cultural Heritage to be inscribed by UNESCO on its list and I believe that Irish traditional music should be considered as something worth nominating.
“Portugal was successful last year in applying for its song tradition, Fado, to be inscribed on the UNESCO list. Following its successful application, there was a surge in activity around traditional Portuguese music, and areas where it is practised saw a boost in cultural tourism.
“I would call on the Minister to look into this as I believe it would be a good boost for Ireland, Irish heritage and heritage tourism.”