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U2 And Ireland Funds' Philanthropic Initiative Set To Become Long-Term And Lasting


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Music Generation, the music education programme initiated by Music Network following a €7m philanthropic donation by U2 and The Ireland Funds, is set to become a long-term and lasting part of the national music education landscape from this July when the Department of Education & Skills commences phased co-funding of the programme with Local Music Education Partnerships. 


Music Generation provides young people with access to high quality subsidised vocal and instrumental tuition in their local area. Since its foundation in 2009 the programme has established Music Education Partnerships in 12 counties, creating access for up to 18,500  children and young people and providing employment for some 220 musicians.


In January 2013 the Department of Education and Skills announced it would begin the phasing in of its co-funding from July 2014 with Local Music Education Partnerships with a view to these partners completely replacing the original philanthropic donation by 2016. The €7m donation from U2 (€5m) and The Ireland Funds (€2m) made in 2009 was the largest ever single philanthropic donation to music education in Ireland in the history of the state.




Commenting on this next stage of Music Generation’s development, The Edge said; “I believe it's a documented fact that exposure to music makes a better society. We're still practicing but we were lucky enough to attend a school with a great music programme and that is why Music Generation is so important to us. We are very proud of its success and the fact that it will continue into the future.”


Speaking about the Department of Education’s funding role for the Music Generation programme, newly appointed Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD, said: “Music Generation truly is an innovative and pioneering partnership model, located in 12 counties, which has significantly progressed the development of infrastructure for increased access to performance music education for children and young people. My Department would like to thank U2 and The Ireland Funds for their philanthropic donation which has seed funded this remarkable initiative, and to also thank the Local Music Education Partnerships who have provided, and will continue to provide, 50% funding to ensure its success into the future.”


Kieran McLoughlin, President & CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds said: “The Ireland Funds are very proud that the seed capital we committed to in 2009 has helped establish a programme that will become part of the very fabric of music education in Ireland. Music Generation has evolved into a programme that has changed the landscape of music education in Ireland and we applaud the Irish Government’s long-term funding commitment to this programme while we will continue to support this project through until the end of 2015.”




Rosaleen Molloy, the National Director of Music Generation, welcomed the start of the phasing in of the Department of Education and Skills’ funding for the initiative: “I am delighted the DES has commenced its co-funding of Music Generation, along with the Local Music Education Partnerships.  The phasing in of Department funding ensures that Music Generation continues into the future. It will be business as usual for the Music Generation team across the country, as we will continue to work closely with the Local Music Education Partnerships on programme development and delivery, safe in the knowledge that our funding is secure.”


Music Generation was established by Music Network, Ireland’s national music touring and development agency, on receipt of the €7m donation. CEO of Music Network Sharon Rollston said

“This transition is a step closer to Music Network’s vision of a national system of local music education services, as outlined in our 2003 report, and is greatly welcomed’


Photos: Naoise Culhane

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