What are the hopes of Ireland's first Minister for Arts Culture and the Gaeltacht Michael D Higgins and what does the arts community expect from him?

Galway TD Michael D. Higgins has been appointed as Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht.  What will he do for those respective subjects?  And what will the people in those particular areas expect him to do?

As the poet-politician returned to his native city last night, the country’s first ever Arts and Culture Minister found himself engulfed in celebrations, and the adulation of almost all of Galway’s arts community.  

Speaking to RTÉ reporter Jim Fahy, Michael D. Higgins outlined the aim of his portfolio, 

My major function is to put culture, the arts, and the Irish language, at the centre of Irish life.

There were calls from the various sectors of the arts and Irish language communities for commitments from the minister.  Adrian Munnelly from the Arts Council of Ireland emphasises the need for the arts to be funded properly, 

Secure funds from Europe, in order to be able to complete the arts infrastructure...to create arts centres and theatres around the country, artists’ studios...

Professor Alan Titley from Saint Patrick’s College Drumcondra stresses the urgency of signing off on plans to get the much-discussed Irish language television service on air,

The most important thing with regard to Teilifís na Gaeltachta, or Teilifís na Gaeilge, is to set it up, and set it up this year, because people have waited for the service long enough, and I think once that is done, it should be seen to be a television service that is both national and regional...most important of all, it must be given enough resources, and enough time.

Film maker Louis Marcus also affirmed this, and also wanted to see 

The re-establishment of the film agency for Ireland, which was axed in ’87.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 15 January 1993.  The reporter is Jim Fahy, and the report was introduced by Colm Crowley.