U2 vow to support young musicians
Rock giants U2 have pledged to nurture and inspire more of Ireland's young musicians with the rolling-out of a tutoring programme.
The Music Generation scheme will invest 1.7 million euro to help children and young people in Cork city, Laois and Wicklow get access to vocal and instrumental tuition in their local area.
U2 guitarist The Edge said: "Access to music for children and young people is something that is very close to our hearts. We believe that every child should have the choice to get involved in music, irrespective of their background.
"Music Generation is addressing the gap in individual and group vocal and instrumental music tuition in our education system, and we are delighted to be playing a part in nurturing and inspiring Ireland's young musicians of the future."
Music Generation was launched in 2009 after a five million euro donation from U2 along with another two million euro raised by the Ireland Funds. The donation was the largest-ever single philanthropic gift to music education in Ireland in the history of the state.
The programme, which last year ran in Louth, Mayo and Sligo, is expected to create substantial job opportunities for local musicians over the next five years.
Music Generation chairman Dr Tony O Dalaigh said: "Music Generation would not be happening without the contributions made by U2 and the Ireland Funds.
"In practical terms it means that Music Generation can provide access to music education which is currently unavailable to the majority of children, as well as employment for musicians in their locality."