U2 and Ireland Funds’ philanthropic initiative set to become long-term and lasting part of Ireland’s national music education landscape
Pictured (L–R): Conor Wallace, Gill Macnamara, The Edge and Laura Duff

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 July as the Department of Education and Skills commences phased co-funding of the programme with Local Music Education Partnerships.

Music Generation provides young people with access to 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.

“I believe it’s a documented fact that exposure to music makes a better society. We’re still practising 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,” said U2’s The Edge.

National director of Music Generation Rosaleen Molloy added: “I am delighted the Department of Education and Skills 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.”