Report creation date: 14.10.2008 - 10:41
Countr(y/ies): Ireland
Chapter(s): 1,2,21,22,23,24,241,242,243,244,245,246,3,31,32,33,4,41,42,421,422,423,424,425,426,427,428,429,4210,43,5,51,511,512,513,514,515,516,517,518,519,52,53,531,532,533,534,535,536,537,538,539,5310,6,61,62,63,64,7,71,72,73,8,81,811,812,813,82,821,822,83,831,832,84,841,842,9,91,92

Ireland/ 1. Historical perspective: cultural policies and instruments

For the most part, the history and character of the Irish system for policy development and funding of the arts since the founding of the state in 1921 is coloured by a number of factors:

During the first thirty years of its existence the Irish state did not establish any formal instrument for cultural policy development. In a country with little tradition of patronage, institutional or otherwise, the arts were seen as a luxury, which the new statecould not afford. Thus the story of this period is one of official neglect.

The Arts Act of 1951 and the subsequent appointment of An Chomhairle Ealaíon, the Arts Council, as an autonomous arm's length agency, under the aegis of the Department of the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) was the first expression of an awareness to address the area of cultural development.

Despite some gestures in the 1950s and 1960s (notably - and uniquely - the accordance of tax free status to artists for their creative work), government did little to alter the general policy vacuum. The mood of the 1960s was apparent in the demands of the arts sector. Institutional change took place with the introduction of the Arts Act in 1973. This set out the composition of the reconstituted Arts Council and made provision for elective funding of the arts by local government.

The transfer of responsibility in 1975 for the funding of a number of major arts bodies to the Arts Council established further the Council's status as the state vehicle for the arts. Despite low funding, from this period dates the more independent stance of the agency as well as a greater seriousness of intent in relation to its brief - in particular regional development and education. In 1978 a system of programmed co-operation was established with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The funding crisis persisted, exacerbated by greater public demand arising in part from the Council's own initiatives.

The launch of the new honours system Aosdána in 1983, providing institutional recognition and support by the state for distinguished creative artists, was universally hailed as the culmination of a series of Arts Council policies in support of the individual creative artist. The publication in 1987 of the Government White Paper, Access and Opportunity, reconfirmed the role of the Arts Council but the promised doubling of funding by 1990, via the National Lottery, failed to materialise. In the early years the advent of a new stream of funding from the Lottery (from 1987) afforded some relief to the Arts Council. Twenty-eight percent of the overall funding of the Arts Council from 2001 to 2006 has come from the National Lottery and is subsumed into the overall grant-in-aid to the Council.

It was not until 1993 with the establishment of the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht that the planning context for the arts in Ireland took a step forward. This Department was the first significant attempt by government to bring the state apparatus for cultural support under the aegis of one body and also most importantly, gave the sector full ministerial representation. As part of a number of Departmental initiatives embracing broadcasting, heritage, film and the Irish language, the Arts Council was invited to prepare the first plan for the arts. This resulted in an immediate doubling of funding to the Arts Council. In addition, a programme of significant capital investment in the physical arts infrastructure throughout the country was launched by government (using EU structural funds). The appointment of specialist arts personnel by local authorities also accelerated in the 1990s.

Subsequent to 1995, government funding for the arts has been provided on the basis of a planned approach by the Arts Council. Coinciding with the economic boom experienced by Ireland in recent times, government funding has grown to the point where in 2006, for the first time, the Arts Council received exactly what it requested from government. The National Development Plan 2007-2013 has made provision for a total of euro 1.13 billion for the arts and culture and the Arts Council is seeking a budget increase of 25% to euro 100 million in 2008.

Developments in local government have also brought about significant advances in regional arts provision. The Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism holds the brief for the arts, capital development, Irish art abroad, public art, the film industry and the national cultural institutions. It has responsibility for the formulation, development and evaluation of policy in these areas as well as the development of the National Cultural Institutions. Other cultural functions have been distributed to different government departments (see also 7.1). The Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism brought into effect the Arts Act 2003 which:

Ireland/ 2. Competence, decision-making and administration

2.1 Organisational structure (organigram) 

Ireland/ 2. Competence, decision-making and administration

2.2 Overall description of the system

Responsibility for the political, legislative and structural context of the arts and culture in Ireland lies with the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism, established in June 2002. However, the cultural brief of the Irish state in its broadest sense extends through several government departments (see also 2.3 and 7.1). As the lead body, the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism, as part of its enactment of the Programme for government, is charged with the establishment of an appropriate legislative framework for the development of the sector and includes responsibility for:

The Department has publicly set out its goals, strategies, expected outputs and performance indicators in respect of these tasks in its three year statement of strategy which can be accessed via its official website (see also 9.2 for web link). Within this framework the Arts Council operates as an autonomous, arms length, development body for the arts.

Participation of local government in the arts in Ireland is significantly less than in other EU countries. Deriving from the fact that the country is one of the most highly centralised in Europe, the role of local authorities in arts development was severely curtailed not least by the low funding base of these bodies. The recently introduced Spatial Strategy, the latest government intentions for decentralisation, has had no impact to date. The arts agenda for local government (enabled to fund the arts by the 1973 Arts Act), was largely devised and driven by the Arts Council, which after a brief period of engagement with regional authorities, themselves short-lived, appointed the first County Arts Officer jointly with Clare County Council in 1985. The partnership approach adopted by the Arts Council has delivered results in terms of the appointment of arts personnel, improved planning and budgetary provision. Net expenditure on the arts by local authorities (excluding grant-aid from the Arts Council and earned income) was euro 55.3 million in 2005. Though local government expenditure on the arts is still low by international standards, this figure, excluding provision for capital, still represents a four-fold increase in direct spending in a 12-year period. Recent local government reviews reflect the enhanced importance of the arts in the local government agenda, to the point that cultural matters are now regarded as an indispensable dimension of integrated local development. The Arts Council has adopted a similar approach vis à vis other local authorities, working with some regional health boards to develop an arts and health strategy and with Údarás na Gaeltachta to improve provisions for Irish-speaking areas. The Arts Council currently supports the arts development programmes of 33 local authorities and Udarás na Gaeltachtha to the tune of euros 2.92 million in 2006 and co-funds the salaries of 16 arts officers (see also 3.1).

The EU made a significant contribution to the Irish cultural landscape. A considerable addition was made to the Dublin arts infrastructure during the period 1991 to 1996 as a result of the funding channelled under the EU Urban Pilot Project to create a cultural quarter in the Temple Bar area. This project contributed six new cultural institutions to the city, some with a national thrust, and constituted an exponential development in terms of the Irish arts context. EU structural funds also assisted in the extensive new developments in national cultural institutions such as the National Museum, National Gallery, National Concert Hall, Irish Museum of Modern Art, National Library, Chester Beatty Library and Turlock Park House in Co. Mayo. In general EU funding whether in terms of capital funding, project grants or through training programmes provided important support for arts and cultural projects during the 1990s and constituted a key element in the staffing component of many arts facilities nation-wide.

Ireland/ 2. Competence, decision-making and administration

2.3 Inter-ministerial or intergovernmental co-operation

The Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism recognises the necessity for joined-up policy making in concert with other departments of government in relation to a number of key "cross-cutting" issues, in its task of creating an appropriate legislative and structural framework for the development of the arts. Although this need has long been apparent, there are as yet few formal mechanisms for on-going inter-ministerial co-operation. Cultural development inevitably impacts on the work of several departments - Finance (Office of Public Works), Education and Science, Environment and Local Government, Foreign Affairs, Enterprise Trade and Employment, and Communications, Marine and Natural Resources - and there are projects and contacts at many levels. There is at present an interdepartmental group for Public Art and some formal linkage with the Department of Foreign Affairs (see also 2.4). The Percent for Art scheme, in operation across all Departments, allows 1% of all capital projects to be dedicated to an arts feature. In 2006, a Creative Engagement scheme involving artists with schools was funded by the Departments of Education and Science and of Arts, Sport and Tourism. Intercultural dialogue does not yet feature at government policy level in the Irish cultural scene.

The Arts and Culture Enhancement Support Scheme (ACCESS), in operation 2001-2004, has involved considerable liaison between the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism and local authorities, through its provision of significant capital funding on a partnership basis for cultural facilities (ca. euros 58.4 million over four years). ACCESS II runs from 2007 to 2009 and is directed towards the enhancement of existing facilities with some funding for new buildings for the arts.

The requirement in the Arts Act 2003 for local authorities to draw up arts plans should result in improved co-ordination between the national and local levels as these plans come on stream. Joint funding arrangements between the Arts Council and local authorities in relation to cultural / arts facilities are commonplace. 

Ireland/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.1 Overview of main structures and trends

The initial government motive to intervene in cultural matters resulted in the establishment of a committee to promote international cultural relations in 1949. This survived until the establishment in 2005 of Culture Ireland, the national agency to promote Irish arts and artists overseas. With a budget of euro 4.5 million in 2007, over 100% increase on 2005, , its remit includes the allocation of grants for overseas activity to Irish artists or arts organisations, the funding and facilitation of Irish participation at strategic international arts events and the management of emblematic cultural events either in Ireland or abroad. The establishment of Culture Ireland represents a significant stepping up of this area as well as the location of international arts within the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism. (Its predecessor, the Cultural Relations Committee of the Department of Foreign Affairs had a budget of only euros 700 000 in 2004). Culture Ireland is to be an independent statutory body with a separate legal identity and independent responsibility for funding (see also 2.4.2).

The Arts Council has taken a lead in encouraging international contacts since the middle of the 1990s, establishing in co-operation with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the British Council Northern Ireland, an International Arts Desk, which also hosts the European Cultural Contact Point Ireland and serves as an information point for the EU Culture 2000 programme. In general the Arts Council offers support for artist mobility, networking, information, circulation and access of artistic works and attaches importance to the benefits of investing in creativity in this way.

Irish agencies and arts groups have been active in availing of European funding for cultural projects, including the flagship Temple Bar redevelopment project, as well as participating in networks, developing contacts and adding international dimensions to their programmes.

The newly-established Irish Theatre Institute is engaged in a range of international actions for the period 2006 to 2012 through a programme of projects, festivals, networking, seminars, and conferences, on a core budget of euro 273 000 from the Arts Council (2007).

Ireland/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.2 Public actors and cultural diplomacy

The cultural division of the Department of Foreign Affairs works primarily through Irish embassies abroad and in co-operation with government departments, state bodies and individuals. It promotes international educational exchanges, supports Irish studies in Universities abroad and works with the Fulbright Commission to develop high-level academic exchanges with the USA. It developed the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, organised the "International Joyce" exhibition in 2004, and was involved in the Beckett Centenary Festival in 2006 (see 2.4.4).

Culture Ireland's purpose (see also 2.4.1) is to ensure that diverse contemporary Irish cultural practice is understood and valued internationally, to build relationships that aerate Irish cultural practice through exposure to international debates, and to advise the Minister and government on international cultural issues and relations.

Cultural agreements / Memorandums of Understanding have been signed between Ireland and a number of other countries. The Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism participates at EU (under Article 151) and Council of Europe levels on matters related to culture, including film and TV production. Visiting international exhibitions are facilitated by a state indemnity (see also 3.1).

Ireland/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.3 European / international actors and programmes

Ireland participates in major programmes like Literature Across Frontiers and also is a member of European networks such as the Informal European Theatre Meeting and the European Forum for Arts and Heritage. The Arts Council also funds annually a range of international projects such as, in 2005, a radio drama project with Romanian partners, a theatre project with Dutch and Portuguese partners, and literary translation with the Baltic Writers and Translators' Centre.

Ireland ratified the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in December 2006. The Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism is the lead government department on this Convention. So far there is little debate about the Convention, its articles or how it will be implemented in practice.

Ireland/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.4 Direct professional co-operation

A number of cultural organisations and festivals such as the National Cultural Institutions, the Dublin Theatre Festival, the Galway Arts Festival, the International Dance Festival and many others, habitually engage in international co-operation through co-productions or by providing a platform for international arts events. The 2006 Beckett Centenary Festival arranged for residencies in four Asian countries with the support of the Cultural Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs, as well as an international touring exhibition: Samuel Beckett - A Centenary Celebration to tour to the Irish embassy network, universities, public institutions and centres of culture around the world.

Ireland/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.5 Cross-border intercultural dialogue and co-operation

While there are no government programmes specifically aimed at supporting trans-national intercultural dialogue, there are examples of projects which are facilitated usually by EU funding. Culture Exchange (Combating Social Exclusion of Ethnic Minorities and Immigrant Communities through Culture) ran from 2003 to 2005, with EU co-funding and involving Greece, the Netherlands, Ireland, Spain and Poland. It aimed to contribute to the social inclusion debate in the EU by action research on the role of culture as a tool for social integration and as a "bridge" between host and immigrant / minority communities that helps improve the quality of life and highlight the cultural capital of all concerned parties. The project realised its objectives through the organisation of cultural events, establishment of cultural centres, networking with NGOs, public bodies and other immigrant and ethnic minority groups, organisation of workshops, festivals etc. In Ireland, the project delivered video-productions on Traveller culture, with the active participation of Travellers in all aspects of the production process (see also 4.2.1). An increasing number of local festivals now feature arts from other countries, reflecting the diverse composition of the communities originating these events.

For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section


Ireland/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.6 Other relevant issues

An international Festival of World Cultures takes place annually in Dun Laoghaire. A response to the changing demographic of Ireland, this focuses on the representation of innovative and developing artistic practice from around the world with a view to building a positive attitude to the integration issues that now present new challenges for Irish society. The festival has run annually since 2001 and has increased audiences from 20 000 in its first year to 200 000 in 2006. It presents a highly inclusive programme of which 70% is offered free to the public. It has many multicultural partners and also provides a national platform for existing multicultural projects throughout the country. The 2007 festival featured 130 events with artists from 50 countries.

The featuring of the lives of immigrants in Irish film and theatre has been remarked upon by commentators though this issue has penetrated less obviously to date in other art forms.

Ireland/ 3. General objectives and principles of cultural policy

3.1 Main elements of the current cultural policy model

As articulated in the Arts Act 2003, the overarching policy role for the cultural sector rests with the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism. The Cultural Institutions Division of the Department provides the legal and policy framework for Ireland's national cultural institutions and moveable heritage. The policy framework is epitomised by the National Cultural Institutions Act which among other matters, provides powers to government to give a state indemnity to visiting collections and artworks, makes provision for a register of cultural objects, export licences and so on.

The autonomy of the Arts Council is described in 1. Holding its position as an arms-length body and casting itself as a development agency for the arts, it has from 1995 identified priorities expressed in plans of three to five years duration, which are evaluated and form the basis for government funding of the arts, subject to available resources. The current strategy document "Partnership for the Arts" provides a framework and outlines priorities for the work of the Council. For the goals of this strategy, see 3.3.

Historically the local authority role in cultural development in Ireland could be characterised as the missing link, representing only a small part of total national arts funding - in comparison to 50% that is considered the norm in some other European countries. This is a result of the highly centralised nature of the Irish state, the limited functions of local government (relative to other European countries) and the low funding base of local authorities. The reorganisation of local government in the past decade has given it a more central role in arts and cultural planning at local level and the situation has advanced considerably in each of Ireland's local authorities, now required by government to devise a plan for the arts.

This new role for local authorities was driven mainly by the Arts Council which has operated on the basis of the joint principles of co-operation and subsidiarity. As more local authorities engage actively in arts planning, their contribution to cultural policy making is likely to become more significant, given their specific perspective: one that locates the arts firmly within the local development agenda and connects them with a range of other drivers in the local environment and economy (see also 2.2). Ultimately this should herald a new decentralisation although significant funding and decision-making still resides firmly at the centre.

Ireland/ 3. General objectives and principles of cultural policy

3.2 National definition of culture

While there is no specific definition of culture, the arts are defined in the Arts Act 2003 as:

"any creative or interpretative expression (whether traditional or contemporary) in whatever form, and includes, in particular, visual arts, theatre, literature, music, dance, opera, film, circus and architecture, and includes any medium when used for these purposes".

This definition corrects some omissions / deficiencies in previous legislation.

Ireland/ 3. General objectives and principles of cultural policy

3.3 Cultural policy objectives

The aim of the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism in relation to its brief in respect of the arts and cultural institutions is to foster the practice and appreciation of the arts and to enable the national cultural institutions to collect, preserve, protect and present moveable heritage and cultural assets, through the provision of an appropriate legislative, policy and resource framework. The Department has overall responsibility for the formulation, development and evaluation of policy and structures in the arts. It refers in general to the economic and employment aspects of the arts, for example in relation to the film industry. implement the National Cultural Institutions Act, 1997;

The goals of the Arts Council have been enunciated as follows in their strategy document "Partnership for the Arts 2006-2010":

Support for artistic creativity and participation in cultural life firmly underpins the policies of both the Department and the Arts Council while the concern for the protection and promotion of the national identity is reflected in the initiatives to promote the Irish language and culture and the Gaeltacht areas (see also 4.2.2).

Ireland/ 4. Current issues in cultural policy development and debate

4.1 Main cultural policy issues and priorities

Over the past five years cultural policy at national level has focused on the:

Partnership for the Arts, the most recent Arts Council plan, to cover the period 2006-2010, is now under way. Based on extensive consultation, the Arts strategy is accompanied by a series of arts policy statements relating to different arts disciplines and areas of practice. A series of objectives are listed in 3.3.

Government has set aside 1.13 billion euro in the National Development Plan 2007-2013 for arts and culture, of which 226 million euro is to be dedicated to the Irish language strategy. The remaining 904 million euro will go to capital projects, film, digitisation and other initiatives.

While arts funding has improved dramatically, research and commentators have pointed to glaring deficits. Although access to the arts in the sense of physical facilities has improved, participation has not (see 8.2.1). Provision for music education has not moved beyond a couple of pilot initiatives, despite the unprecedented wealth of the country. The Arts Council, in its bid for euro 100 million for 2008, highlights the need for increased funding for children, regional initiatives and touring. Overall the role of the arts in creating an inclusive knowledge society and in the development of civil society has yet to be fully grasped and incorporated in policy (see 4.2.4).

Income levels of artists, creative and performing, in Ireland remain low. Half of the creative artist members of Aosdána qualify for a cnuas (see 8.1.1), an indication that they earn less than euro 18 000 p.a. And performing artists cannot benefit from any such scheme. 

The arts community has also called on the government and the newly appointed Minister to fulfil promises to provide for improved planning through multi-annual commitments to key arts organisations. Such a commitment is deemed essential to fulfilling the Programme for Government and responding to national and international imperatives in the field of social inclusion, cultural tourism, regional provision etc.

On the heritage front, recent years have seen a number of tensions and heated public controversies associated with the conflicts inherent in the heritage / development agenda and related to public planning decisions (see also 4.2.9). These debates continue to rage as new roads threaten important cultural artefacts. The Heritage Council, an independent agency funded by the Department of the Environment has lobbied for greater local responsibility, improved structures at local level and better access to information.

Ireland/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.1 Cultural minorities, groups and communities

There are no officially recognised cultural minority groups in Ireland. However, the population of 22 435 people in the Travelling community (2006 Census) has campaigned for official recognition on the basis that they fit the description of a unique ethnic group, sharing, as they do, distinctive cultural traditions (see also 2.4.5). The Travelling community, also called Travellers, are identified (both by themselves and others) as people with a shared history, culture and traditions including, historically, a nomadic way of life on the island of Ireland.

Irish society has undergone a sea-change from emigration to immigration in the past decade with one of the highest net migration rates of the EU-15. The share of foreign born people living in Ireland rose from 6% in 1991 to over 14.7% in 2006. It is estimated that over 160 language groups are now represented in the population. Rights of immigrants are governed by a number of laws and public consultation on an Immigration and Residence Bill concluded in 2005. Immigration and the presence of other cultures are recognised in the Arts Strategy (2005), which also proclaims the role of the arts in expressing and celebrating this diversity. Recognising this, the Immigrant Council of Ireland has called on the Arts Council to undertake research into the cultural needs of black and minority ethnic groups new to Ireland.

The international dimension is becoming more of a feature in the programming of arts events and festivals, the annual Festival of World Cultures in Dún Laoghaire being a notable example (see also 2.4.6).

Ireland/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.2 Language issues and policies

Irish is the first official language of the country (English is also an official language). Spoken on a daily basis by some 35.2% of the population, almost 1.66 million people (Census 2006) claim a knowledge of the Irish language. The state recognises the special status of the Irish language and implements a number of measures intended to foster and protect it. The Official Languages Act 2003 seeks to ensure better availability and a higher standard of public services through Irish. Its provisions apply to cultural as to all other public bodies (for funding allocations 2007-2013, see 4.1).

The legislative mandate of the national public service broadcaster (RTÉ) provides that RTE's programming shall reflect the cultural diversity of the whole island of Ireland and shall cater for the expectations of the community generally as well as for members of the community with special or minority interests.

In terms of the dissemination of the Irish language, a number of agencies play a role. An Foras Teanga, set up under the Belfast Agreement, provides funding and support for a range of Irish languages and services. Údarás na Gaeltachta provides funding and support for various projects and initiatives within the Gaeltacht, especially projects that encompass language preservation. A partnership with the Arts Council since 1997 has enabled the appointment of arts facilitators in each Gaeltacht region. Bord na Leabhar Gaeilge or the Irish Language Books Board provides production grants to publishers, while Ireland Literature Exchange (funded by the two Arts Councils on the island, the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism and Bord na Leabhar Gaeilge) offers translation grants to publishers. The Arts Council also provides some direct funding to literary publishers to allow for the translation of foreign works into Irish or English. Successive governments have taken steps to support the development of the Irish language in the media including the establishment of Irish language TV and radio stations like TG4 (established in 1996) and Radio na Gaeltachta, as well as contributions to Irish language newspapers.

Following the publication, in May 2002, of the Gaeltacht Commission report on the Irish language in the Gaeltacht, a number of measures have been implemented to strengthen the use of Irish, including a language planning initiative and two multimedia awareness campaigns.

The largest non-English-speaking language community is now the Polish population (63 100 - Census 2006).

The national education system in Ireland is striving to provide for the new populations through the provision of special English-language classes. (There are some 26 000 non English speaking pupils (or 3% of the total) now in the Irish school system at primary and second-level).

Ireland/ 4.3 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.3 Intercultural dialogue: actors, strategies, programmes

The National Action Plan against Racism 2005-2008, prepared by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform aims to combat racism and to build a more inclusive, intercultural society in Ireland. A year-long consultation process delivered a framework for the action plan and included recommendations on intercultural dialogue and interaction, calling specifically for cultural heritage interaction and supports. Interculturalism is defined in this document as interaction, understanding and respect; ensuring that cultural diversity be acknowledged and catered for. It is about inclusion for minority ethnic groups by design and planning, not as a default or add-on. It further acknowledges that people should have the freedom to keep alive, enhance and share their cultural heritage. The National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI), an independent expert body, which operates through partnership, highlights issues relating to intercultural dialogue in Ireland and participates in fora at the European level. The Committee coordinates an annual intercultural and anti-racism week. There are a number of examples, at community level, of intercultural projects, while organisations like Dublin Bus and the Health Services Executive Authority have also endeavoured to address this agenda. Calypso Theatre Company has undertaken intercultural projects such as the Tower of Babel, a multi-ethnic initiative that involves asylum-seekers and refugees with actors, choreographers, writers and musicians to produce and showcase original work. The Arts Council operates a policy of non-discrimination and encourages applications from artists and arts groups from minority communities for the available supports. For a comprehensive list of articles and books related to interculturalism in Ireland, please consult the website of the NCCRI:

"Stories from the Silk Road" was a five-month-project running from February to June 2005 at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin. Children of a multi-faith / ethnic background used the Chester Beatty Library Collection to create their stories and compile them on a DVD. Each class worked with artists to create their own story based on what they had learned from the Library collection and artists. They recorded their group story which was also illustrated by drawings, clay work and images from the Library collection. Similar projects with school children from Muslim and Christian communities were held in 2002 and 2003. The main partners of the project were: the Chester Beatty Library, the Digital Hub, the Muslim National School Clonskeagh, the North Dublin Muslim School, Navan Road and Griffith Barracks Multi-Denominational School and the South Circular Road, Dublin. For more information see:

For more information, see:
Database of Good Practice on Intercultural Dialogue and our Intercultural Dialogue section.

For more information on the government's National Strategy for the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue please see:

Ireland/ 4.3 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.4 Social cohesion and cultural policies

Social cohesion features in Irish cultural policy mainly through policies for the promotion of participation and audience extension, both conventional and via the community arts movement. The 2006 Public and the Arts report, published by the Arts Council, confirms the continuing importance of income, education and class in determining levels of engagement with the arts.

The various national programmes for government have underlined the importance of promoting social cohesion as Ireland moves toward a knowledge-based society. The arts are generally seen as an instrument in this endeavour, though this has not translated into explicit recognition at the central level. The National Economic and Social Forum (NESF) in its report, The Arts, Cultural Inclusion and Social Cohesion, published in 2007, makes the case for cultural inclusion as part of social cohesion. The report shows that participation in the arts varies markedly according to educational level, socio-economic status, area and age.  It points out that major national policy documents do not bear witness to a clear policy to broaden arts participation, though Library and Arts Council documents demonstrate a strong focus on social inclusion. The six key recommendations of the report, relating to better policy co-ordination, management and certainty of funding, supports for children, targeted measures for specific groups, improved data and evaluation, and implementation mechanisms, aim to correct this lack of strategic focus.

Ireland/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.5 Media pluralism and content diversity

Ireland has three national television channels that receive public funding through an annual licence fee payable by those in possession of a television receiver. The publicly funded services also generate advertising revenue. There is one independent commercial channel (TV3), four national radio services and one independent national commercial radio service. Independent radio services are also licensed at a regional and local level. The introduction in 2000 of Lyric FM, a 24 hour dedicated music and arts radio station, as part of the national broadcasting service, constituted a major contribution to the cultural life of the country as well as bringing about a significant increase in music broadcasting.

Press ownership in Ireland is dominated by Independent Newspapers as the owners or part owners of 80% of newspapers sold in Ireland in 2001. There is also some cross-ownership of print, audiovisual and online media. There is no anti-trust legislation to prevent media concentration except insofar as such action might contravene general competition law.

A Forum on Broadcasting was established in 2002 to make recommendations on the future of public service broadcasting in Ireland. A number of government policy decisions relating to the national role, funding, regulation and accountability of RTE followed and legislation is being drafted to provide for the establishment of a new body that will regulate all Irish broadcasters.

Fifty percent of RTE broadcast material is domestic product but in the case of the other Irish stations, domestic product content ranges from 27% to 45%. Five percent of the income of the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland - derived from the TV licence - is used to commission programmes in the independent sector in Ireland. Entitled Sound & Vision, this grant scheme is designed to support the production of new radio and television programmes in Irish culture, heritage and experience and adult literacy and supported five new films at the 2007 Galway International Film Fleadh (festival).  

A very significant issue being addressed at present is the impact of the growth of trans-frontier broadcasting on the ability of a small country such as Ireland to maintain its cultural identity. EU legislation provides that each broadcaster shall only be subject to the national regulation of the member state in which that broadcaster is based. Increasingly this is likely to mean that in smaller member states, fewer and fewer services received will be subject to national regulation. This is not likely to be the case in large member states where indigenous broadcasters hold larger audience shares. Ireland's ability to have meaningful national regulation (over and above that which exists at the EU level) is being limited. Ireland has suggested, as part of the review of the Television Without Frontiers Directive, that member states should be facilitated in regulating television services that are primarily directed at audiences in the member state concerned. There has been debate on a number of other issues including Competition (as between RTE and the other stations), levels of independent and of Irish production, and the new Broadcasting Bill (see also 5.3.8).

As well as in drama, film and arts broadcasting generally, RTE maintains two orchestras, the National Symphony Orchestra and the RTE Concert Orchestra, the RTE Philharmonic Choir and the Vanbrugh String Quartet, playing a pivotal role in the arts in the country. A controversy arising from changes in arts broadcasting in the national station in 2006 has led to the commissioning by the Arts Council of a report on the arts and broadcasting in Ireland. Among other issues this will address the role of public service broadcasting vis a vis arts programming, the effect of digital technology and the implications for the arts of internet based access to broadcasting.

Following criticism of decisions perceived as curtailing arts programming, RTE appointed an Arts and Media Correspondent in 2006.

Sensitivity training for journalists on multicultural or diversity issues features, to a limited degree, in in-house training of RTE journalists as well as in third-level journalism training courses. RTE is aware of the need to reflect the changing Irish demographic and is undertaking an experimental project to this end through its Independent Production Unit.  The Immigrant Council of Ireland has called for a review of the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act, 1989. In addition it is expected that the newly-established Press Council will determine standards of reporting on race issues.

Ireland/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.6 Culture industries: policies and programmes

For the only definition offered to date of the cultural industries in Ireland see 4.2.7. While the economic spin-offs of cultural activity have long been a factor in motivating government involvement in arts promotion, the economic importance of the cultural industries has been explicitly acknowledged since the mid 1990s. Although this has not led to an overall framework of provisions, a number of economic organisations such as IBEC's (Irish Business and Employers Confederation) Audiovisual Federation represent the interests of creative industry sub-sectors.

Some features of the Irish arts environment support the arts and culture industries generally e.g. the fairly unique tax regime for artists resident in Ireland (introduced in the 1969 Finance Act), which enables all working artists to apply for tax exemptions on the income derived from their creative work (capped in 2006 - see 5.3.9). In the same way, the fluidity of boundaries between the arts generally and certain culture industries particularly, means that public funds disbursed by the Arts Council have an impact, albeit indirect, on the industrial sector.

A number of initiatives support specific culture industries. The Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism provides funding for and works in close co-operation with the Irish Film Board which is responsible for the development and promotion of the Irish film industry. The tax incentive scheme operated by the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism supported 39 projects in 2006, representing an investment of euro 110.8 million, a four-fold increase on 2005. This scheme has supported 368 projects since its inception in 1994. The Film Board provides loans and equity investment to independent Irish film makers to assist the development and production of Irish films and cooperates with other semi-states to improve marketing, sales and distribution. A capital budget of euro 17 million is available for this purpose in 2007. Screen Training Ireland provides training for the industry (see 4.2.7).

The publishing industry in Ireland produces fewer titles per head of population than almost any country in the EU. This can be attributed to the penetration of British publishing houses, their success in attracting Irish authors, the huge mark-up by Irish book retailers and the poor readership levels of Irish people. There have been calls for dedicated nurturing of Irish publishing to address these issues. Translation funds are provided through Ireland Literature Exchange (see also 4.2.3) for the publishing sector.

The Business Expansion Scheme for music, run by the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism offers tax relief to investors in new and emerging commercial musical acts or groups.

A range of reports published in the past decade address the development needs of the creative industries and their contribution to the Irish economy, thus enabling more informed policy making and targeted investment by government agencies.

A number of third-level institutions (Universities and Institutes of Technology) run training courses to primary degree level and beyond for people interested in employment in the music, film and multimedia industries. The demise of the Acting Studies course in Trinity College in 2006, which was the only one of its kind in Ireland, was much lamented. Sligo Institute of Technology has introduced a Performing Arts degree which will go some way to filling this gap.

Ireland/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.7 Employment policies for the cultural sector

The 1994 study, Employment and Economic Significance of the Cultural Industries in Ireland, found that 33 800 people or 21 500 full-time equivalents are employed in the different sectors of the culture industries with a gross annual value of euros 560 million of which more than 88% is derived from direct traded activity. The definition of cultural industries employed in this study incorporated performing arts, media, combined arts (arts centres and festivals), visual arts and design, and heritage and libraries. Of the total figure it was estimated that 48% are employed in cultural or arts organisations.

Although there have been a number of sub-sector studies, no comprehensive figures have been published since 1994 nor have there been any specific strategies devised to stimulate employment in the publicly subsidised cultural field. Estimated income for the performing arts in 2003 is euros 82 million (Theatre Forum) of which state support represents 38%. Employment in the theatre sector is estimated at 2 700 (Full-Time Equivalents). Again at a sub-sector level, considerable work has been carried out with regard to training in the film industry by the state funded FÁS / Screen Training Ireland, established in 1995 to provide training and career development opportunities for the independent film and TV sector. The attractiveness of the cultural sector to young people has meant that cultural and media studies education programmes generally enjoy a high degree of popularity. However, training in general is patchy and ad hoc and there has not as yet been any significant concerted response to opportunities such as the anticipated job potential of the cultural sector in the digital age.

Salary levels of employees in the public cultural institutions correspond to civil service rates.

Ireland/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.8 New technologies and cultural policies

Irish government policy emphatically locates the future success of the country in its ability to make the transition from an investment driven economy to a knowledge society. This has far-reaching effects especially in the field of education. As yet there has been little or no debate on its implications for the arts (see 5.1.7 for an account of the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000).

Twenty-one million euro has been allocated to the National Cultural Institutions for digitisation, outreach etc in the National Development Plan 2007-2013. This will provide access from abroad to the national collections.

The National Digitisation Strategy for public library authorities was implemented in 2004 and is now in its second phase. To date the programme has achieved the creation of significant online content in locally focused websites, which spotlight the strengths of the individual local studies' collections. The Cultural Heritage Project - created in 2002, focuses on the digitisation and provision of new means of access to cultural heritage material in museums, libraries and archives and includes key national institutions such as the National Museum. The Euro Focus on The Cultural Heritage, comprised of representatives of the key national cultural institutions of Ireland, including the National Museum, National Gallery, National Archives, Trinity College, U.C.D and An Chomhairle Leabharlanna (The Library Council), initiated the development of the Irish national cultural portal in 2004. The website acts as a gateway to Irish cultural resources online, primarily the websites and online databases of institutions from across the cultural spectrum.

Ireland/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.9 Heritage issues and policies

The Heritage Council was established in 1995 under the aegis of the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht as a statutory body charged with proposing policies and priorities for the identification, protection, preservation and enhancement of the national heritage (built and natural). In June 2002, following the formation of a new government, the functions of the parent Department of Arts were reallocated resulting in aspects of heritage management including the Council being moved to the Department of Environment and Local Government; the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism retaining responsibility for the national cultural institutions. In 2003, the Heritage Service (Dúchas) was further subdivided in a decision that saw policy matters and regulatory functions relating to the natural and the built heritage, including archaeology, remaining within Environment while the state-owned monuments and historic properties division moved to the Office of Public Works. In addition there is a commitment to devolve increased responsibility for heritage to local authorities. An ongoing project to place a record of all heritage sites and monuments online should be completed by early 2007.

Recent years have seen unprecedented construction in Ireland with many implications for national heritage sites. A number of controversies have sparked in relation to conflicts between development and preservation, most recently the proposed construction of a motorway near the historic Hill of Tara (see 5.3.3) and a new Green government minister has recently announced a review of the state's archaeological services. The split of built and natural heritage functions as well as the fragmentation of the built heritage functions, run counter to the dominant European trend towards a more integrated approach to heritage policy and management. It is felt that there is a need for an integrated approach and greater co-ordination at government levels and between government and local authorities, for capacity building and resourcing of local authorities in this area and for an improvement in awareness levels in Ireland about heritage generally. National Heritage Week, run by the Department of the Environment and the Heritage in Schools scheme of the Heritage Council, which is being adopted by the National Curriculum Unit as a model for education on the built heritage, addresses the latter issue.

For more information, see
European Heritage Network: Country profile Ireland

Ireland/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.10 Gender equality and cultural policies

There are no strategies specific to the cultural labour market to support women as professionals. The National Development Plan 2000-2006 reflects EU Employment Guidelines by identifying Equal Opportunity as one of the main axes of action and also in allocating additional funds under Social Disadvantage in certain regions to address the provision of child care facilities and to help facilitate access for women to education, training and employment. The government has decided that state boards should have a representation of at least 40% of each gender. Cultural institutions have overall representation of 36% women on their boards.

Ireland/ 4. Current issues in cultural policy development and debate

4.3 Other relevant issues and debates

There is general recognition that provision for the arts in Ireland has improved dramatically in the past decade. Overall government spending increased by 6.6% in 2005, whereas the Arts Council allocation for 2006 represents an increase of 18.5%, three times the national average. A recent additional allocation brought the Council to the euros 79 million it deemed necessary to run the arts in the country effectively in the current year. Nevertheless, the OECD Factbook 2006 shows that combined government and household expenditure on recreation and culture in Ireland is the lowest of 23 states at only 3.5% of the GDP (as compared with 8.4% in the UK). Surprisingly too, in a time of unprecedented growth in personal wealth in Ireland, this spend has declined over the past ten years.

The many capital developments and other infrastructural improvements have led to increased demand, particularly for cultural product throughout the country. The improved framework and some success stories have obscured deficiencies in artistic content, cultural management and fragmentation in planning and provision in certain areas.

Despite the existence of a better physical infrastructure for the arts, many arts venues around the country are experiencing difficulty in accessing sufficient artistic productions to enable them to offer audiences an exciting cultural programme. In response to commentaries about the dearth of touring theatre in Ireland and the deprivation of audiences outside of Dublin, the Arts Council has developed the Touring Experiment, a two-year action research project to inform future touring policy. It has invested euro 2.1 million to provide for quality touring product in five art forms. 

The findings of The Public and the Arts, a study of participation in the arts in Ireland, published late last year, also give some cause for reflection. Although many of the barriers to arts engagement that applied for a similar study in 1994 have been addressed -only 17% of the population indicated difficulties in taking part in arts events - attendance and participation rates remain similar in 2006 to those of 1994 (see also 8.2.1). This can be attributed to a levelling-off of arts participation levels, new barriers (the money-rich, time-poor syndrome) or more insidious factors that cannot be picked up in a study of this type. The Arts Council has commissioned some articles to explore issues pertinent to the role and value of arts in society and to arts policy and is initiating a project in arts participation.

Commentators have pointed to the continuing scandal of the neglect of music in the Irish education system. Documented as long ago as 1985 (European Music Year) in the influential Deaf Ears? Report, the pilot initiatives introduced since then have not been followed up on or mainstreamed in any significant way.

The injection of EU structural funds and increased state subsidy in the past decade cannot fully compensate for long neglect and it may be some time before Ireland achieves the levels of funding and the managerial capacity that corresponds with, and allows for, full realisation of artistic potential and public engagement.

Perhaps the greatest challenge lies in integrating the arts and culture in such a way as to influence the direction of civil society and the promotion of multiculturalism and social inclusion. Urban regeneration projects or partnership initiatives by the Arts Council, for example with the health sector, contribute to this agenda. The recent NESF report (see 4.2.4) is an indication of awareness of the social cohesion issues but it is not sure whether this awareness has delivered anything more than what was achieved in the 1980s and early 1990s when a lively community arts movement and agencies like Combat Poverty kept such matters in the public domain. In any case, reports represent only an early stage and while there are examples of good initiatives in this domain it remains true that the issue of social cohesion has been addressed only tangentially and in isolated instances and cannot yet be said to constitute a significant aspect of the cultural policy debate.

Ireland/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.1 Constitution

The Irish constitution does not make specific reference to culture. 


Ireland/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.2 Division of jurisdiction

See 2.2 for an account of the legal divisions of cultural competence and the respective roles of the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism, the Arts Council and local authorities.

Ireland/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.3 Allocation of public funds

The Arts Act 2003, section 24 enshrines the arms length principle for the first time in legislation. Other public funding for culture is subject to normal public procurement processes.

Ireland/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.4 Social security frameworks

There are no specific social security frameworks for artists in Ireland outside of the general social security regime. Artists registered as self-employed can apply for Unemployment Assistance (rate in 2006: euros 165.80 per week for a single person) if their income falls below the current level of the social welfare benefit as determined by a means test, and as long as they are available for and actively seeking work. This poses difficulties for artists who may be urged to take up non-artistic work. The publication by the Arts Council, in 2006, of a report on The Socio-Economic Conditions of Theatre Practitioners in Ireland provides some data to support better recognition of interpretative artists in the Social Welfare system. This study found that 50% of those working in the theatre earn less than euros 7 200 per annum, have to manage on multiple jobs to survive and average just 20 weeks work per year in their specialist area. The full text is available for download from: <>.

For more information, see our Status of Artists section.

Ireland/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.5 Tax laws

Though Ireland does not have general legislation aimed at stimulating arts sponsorship or investment, there is a range of tax relief that works to this end. See 5.3.7 for an account of Section 481 for film. Section 1 003 of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997 enables persons, who donate important national heritage items to the Irish National Collections, to credit the value of these donations against their liabilities for certain taxes.

In addition, tax breaks are allowed on:

However, the 21% VAT charge since 2003 on visits by foreign performing artists to Ireland continues to be burdensome for festivals and other organisations, as well as disencouraging North / South exchange, since the same tax does not apply in the UK.

Ireland/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.6 Labour laws

Artists in Ireland are subject to the same labour laws as all Irish citizens. 

For more information, see our Status of Artists section

Ireland/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.7 Copyright provisions

The Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 which came into force in January 2001, provides for the protection of a wide range of artistic work - literary, dramatic, musical and artistic as well as related categories - taking account of the Information Society and the digital age. The "related rights" encompassed by the Act include "neighbouring rights", "performers' rights" and "moral rights", the latter included for the first time into Irish Copyright Law. The Act gives the author of a work the exclusive right to authorise the "copying", "distribution" and "making available to the public" of the work for a period of 70 years.

This legislation puts in place a modern technology-neutral regime of statutory protection for copyright and related rights; brings Irish law up to speed with EU directives and international law in this field; and provides for the first time a range of performers' rights in Irish law. Guided by the World International Copyright Treaties (WIPO) on Copyright and on Performances and Phonograms, the Act makes provision for copying including digital representation of copyright materials, as well as ownership of new rights attendant on web publication. The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, in compliance with the European Parliament and Council Directive 2001/84/EC, on the resale right for the benefit of the author of an original work and, further to a court challenge in respect of the delay in its implementation in Ireland, has introduced limited resale rights while awaiting a new Intellectual Property Bill.

Ireland/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.8 Data protection laws

The Data Protection Act 1988 and (Amendment) Act 2003 regulates the collection, processing, keeping, use and disclosure of personal data, both manual and electronic. Cultural institutions like all others must take account of this.


Ireland/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.9 Language laws

The Official Languages Act 2003 provides a range of legal rights to Irish citizens in terms of their dealings with public bodies through Irish. The Broadcasting (Funding) Act 2003 provides for the introduction of a scheme of grants to support certain cultural and heritage programming including Irish language programming(see also 4.2.5).

Ireland/ 5.2 Legislation on culture

The Arts Act 2003 establishes the legislative framework for cultural policy-making in Ireland. This Act defines the arts, sets out the role and functions of the Minister, local authorities and the Arts Council and prescribes the membership and procedures of the latter. The Act re-endorses the continuing autonomy of the Arts Council in funding decisions while enshrining the overarching role of the Minister in policy matters. Provision is made for the appointment of special committees by the Minister to advise the Arts Council and the Act also provides for local authority arts planning under Section 31 of the Local Government Act 1994.

While the Arts Act is overarching in terms of provision for individual artists and while it refers to film and traditional arts, it is supplemented in these areas by other pieces of legislation, described in 5.3.3, 5.3.4 and 5.3.6 to 5.3.9. It remains to be seen how the provisions of the Arts Act will play out in the coming years in particular the relationship between the parent Department and the Arts Council, given the changing policy roles of these bodies.

Ireland/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.1 Visual and applied arts

The legislation for the arts and culture is encapsulated in the Arts Act 2003, the provisions of which apply generally to all the named art forms (see 5.2). There are no specific articles on the visual and applied arts.

Ireland/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.2 Performing arts and music

The legislation for the arts and culture is encapsulated in the Arts Act 2003, the provisions of which apply generally to all the named art forms (see 5.2). There are no specific articles on the performing arts and music.

Ireland/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.3 Cultural heritage

A broad span of legislation covers the role of the state to protect the archaeological and architectural heritage as well as wildlife in Ireland. On the archaeological heritage side, the National Monuments Acts 1930-1994 give the government authority to protect archaeological sites and monuments that have been identified under the Archaeological Survey of Ireland. A National Monuments Bill to consolidate and modernise national monuments legislation is in the drafting stage. Under more recent legislation (1999) the Department of the Environment and Local Government is charged with carrying out the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, which focuses on the more recent built heritage. The Local Government Planning and Development Act 1999 also makes provision for the implementation of planning controls to protect this heritage. The 2004 National Monuments Amendment Act provided for the Minister of the Environment to give directions on archaeological works in the case of approved road development (see also 4.2.9). This year a new Green Minister for the Environment has indicated that he intends to undertake a review of the state's archaeological policy and practice. 

On the natural heritage side, the Wildlife Act 2000 (amendment) together with the European Communities Natural Habitats Regulations 1997 designates Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas in line with EU directives. Natural Heritage Areas are also designated under the Wildlife Act 2000.

The Heritage Council was established as a statutory body under the Heritage Act 1995 to propose policies and priorities for the identification, protection, preservation and enhancement of the national heritage.

The Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 inter alia allows tax relief in respect of the donation of important national heritage items to the Irish national collections in the form of a tax credit equal to the value of the donation. The Heritage Fund Act 2001 established a fund with an overall limit of euros 12.7 million over a five year period to allow the principal state collecting institutions to acquire significant items for the national collection. The Council of National Cultural Institutions makes recommendations to the Minister on proposed acquisitions in respect of the five eligible institutions.

Ireland/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.4 Literature and libraries

The Public Libraries Act 1947 established the Library Council while the Local Government Act 2001 sets out the functions of the Council.

Ireland/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.5 Architecture and environment

Part IV of the Planning and Development Act 2003 deals with obligations regarding architecture and the listing of protected structures.


Ireland/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.6 Film, video and photography

The Film Board (established under the Film Board Act, 1980) was reconstituted in 1993:

Ireland/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.7 Culture industries

There is no overall legal framework to develop and promote the cultural industries. However, within different arts fields, certain provisions apply. Generally the usual VAT rate of 21% is reduced to 12.5% in respect of sales of art works and admission to artistic and cultural exhibitions. Books and the promotion of or admission to live theatrical performances are VAT-exempt and exhibition publications are subject to zero-VAT under certain conditions.

Section 481 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 allows investors to claim tax relief on share subscriptions in qualifying film production companies. The amount of relief that can be claimed is subject to annual limits. An amendment, as a result of the 2006 Finance Act, has increased the amounts of money that may be raised under the scheme as well as bringing up the maximum percentage of a project budget  that can be raised - from 55%-66% to 80%. So far, 357 projects have benefited from this provision. Twenty-eight projects were supported in 2005.

Ireland/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.8 Mass media

Consultation has recently closed on a new Broadcasting Bill that proposes to extend the public remit of the national broadcasting stations to incorporate the broadcasting of public service programming to Irish communities in the UK and the use of new web-based technologies. The publicly funded broadcasting services operate at arms length from the government of the day. They are autonomous in relation to day-to-day programming and editorial decisions. The over-riding objective of Irish broadcasting policy is to seek to maintain access for the people of Ireland to high quality Irish radio and television services. The mandate of the publicly funded broadcasters, defined in legislation, sets out in broad terms the nature of the service to be delivered and explicitly requires RTÉ to reflect the cultural diversity of the island of Ireland in its programming. The draft Charter for RTÉ specifically includes "arts" among the key genres of programming that RTÉ is expected to include in its schedules (see also 4.2.5).

In the case of the independent broadcasting sector there are no legislative provisions relating to the make up of programme schedules other than in the case of news and current affairs. Licences to broadcast in the independent sector are awarded by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland. Proposed programme schedules are amongst the issues considered by the Commission when assessing applications for licences and are then reflected in a contract where a licence is awarded.

The provisions of the EU Television without Frontiers Directive apply to both public and private television services in Ireland. The Directive provides that, where practicable:

These quotas apply after time devoted to news, sport and current affairs.

On the national level, independent broadcasters are required by statute to devote a minimum of 20% of broadcasting time to news and current affairs. There are no specific quotas in the case of public broadcasters. Instead RTÉ's statutory mandate requires it to deliver a comprehensive programme schedule.

RTÉ is required by statute to spend a certain minimum amount of euros commissioning independent productions (ca. 26 million euros in 2002).

Ireland/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.9 Legislation for self-employed artists

Artists in Ireland benefit from a specific tax provision. There is, however, no overall status-of-the-artist legislation.

Tax-exempt status for self-employed creative artists resident in Ireland was introduced in the 1969 Finance Act. This was generally perceived as an imaginative piece of legislation, which has been lauded internationally. It allows exemption from tax on income from sales or copyright fees in respect of original and creative works of cultural or artistic merit, as well as on Arts Council bursaries, payments of annuities under the Aosdána scheme and foreign earnings. While this scheme was capped at euros 250 000 in the 2006 budget, after a lengthy public debate, it remains in operation (see also chapter 5.1.7). Section 195, Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 empowers the Revenue Commission (tax collecting and legislating body) to determine with reference to guidelines drawn up by the Arts Council and the Department of Arts, that works are original and creative and thus of artistic or cultural merit. This provision applies only to taxes and does not extend to VAT. Since the beginning of the scheme almost 6 000 applicants have been approved. There is no upper limit to eligibility and it is estimated that this scheme cost the Exchequer euros 30 million in 2000 with the rise in cost since 1994 being of the order of 40% per annum.

Employed artists are subject to the same tax regime as all Irish citizens. For non-resident artists the normal withholding rate is 26%. This is reduced to 10% or to zero in the case of those countries (over 30 of them) with which Ireland has Double Taxation Agreements.

For more information, see our Status of Artists section

Ireland/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.10 Other areas of relevant legislation

Information is currently not available.

Ireland/ 6. Financing of culture

6.1 Short overview

The most significant political development of the past decade was the establishment, in 1993, of a government department with responsibility for arts and culture, now the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism. This Department invited the Arts Council to present the first national plan for the arts, which resulted in an immediate doubling of the Council's grant-in-aid (see also 4.1). This dramatic trend has survived two changes of government.

Table 1:     Arts Council funding, 1998-2007


Funding in million euros





















Source:      Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism, 2006.
*                 Supplementary of euro 10 million in December 2006.

Increased funding has coincided with a boom period in the Irish economy. The 8% cut suffered by the Arts Council in 2003 was corrected in 2004, with a grant-in-aid of euros 52.5 million, bringing arts funding back into line with the Arts Plan 2002-2006. The upward trend has continued. Arts Council funding comes from the Exchequer and the National Lottery. The total amount received from the Lottery from 2001- 2006 was euros 93.8 million, representing 27.7% of total funding to the Arts Council.

Local government expenditure on the arts, and related issues, are discussed in 2.2. The Arts Council reported a total net expenditure on the arts by local authorities of just under euros 5 million in 2005, an increase of 9% over the previous year.

In terms of commercial sponsorship, the Business2Arts National Arts Sponsorship Survey reported a total of euros 15 million in 2005, a modest sum in the light of the upturn in the Irish economy in recent years.

The share of the state budget allocated to culture in 2006 was 0.38%. No information is available on household spending on cultural activities.

Ireland/ 6. Financing of culture

6.2 Public cultural expenditure per capita

Table 2:     Public cultural expenditure per capita, in euro, 2005 and 2006


Public cultural expenditure*

Expenditure per capita

% of GDP


139 948 000




173 935 000



Source:      Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism, 2007.
*                 Includes Exchequer allocations to the Arts Council, the Cultural Institutions, cultural projects, cultural development, international cultural exchange, and film. Exchequer support for broadcasting, heritage and funding channelled through the Local Authorities are not included.

Ireland/ 6. Financing of culture

6.3 Public cultural expenditure broken down by level of government

Public cultural expenditure allocated through the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism amounted to euros 173.93 million in 2006.

While the level of funding provided by the Local Authorities has been increasing steadily in recent years, the exact figure is not currently available.

Ireland/ 6. Financing of culture

6.4 Sector breakdown

Table 3:     State cultural expenditure: by sector, in euro, 2005 and 2006

Field / domain / sub-domain

Total 2005

Total 2006

% total

Cultural institutions

34 810 000

28 024 000



80 399 000

85 317 000



13 703 000

12 316 000


Various art forms supported by the Arts Council (literature, music, visual arts, drama, multi-disciplinary arts / combined arts)


66 233 000

75 849 000



Cultural development / projects

18 531 000

27 444 000



15 950 000

19 426 000


Expenditure on cultural activities abroad

1 460 000

2 327 000


Other expenditure on culture

32 865 000

23 552 000



263 891 000

273 895 000


Source:      Department of Arts, Sport & Tourism 2006

Ireland/ 7. Cultural institutions and new partnerships

7.1 Re-allocation of public responsibilities

There has been no reallocation of public responsibilities for culture since 2002. The main change since then is in respect of international arts, now overseen by Culture Ireland (created in 2005) which is to become an independent statutory body (see 2.4.1). A new Minister has recently announced a review of the state's archaeological services.

Ireland/ 7. Cultural institutions and new partnerships

7.2 Status/role and development of major cultural institutions

Efforts to develop an overall approach to the national cultural institutions in Ireland, during the period of the first Ministry, culminated in the National Cultural Institutions Act 1997. Significant aspects of the Act have recently been implemented which changed the status of the National Museum and National Library from state organisations to autonomous, semi-state organisations. Other provisions related to compulsory purchase and mandatory deposit will be brought on stream in due course.

The Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism also intends over the next five years to formulate proposals for the long-term strategic development of the National Concert Hall and to carry out further major capital projects at the National Museum, the National Library, the National Gallery and the National Archives at an estimated cost of over euros 230 million. Other policy initiatives include helping the institutions become relevant to a wide range of people (in particular young people, the socially disadvantaged and visitors from abroad), and maintaining high standards of customer service.

The Programme for Government has committed to the rebuilding of the national concert hall, the national theatre - the Abbey - as flagship projects for the arts in Dublin as well as other important capital projects in the capital and elsewhere.

Attendance figures (2002-2006) for the national cultural institutions are now published on the website of the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism (see 9.2).

Ireland/ 7. Cultural institutions and new partnerships

7.3 Emerging partnerships or collaborations

The opening of a new wing in the National Gallery in 2002, was achieved by virtue of considerable collaboration with the private sector (7.6 million euros or 23% of total cost). The government has also approved the invitation of expressions of interest from the private sector to participate with them in a public-private partnership in the capital redevelopment of the Abbey Theatre. On the local level, co-operation between private and public sector actors in the financing of culture is common.

Arts2Business, established in 1988, has a range of programmes that develop collaborations or other partnerships between the commercial and the cultural sectors. In addition it operates INFORM, a training programme that allows arts managers and artists to participate in corporate training programmes, a mentor scheme for artists and the Arts Sponsor of the Year Awards.

Ireland/ 8. Support to creativity and participation

8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists

State support for artists in Ireland is channelled through the Arts Council, which offers a suite of programmes and schemes, direct and indirect, to this end. Specific details can be found on their website (see listing of web links in 9.2). See also 1, 5.3.9 and 8.1.3.

Ireland/ 8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists

8.1.1 Special artists funds

Aosdána, established in 1983 by the Arts Council, is an honorary association of peer-nominated outstanding creative artists in Ireland (max. 200), the aim of which is to encourage and assist members to devote their energies fully to art. Members are eligible for a Cnuas or annuity (value euros 12 180 in 2006), payable for a period of five years and renewable thereafter. One hundred and twenty-one artists benefited from the Cnuas in 2006. The programme is administered by the Arts Council. Aosdána also runs a contributory pension scheme.

In addition, the Arts Council runs a programme of direct support through awards, bursaries and schemes for all categories of individual artists.  These schemes are comprehensively described in the annual awards brochure (see 9.2) and include trust funds, travel and mobility grants, project and collaborative schemes, studio grants, professional development and training programmes, purchasing programmes, commissions, residencies, artists-in-community schemes as well as a programme of grants relating to literature, theatre, music, dance, the visual arts, architecture, film, video and animation. The Council is moving towards a system of general awards and in so doing is broadening its eligibility criteria, allowing for greater flexibility in the form of new art practices, art form combinations and artistic collaborations.

Ireland/ 8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists

8.1.2 Grants, awards, scholarships

Apart from the Arts Council funding described in 8.1.1, there are a number of other awards, the more important being the IMPAC Dublin Literary award, an initiative of Dublin City Council worth euros 100 000 annually, the Rooney Prize for young writers or the Glen Dimplex Award.

Ireland/ 8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists

8.1.3 Support to professional artists associations or unions

The Arts Council supports a number of artists' associations such as the Sculptors Society of Ireland, Dance Ireland, First Music Contact, Theatre Forum, Irish Theatre Institute; resource organisations like the Association of Irish Composers and Film Base; and artists' centres including the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annamakerrig (supported jointly by the Arts Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland), the Irish Writers' Centre, and the Contemporary Music Centre.

Ireland/ 8.2 Cultural consumption and participation

8.2.1 Trends and figures

A new study on public participation in the arts was published in late 2006, updating the last comprehensive survey which took place in 1994. This study outlines the contextual changes since the 1994 study. The Public and the Arts 2006 found that Irish people generally have very positive attitudes to the arts, in particular the importance of the arts in education, the value of investment in the arts generally and in arts amenities, the role of the arts in society and the importance of exposure to the arts from different cultures in an increasingly multi-cultural Ireland. The top priority for people in terms of arts spending is for spending targeted at children and young people, followed by local, amateur and community-based arts and programmes aimed at areas of social disadvantage. Overall attendance and participation levels between 1994 and 2006 are shown to be similar.  Over the previous 12 months, some 85% of people had attended at least one arts event (up from 83% in 1994) with some evidence of a movement in attendance from conventional or subsidised artforms and genres towards the more popular and commercial arts.

Table 4:     Attendance at arts activities, 2006 and 1994

Category of event

Proportion which attended (%)



Mainstream film



A play



Rock or popular music



Open-air street theatre / spectacle



Traditional Irish or Folk music



Stand-up comedy






Variety show / pantomime



Art exhibitions






Country & Western music



Traditional / Folk dance



Jazz / Blues music



Classical music concert or recital



Art-house film



World music



Readings (eg. Literature / poetry)






Contemporary dance






Other live music performance



Other dance performance



Source:      The Public and the Arts, 2006. n/a = not applicable, normally because the question was not asked in 1994. Figures based on 1 210 responses in 2006 and 1 200 responses in 1994.

Some 19% of people say they participated in at least one type of arts activity in the last year. The attendance table indicates a fall in attendance since 1994 in the less commercial arts, this despite reduced barriers.

Table 5:     Participation in the arts in previous 12 months, in %

Category of event


Membership / classes

Play a musical instrument for your own pleasure



Helping with running arts event or organisation



Painting / drawing / sculpture



Sing in a choir



Set dancing



Play a musical instrument to an audience or rehearsing



Performing or rehearsing in play / drama



Photography as an artist activity (not family / hols)






Writing any music



Making artworks or animation on a computer



Performing or rehearsing in light opera or musical



Making films or videos as an artistic activity
(not family or holidays)



Performing or rehearsing in opera



Other dancing (not including fitness class)



Other singing to an audience or rehearsing
(not including karaoke)






Source:      The Public and the Arts, 2006. Figures based on 1 210 responses.

86% of people currently buy or have bought, items relating to the arts.  The growth of new distribution channels for arts material is evident in that some 27% of people had downloaded arts-related material from the internet in the last year. There is a growing use of new media and the main artforms watched / listened to reflect the main types of artforms that people attend i.e. watching films on TV or DVD.

Table 6:     Purchasing behaviour and the art, currently or ever, in %, 2006 and 1994

Category of purchasing behaviour




Listening (inc. CDs, Cassettes, Downloads)

Rock or Popular Music



Traditional Irish or Folk Music



Country & Western Music



Classical Music Concert or Recital



Jazz / Blues Music



Books for Pleasure

Fiction, Novel, Story or Play






Watching (inc. DVDs, Videos, Downloads)

Film / TV Drama



Rock or Popular Music



Opera / Dance



Classical Music






Original Works of Art



Source:      The Public and the Arts, 2006. Figures based on 1 210 responses in 2006 and 1 200 in 1994.

A total of 17% of the population indicated that they experience difficulties in attending arts events while 83% said that they do not. This represents a significant change from 1994 when 73% of the population attested to experiencing difficulties. The change relates to the significant expenditure in capital infrastructure in the past decade as well as increased car ownership, better roads etc. The main source of information on arts events is the local press while there are indications of a growing diversity of information channels.

Recent research (2003) shows membership of public libraries at 21% of the population. A survey in 2002 showed that there are 12 million visits to Ireland's public libraries each year. A 2003 survey puts the level of usage at 36%, with over two-thirds of the population having been a member of a public library at some point. In international terms book issues per capita, at 3.4, are very low in Ireland and lag well behind other European countries. The Public and the Arts 2006 indicates that 64% of people said that they had read a book for pleasure in the previous year with 36% saying that they had not read any literature in that period. Figures for occupational class and education show significant differences in the levels of reading and an exclusion from the activity of reading for leisure of a large part of the population.

Ireland/ 8.2 Cultural consumption and participation

8.2.2 Policies and programmes

The current Arts Council strategy articulates the role of the arts in the promotion of civil society, through the mobilisation of social change and the renewal of identity, a credo that underwrites their participation and access policies generally.

These dimensions have long been major foci of Arts Council policy and are reflected in the new draft strategy "Partnership for the Arts". The Council details a number of actions to address this aim, including support for outreach projects, development of the relationship with local government, education initiatives and collaborative projects. It is fair to say, however, that the role of the arts in the development of civil society is far from being realised and that the arts and culture still lie to the fringes of these debates.

The National Gallery, Irish Museum of Modern Art and National Museum as well as the other national cultural institutions operate a policy of free admission and have education and outreach departments that offer workshops, symposia, in-service teacher training, lectures, resource rooms, demonstrations etc. The Heritage Council runs a programme of intervention in schools to raise consciousness of the natural heritage.

Ireland/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education

8.3.1 Arts education

The Arts Council has had a long history of involvement with the arts in education, from the perspectives of advocacy and policy development, as well as through direct schools programmes. The paucity of provision for the arts in Irish education is well documented. There has been a significant improvement in arts provision in the new curriculum for primary schools which bears witness to a welcome and momentous shift in the perspective on the full development of the child: it now remains to resource this adequately.  The glaring shortcomings of Irish education particularly in relation to music have been pointed out regularly and recently (see 4.3). The Creativity Engagement Scheme (see 2.3) is the latest endeavour in the domain of inter- departmental co-operation to address some of the deficits. In 2006, the Arts Council with the Department of Education and Science published Artists ~ Schools, Guidelines towards Best Practice in Schools and a review of arts education has been announced.

A recent Arts Council publication Supporting Arts in Education lists and details the programmes of 104 funded organisations, 33 local authorities and 10 national cultural institutions engaged in arts education as well as Arts Council awards and opportunities for arts educators.

Under the aegis of the Library Council a cultural heritage project aimed at creating and making available digital content on a range of cultural and heritage themes is being undertaken. This involves collaboration between libraries, museums, archives and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment to ensure its complementarity with the schools curriculum in a number of subjects (see 4.2.8).

A number of tertiary education bodies (Universities, Institutes of Technology, the National College of Art and Design) have developed a range of multimedia programmes and courses, which are currently attracting much student interest. 

A new higher education framework has been introduced in line with the Bologna process under the aegis of the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland. This incorporates an output-based approach to learning and is underpinned by a commitment to maximising access, transfer and progression.

Ireland/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education

8.3.2 Intercultural education

Ireland has long had experience of ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity. This is evident by the role played by bilingualism in Irish education, and the presence of the Traveller community and minority religious groups. The Department of Education has issued guidelines on Traveller education in second-level schools in Ireland, underpinned by the intention to foster conditions conducive to pluralism in society and to raise cultural awareness. The full text is available for download:

One of the specific aims of senior-cycle education is "to educate for participative citizenship at local, national, European and global levels".

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment published Intercultural Guidelines for Primary Schools in 2005 ( and for the post-primary sector in 2006: (

The Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) has also published Intercultural Guidelines for Schools. The full text is available for download:,963,en.pdf.

For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section

Ireland/ 8.4 Amateur arts, cultural associations and community centres

8.4.1 Amateur arts

In 2006, Voluntary Arts Ireland, which promotes participation in the arts across Northern Ireland and the Republic published Foundations, "an initial nature, needs and supports analysis of voluntary arts". This points to some 3 800 voluntary arts groups engaging 4 000 FTEs per annum with an expenditure of c. euro 38 million. The report outlines the issues for such voluntary groups, which include building participation and audiences, retaining volunteers and sustaining and developing art quality. The report calls for a better information flow and greater involvement by the Arts Council. 

In recent years, there has been a significant investment of public funds by the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism (through the ACCESS scheme) in the creation of local arts infrastructure throughout Ireland. Of the 44 capital projects to receive grant aid between 2001 and 2004, 17 are community-based projects. ACCESS II is about to commence (see 2.3). Similarly, voluntary and amateur activity has led to the growth of arts festivals and the demand for arts officers and arts planning at the local level.

Generally the framework of support for amateur arts is based on a partnership approach: between the Arts Council and local authorities, the National Youth Council and Udarás na Gaeltachta. The increasing investment by local authorities in arts and culture will further support and bolster amateur activities that are crucial to local arts provision.

Ireland/ 8.4 Amateur arts, cultural associations and community centres

8.4.2 Cultural houses and community cultural clubs

There are no centres that meet this description in Ireland. The Arts Council and local government fund a network of arts centres.

Ireland/ 9. Sources and Links

9.1 Key documents on cultural policy

A selection of Arts Council research reports is offered here. Many of these are available in electronic format from the Arts Council website:

ACE Committee: Art and the Ordinary Report. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1989. 

Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon: Annual Reports, 1953-2001. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1953 - 2001. 

Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon: Art Matters, 1986-2003. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1986 - 2003. 

Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon: Arts Plans. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1995-2003. 

Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon: Arts, Disability and the Arts Council. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1997. 

Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon: Developing Cultural Cinema in Ireland. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 2001. 

Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon: Living and working Conditions of Artists. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1980. 

Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon: Local Authorities and the Arts. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1998. 

Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon: Local Authority Expenditure on the Arts. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1999. 

Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon: Partnership for the Arts. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 2005. 

Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon: Study of the Socio-Economic Conditions of Theatre Practitioners in Ireland. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 2005. 

Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon: Supporting Arts in Education. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 2003. 

Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon: Tax and the Artist. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1986. 
With financial assistance from UNESCO. 

Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon: The Arts, the Disabled. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1985. 

Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon: The Public and the Arts. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 2006. 

Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon: Sounds New. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 2006. 

Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon: Study of the socio-economic conditions of theatre practitioners in Ireland. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 2005. 

Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and Combat Poverty Agency: Poverty: Access and Participation in the Arts. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1997. 

Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the Library Council: Arts and the Magic of the Word. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1999. 

Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon with BnG and IDA: Developing Publishing in Ireland. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1989. 

Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon with Temple Bar Properties: The Employment and Economic Significance of the Cultural Industries in Ireland. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1995. 

Benson, C.: The Place of the Arts in Irish Education. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1979. 

Brinson, P.; Ormston, A.: The Dancer and the Dance. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1985. 

Clancy, P.; Drury, M.; Kelly, A.; Brannick, T.; Pratschke, S.: The Public and the Arts. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, and Graduate School of Business, University College Dublin, 1994. 

Drury, M.; Morgan, B.: To Enable. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1988. 

Durkan, J.: The Economics of the Arts. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1994. 

Everitt, A.: The Creative Imperative. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, 2000. 

Herron, D.: Deaf Ears. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1985. 

International Arts Bureau: A comparative study of levels of arts expenditure in selected countries and regions. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 2000. 

Irish National Teachers Organisation: INTO Intercultural Guidelines for Schools. Dublin: INTO. 2002.,963,en.pdf

Kennedy, B.P.: Dreams and Responsibilities. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1990. 

Leatherdale, A.; Todd, V.: Shall We Dance. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, 1998. 

McAndrew, C.: Artists, Taxes and Benefits, an International Review. Research Report 28, Arts Council of England, 2002. 

Mulchrone, M.J.: Aspects of Personal Taxation in Ireland for Artists. Research Report 28, Arts Council of England, 1991. 

Music Network: A National System of Local Music Education Services. Dublin: Music Network, 2003. 

National Council for Curriculum and Assessment: Intercultural Education in the Primary School.  Dublin: NCCA, 2005.

National Council for Curriculum and Assessment: Intercultural Education in the Post- Primary School.  Dublin: NCCA, 2006.

National Economic and Social Forum: The Arts, Cultural Inclusion and Social Cohesion.  Dublin: NESF Report 35, 2007.

O'Hagan, J.W.; Duffy, C.: The Performing Arts and the Public Purse. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1987. 

Richards J.M.: Provision for the Arts. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 1976. 

Sinnot, R.; Kavanagh, D.: Audiences, Acquisitions and Amateurs. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 1983. 

Smith, P.: Towards a Policy and Action Plan for Opera. Dublin: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, 2002. 

Theatre Forum: Economic impact of the Professional Performing Arts in Ireland. Dublin: Theatre Forum, 2004. 

Ireland/ 9. Sources and Links

9.2 Key organisations and portals

Cultural policy making bodies

The Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism

The Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources

The Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs

The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government

Professional Associations


Grant-giving bodies


The Arts Council

The Irish Film Board

The Irish Heritage Council

Culture Ireland

Cultural research and statistics

The Arts Council's virtual library

The National Archives

The National Library

Culture / arts portals

Chester Beatty Library

Ireland Literature Exchange

The Irish Museum of Modern Art

The Irish Theatre Institute

The National Concert Hall

The National Gallery of Ireland

The National Museum of Ireland

The National Theatre

The Library Council

Ask about Ireland

Culture Net - Gateway to the Culture and Heritage of Ireland


The Council of Europe/ERICarts "Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe, 9th edition", 2008