Joint Oireachtas Committee Report: The Arts Matter

The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan TD, today welcomed the report by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht: The Arts Matter.

Speaking today, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan TD said:

“This Government recognises that the Arts do indeed matter. Proof of this is our commitment to double spending on culture, heritage and the Gaeltacht by 2025.

This is already happening:


  • In Budget 2019, total funding for arts and culture increased by almost €23m to almost €190m, an increase of 14% on 2018.
  • Annual funding to the Arts Council has increased by over 15% in the past two years alone and in 2019 stands at €75m – in 2009 this allocation stood at €73m.
  • Project Ireland 2040 commits to an capital investment of €725m in the arts and culture between 2017 and 2027, with €180m of this accounted for by 2017-19 commitments.”


I look forward to reading this report and considering the recommendations. I thank the Committee for its interest in the arts and for the work it undertook to complete the report.

Creative Youth is a key element of the Creative Ireland Programme. It is led by my Department in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills, the Arts Council and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to enable the creative potential of every child and young person. Creative Youth increased its budget from over €2m in 2018 to over €6m in 2019 across the various partners and is implementing a range of arts, creativity and education measures both inside and outside of the school system.

For some years now, Údarás na Gaeltachta has operated in partnership with the Arts Council in providing funding for the traditional arts, such as music, song and dance, in Gaeltacht areas. In recognition, of the importance of the arts to the Gaeltacht language planning initiative provided for under the Gaeltacht Act 2012, my Department has significantly increased this level of funding over the past year and intends to continue this arrangement in future. This initiative, of course, will complement the work of An tOireachtas in this sector on an all-island basis. My Department will also continue to provide annual funding to An Cumann Scoildrámaíochta to promote Irish-medium drama in our schools, while the Irish-medium Clár TechSpace will be rolled out nationally over the coming year with a new emphasis on the STEM area. Notwithstanding these current initiatives, my Department has recognised the need for a strategic focus to this work and has, therefore, in partnership with TG4, Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Foras na Gaeilge and the Arts Council, commenced the development of an Integrated Arts Strategy for the Gaeltacht and the Irish Language.”

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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