Arts Council Funding Remains at €130m for 2023

Via The Journal of Music, published on 28 September 2022: Culture Ireland funding increased by €2m in government's 2023 budget; tax relief introduced for uilleann pipes makers and harp makers.

Minister Catherine Martin speaking at a Budget 2023 press conference. Photo: Journal of Music.

In its 2023 budget, which was published on Tuesday (27 September), the government has announced that Arts Council funding will remain at €130m for a third year running.

The Arts Council’s budget was increased from €80m to €130m for 2021 due to the impact of the pandemic and a changing view of the value of Irish arts at home and abroad, and this figure was repeated in the 2022 government budget. In a statement yesterday, Minister for Arts Catherine Martin said that the repeat funding for 2023 ‘allows funds reach all parts of the sector, including to over 100 organisations, over 40 Arts Centres, over 200 festivals and thousands of artists.’

Commenting on the announcement, the Arts Council Chair, Professor Kevin Rafter, said that ‘The decision to keep funding at €130m for a third consecutive year is welcome, and this money will allow the Council to continue to help the arts sector recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and to deal with significant cost of living increases.’ He added that the Council ‘will continue to make the case – as it has done over the last two years – for an annual budget of €150m to further develop the arts sector across the country.’

The National Campaign for the Arts questioned why funding had not been increased in line with allocations to other sectors. Angela Dorgan, Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts, commented:

While we celebrate the continued investment of €130 million in the Arts Council for 2023, which is the key mechanism for the funding of art, artists, arts workers and arts organisations right across the country, it is frustrating that this figure has not increased in line with the other spending increases included in Budget 2023.

Minister Martin also announced a €2m increase for Culture Ireland, which promotes Irish arts abroad, bringing its funding to €6.6m for 2023. A statement from the body said that it represents ‘an increase of over 43% on the funding available in 2022 and will greatly enhance Culture Ireland’s ability to support the presentation of Irish arts worldwide.’

The Minister also announced that the government has agreed to her request for ‘income tax relief for uilleann pipe makers and harp makers, to apply to proceeds from the sale of the instruments.’

She added that there will be €6m in ‘Night-Time Economy funds which will further drive footfall into towns to support performances and 8 night-time advisors to lead reforms nationwide. Soundproofing grants will also help night venues and nightclubs.’

Minister Martin recently launched the Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme, which will run for three years and provide 2,000 artists and arts workers with €325 per week to allow them to focus on their creative work. The government has allocated €35m for the scheme for 2023.

For further details on all announcements, visit

Read more from The Journal Of Music here.