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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure IE-2020-32/1745 – measures in Ireland

Range of supports introduced for the arts, culture and performance sectors

Country Ireland , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 03 August 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
Author Roisin Farelly (IRN Publishing) and Eurofound
Measure added 29 January 2021 (updated 02 February 2021)

Background information

A range of supports were introduced for the arts, culture and live performance sectors. In December, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin said arts and culture have been hard hit by COVID-19, and this has been recognised by Government with a series of funding supports throughout 2020.

Content of measure

The supports introduced include:

  • An allocation of €5 million under the “Live Performance Support Scheme” which aims to assist commercial venues, producers and promoters of live performances to plan live performances across the country. The scheme will help to de-risk the costs of preparing for new productions which may subsequently have to be postponed, cancelled or curtailed due to restrictions to safeguard public health.
  • A Music Stimulus Package, with a fund of €1 million designed to help sustain the popular and commercial music sector across all music genres.
  • Financial supports of €4.9m for the broadcasting sector. The supports are targeted at independent radio, in particular local and regional radio, and the production of programmes that support the live music sector.
  • €130m in funding for the Arts Council.
  • Over €78m funding allocation for Gaeltacht and Irish language sector.
  • Funding of up to €40.733 million for Irish language television channel TG4.

Use of measure

A total of 58 organisations benefited from the Live Performance Support Scheme up to 25 November 2020.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Particular professions
Sector specific set of companies
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
Local / regional government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Informed Informed
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions

Irish Equity, the union which represents Professionals in the live performance and theatre sector (part of SIPTU) welcomed the announcement of critical investment in the Arts but said there is not enough focus on retaining artists and arts workers in the sector. “Artists and workers are being prevented from working because of the restrictions on gatherings and they need urgent and ongoing financial support. With the Arts, Culture and Entertainment expected to be hit harder by job losses than any other sector of the economy, funding must targeted towards those artists and creatives who are most exposed." Karan O'Loughlin said.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      R - Arts, Entertainment And Recreation R90 Creative, arts and entertainment activities
    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Legal, social, cultural and related associate professionals


  • 03 August 2020: Minister Martin announces allocation of funding to help stabilise the arts and culture sector in the context of challenges arising from Covid-19 (
  • 08 September 2020: Live Performance and Music Industry Support Packages of €6 million announced by Minister Martin (
  • 18 October 2020: Irish Equity calls for more support for Arts workers (
  • 02 November 2020: Minister Martin announces recipients of funding under Live Performance Support Scheme (
  • 30 November 2020: 2020 – Department supports areas among hardest hit by COVID-19 (
  • 21 December 2020: Minister Martin announces new supports for local radio and audiovisual production that supports the Live Music Sector (


Eurofound (2021), Range of supports introduced for the arts, culture and performance sectors, measure IE-2020-32/1745 (measures in Ireland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.