It will increase the overall funding for the arts council to €130 million.
Speaking during the launch of Budget 2021 this afternoon, Minister McGrath said:
"Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on arts, cultural and sporting activities. The spaces that brought us together, often in celebration of some of our most talented people, for now, lie empty and slient."
"I am also pleased to announce that additional funding of €14 million will be provided for the Gaeltacht and Irish language sector next year, bringing its funding allocation to over €78 million. €8 million will be provided for Údarásna Gaeltachta, €2.8 million for Irish Language & Gaeltacht Support Schemes, €1.7 million for An Foras Teanga and €1.3 million for the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language."
In relation to sport, he announced an increase of €36 million in funding for Sport Ireland, €7 million for large-scale sports infrastructure and €2 million for major sporting events.
Sources of income
Reacting to today's news, Words Ireland, the body that represents Irish writers said the announcement of increased funding of €50 million to the Arts Council is hugely welcome and can help Ireland’s writers to recover from the imposition of lockdown measures that have decimated their incomes.
Words Ireland Chairperson Michael McLoughlin, said;
“Irish writers and illustrators were severely affected by COVID-19 and will greatly welcome today’s news that total Arts Council funding will rise to €130m.
"Only a small fraction of author earnings come from book sales; writers and illustrators make the majority of their income in the community, visiting schools, libraries and prisons, at literary festivals and arts centres and teaching creative writing classes.
"These sources of income have been decimated. It’s become clear that literature is as much a part of the ‘Live Arts’ sector as music or theatre. Independent publishers are also struggling, with so many lost opportunities to promote new Irish writing and reduced footfall in bookshops. Now, more than ever, the literature sector needs support, and the announcement of this funding will go a long way”.
Screen Ireland, the national development agency for the film, television and animation industry, also welcomed increased of €9 million announced by Minister for the Arts Catherine Martin.
It brings the agency’s capital budget to €26.2 million for 2021 which represents an increase of 52 per cent on 2020’s original budget allocation.
Commenting on the budget announcement, Screen Ireland chair Dr Annie Doona said:
“I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Minister Catherine Martin T.D. for her support during what has been such a challenging time for the Irish creative screen industries.
"As a result of the Government’s continued and consistent support, the industry has managed to get film and television production activity back up and running safely, with financial supports in place to introduce strict health and safety protocols on set.
“The success of projects such as Normal People, Vivarium and Sea Fever during lockdown and the extraordinary reaction to Wolfwalkers at the Toronto International Film Festival recently, demonstrates how culturally important the screen industries are to Ireland. Irish audiences have leaned on the arts in recent months to get them through very difficult times."