In advance of Budget 2019, Sinn Féin Senator Fintan Warfield has called on Government to recognise the economic contribution of the arts, heritage, and audio-visual sectors and to significantly increase investment in the people and organisations that create this wealth.

Senator Fintan Warfield said:

“Together, the arts, heritage, and audio-visual sectors have a combined economic value of more than €4 billion and support 73,088 jobs.

“Despite the considerable impact of these sectors, the state continues to under invest in the people and organisations that create this wealth.

“Creativity is acknowledged as an economic driver; an essential input into business, economy and social policy, essential if we are to survive and thrive in a new economy.

“In our Alternative Budget 2019, Sinn Féin would significantly increase funding through existing channels, but more than that, we develop new funding policies that would ensure equality of access, opportunity and reward within the cultural sector.

“It is time for an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to make good on his commitment to double arts funding and to begin that process in the Budget next week.”

Summary of Measures:


Cost / Increase

Establish a new Local Authority Arts Programme Fund

€3 million

Establish artist in residence positions in the public sector


Increase Arts Council funding by 8.8%

€6 million

Provide additional investment in National Cultural Institutions

€1.359 million

Increase investment in Waterways Ireland

€2.28 million

Provide 15% funding increase to Culture Ireland


Research the development of a digital voucher system to support greater access to culture


Develop a Youth Arts Strategy and Music Strategy

no cost in 2019

Research & Development Fund for EU funding applications



Cost / Increase

Funding increase for heritage including the development of Moore Street as a cultural quarter with a Cultúrlann

€5.5 million

Increase funding of the Heritage Council by 37%

€1 million

Increase investment in Fís Éireann / Screen Ireland by 14%

€2 million

Establish an Artists’ Studio Spaces Scheme

€5 million

Additional investment in Waterways Ireland

€2.3 million