Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

From the paper: anyone for a new report on the Irish music business?

The Socio-Economic Contribution of Music to the Irish Economy is the latest in a long line of reports and recommendations from the Irish music business

This one goes up to 11: Brian Kennedy, IMRO’s Victor Finn, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys TD and Luan Parle at the launch of the new report. Photo: Naoise Culhane

Mon, Feb 23, 2015, 09:51


I wrote a piece at the weekend about The Socio-Economic Contribution of Music to the Irish Economy, the new report commissioned by the Irish Music Rights Organisation, and produced by Deloitte about the Irish music business.

You’ve probably read the headline findings from the report elsewhere because headline findings always make good, er, headlines. The industry contributes more than €470 million to the economy and supports about 9,000 direct jobs, which is great stuff altogether. The industry, though, believes it’s a case of a lot done, more to do and has a raft of recommendations for the government. These include the appointment of an intellectual-property tsar; the provision of training to provide business skills for professional musicians; and the establishment of a music-industry taskforce and, with a focus on the export market, a Music Ireland office.

But we have been here before. In fact, we’ve been here many times before and the latest report is at least the eighth such report on the health of the Irish music business in the last 20 years. That’s a lot of reports, a lot of similar recommendations and, sadly, not a lot of action on these findings from any government body, agency or department who got a copy of these reports. The will to do something really constructive is just not present. There have been some moves, but they’ve been tokenistic at best (come on down, the Music Board of Ireland).

Perhaps, as I suggest in the piece, it’s time to take a leaf out of the Icelandic and Canadian playbooks when it comes to this sort of thing and actually show some ingenuity and smarts to improve the sector’s lot. Otherwise, we’ll just be producing more snazzy reports with well-meaning ambitions until the cows come home