Arts Council cuts annual grant by Abbey by €600,000

Council has a budget €56.9 million for 2014

Abbey Theatre: funding cut from €7.1 million to €6.5 million. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Abbey Theatre: funding cut from €7.1 million to €6.5 million. Photograph: Cyril Byrne


The Abbey Theatre’s annual funding has been cut by €600,000, the Arts Council has revealed.

The council, which has a budget of €56.9 million for 2014, €3 million less than the previous year, yesterday released details of its annual funding to arts organisations and festivals.

Gate Theatre
The Abbey Theatre, which receives the single biggest grant from the council, had its funding cut from €7.1 million in 2013 to €6.5 million. The Gate Theatre went down €68,000, from €976,000, while the Druid Theatre’s grant was cut by €58,000, down from €820,000 in 2013.

After the Abbey, the biggest grant was to Wexford Festival Opera, which saw an increase to €1.4 million from €1.3 million.

Film tended to fare better than other genres, with funding either remaining the same, or increasing moderately. Access Cinema, Filmbase, the Irish Film Institute and the Fresh Film Festival all retained 2013 funding levels. Cork Film Festival had an increase of €15,000, bringing it to €165,000, and the Dublin International Film Festival went up €5,000 to €100,000.

However, the notable loser of funding in film was the Cork Film Centre, which saw its funding cut in half, to €35,000. In Galway, the film centre’s funding was cut by €37,500 to €50,000, while the Film Fleadh lost €10,000 from last year’s figure of €150,000.

Galway also had additional hits, with its arts centre losing €85,000 from the 2013 grant of €250,000, and a cut of €17,000 to Macnas.

The big arts festivals, Galway and Kilkenny, each had an extra €20,000 added to their budget, and the Dublin Fringe Festival was up €15,000, to €340,000. The Pipeworks Festival in Dublin saw its grant rise to €24,000 from a modest €6,500 last year.

Most of the theatre companies saw cuts. Rough Magic was down €39,000; Blue Raincoat down €32,000; The Ark down €27,000; Pan Pan down €23,000; the Project down €21,000; Fishamble down €20,000; Corcadorca down €16,000; and Corn Exchange down €10,000.

All the funding decisions can be viewed at