Investment of €1.2bn in culture and Irish language to be announced

Priorities include renovating cultural institutions and digitising national collections

Investment of almost €1.2 billion in culture, heritage and Irish language works over the next decade will be announced on Tuesday as part of Project Ireland 2040.

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan will set out details of the capital funding at a forum in the National Gallery.

A source said the majority of the €1.18 billion to be announced today is new, and not part of funding already committed by the Government.

The investment includes €460 million earmarked for priority projects at national cultural institutions over the next decade. These include renovations at the National Library, National Archives, National Concert Hall and Irish Museum of Modern Art.


Works will also be funded at the National Museum, Abbey Theatre and Crawford Art Gallery, along with further redevelopment at the National Gallery and improvements in the Chester Beatty Library.

The funding also includes €200 million for media production and the audio visual industry under the Creative Ireland programme, and €10 million on digitising national collections so they can be conserved, preserved and disseminated.

Galway will get €15 million to prepare it for its role as European City of Culture in 2020.

Culture infrastructure

Some €40 million is slated for culture infrastructure across the State to maintain and develop regional arts centres, theatres, museums, galleries, archives and artist studios.

A further €285 million will be spent on priority heritage projects up to 2027, including €50 million on improving amenities at national parks and nature reserves this includes new trails at Ballycroy National Park, outdoor recreation facilities in Killarney National Park, improved facilities at Connemara and Glenveagh National Parks, and at Coole Park.

Priority investment for Irish language and the islands will total €178 million over 10 years

Some €60 million goes towards implementing the National Biodiversity Action Plan, including agri-environment schemes and protecting peatlands, while a further €85 million is planned for built heritage.

National monument sites at Brú na Bóinne, Tara, Céide Fields, Clonmacnoise, Skellig Michael, Valentia Cable Station and the Rock of Cashel are to get €30 million.

Priority investment for Irish language and the islands will total €178 million over 10 years, with €105 million going to Gaeltacht areas through Údarás na Gaeltachta in a bid to create 1,000 jobs annually.

Support of €33 million will go to the Gaeltacht Language Planning Process for upgrading Irish summer colleges; childcare facilities; new co-op offices and community facilities in a range of Gaeltacht areas.

There are plans to spend €13 million on Irish Language Networks in Gaeltacht towns and a Dublin city language and cultural hub, plus €27 million on island marine infrastructure.

Ms Madigan is hosting a forum today discussing this segment of Project Ireland 2040 investment, and will be joined by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands Joe McHugh.

Deirdre Falvey

Deirdre Falvey

Deirdre Falvey is a features and arts writer at The Irish Times