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NCFA Response to Budget 2017 - Press release – Tuesday 11th October 2016

October 11 2016, at 8.12pm

  • NCFA welcomes modest uplift in allocations for cultural agencies and institutions. However dismay expressed by NCFA members as Arts, Culture and Film budget cut by 16% year on year. Ireland retains its position at bottom of the EU league in terms of average GDP spending on the arts.
  • €48m commemorations funding should have been fully retained for arts, film, culture and heritage 
  • €5m for Commemorations Legacy initiative should be directly invested in Arts Council and other agencies


The National Campaign for the Arts today welcomed the modest increases in funding in Budget 2017 to the Arts Council, Culture Ireland, the National Cultural Institutions and the Irish Film Board.

Dismay was expressed by members however, that in a budget that saw an additional €1 billion approx. allocated in expenditure, the Arts, Culture & Film budget, which was increased from €156.5m in 2015 to €188.5m in 2016, reduced to €158.3m for 2017 - a 16% cut.

Given the enormous value and impact of the State’s additional investment in arts and culture for the commemorations programme this year, the NCFA believes that this increased level of cultural investment for 2016 should have been fully retained, rather than redirecting some of that funding from the cultural sector to other sectors, as the Government has done in this budget.

With regard to the €5m reserved for a “Culture 2025/Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme legacy initiative”, the NCFA feels that rather than creating a separate new fund of this kind, these resources would make a greater impact if invested directly into the Arts Council, which would have doubled the increase for that agency, which has the core remit in this area.

Regrettably, Ireland's unenviable position at the bottom of the EU league in terms of average GDP spending on the arts looks set to continue for the foreseeable future, given government commitment to the Department into 2017.

NCFA Chairperson Jo Mangan said: "We recognise all the efforts made by Minister Humphreys to maximize the outcome for her department. While recognising the positive impact of the steps taken, we are disappointed that the outcome was not more positive for the sector. In our pre-Budget submission the NCFA stressed the need to work urgently toward restoring the €30 million stripped from the Arts Council funding since 2008 and the devastating cuts to the National Cultural Institutions. This would have provided some much needed stability for artists and arts organisations. There is strong disappointment coming from members who expected a significant increase from Budget 2017, in order to make extraordinary art happen for the citizens of Ireland. At 0.1% of GDP, Ireland’s expenditure on Arts and Culture is at the bottom of the list of EU countries compared with an average of 0.6%, surely something no country can condone. The NCFA calls on the Government to rethink their ongoing strategy for the arts and work actively with the arts community to raise arts funding to the EU average as a matter of urgency.”


Established in 2009 as a response to the McCarthy Report, The National Campaign for the Arts is a nationwide, volunteer-led, grass roots movement that makes the case for the arts in Ireland. It seeks to ensure that the arts are on local and national government agendas and are recognised as a vital part of contemporary Irish life.

The NCFA’s ambitious but inclusive proposition is to work with the Government and the sector to ensure Ireland is a “Republic of Culture” in 2016 and beyond: to recognise the centrality of the arts to the future, as well as the history, of our nation, and to achieve an appropriate and functional level of state investment in the arts and culture.

For further information, visit http://www.ncfa.ie


For media information, contact: Sabrina Sheehan sabrinasheehan@missionpr.ie
(01) 675 0695


What Next? Minutes of meeting 28 September 2016

September 29 2016, at 1.19pm

NCFA What Next?
Minutes of meeting, 28 September 2016

In attendance: Niamh Lunny, Gráinne Pollack, Síofra NicLiam, Eoghan Carrick

NOTE: meeting next week will be in the Peacock Theatre Café (Abbey Theatre), Wednesday 9am

Steering group meeting update:

  • Meetings are being set up with TDs around the country to discuss the Pre-Budget Submission.
  • Discussions around making sure the information is well disseminated. Looking into creating short discussions to be hosted on Sound Cloud.
  • There is a push get the Road Show for colleges around Ireland going. It will focus on giving people information of the circumstances and how to lobby.
  • Discussed fundraising and how to develop a fundraising campaign.
  • Niamh Lunny discussed creating a history/timeline of the NCFA. It will be worked up in relation to the website

Whats Next? update:

  • Gráinne has done some work in writing up content for the Newsletter. It will be ready to send to by the end of the week. All members should receive it.
  • Eoghan Carrick and Síofra NicLiam met with Paul Murphy AAA. The AAA are in agreement with much of the NCFA requests. Particular interest in STEAM, the Social Welfare reform and the increase in funding to the arts. They are working up their budget and are going to put a line for the increase in funding. They have no arts policy but are hoping to clarify it in writing by December.
  • Philomena Byrne, Eoghan Carrick and Aideen Howard met with Richard Boyd Barrett. They discussed the NCFA asks in the Pre-Budget Submission and Richard Boyd Barrett and the PBP are on board. The PBP arts policy name checks the NCFA Pre-Budget submission.
  • Eoghan’s website update: Paul Brennan is going to update the website. It will be a new website started from scratch. Much of the content is available on the current website. It will need to be updated and made more accessible for new administrators to use it. Copy for the website will be edited and developed by the communications team which is being set up now.

To Do:

  • Niamh get in touch with Tanya Bannotti
  • Niamh to meet with Brian Horgan about fundraising.
  • Gráinne and Síofra to sort out newsletter and send it to Aoife Lucey for Friday
  • Eoghan to continue website work
  • Meeting next week in the Peacock Theatre Café

What Next? Minutes of meeting 21 September 2016

September 28 2016, at 1.35pm

What Next?
Minutes of meeting 21 September 2016

In attendance: Michelle Browne, Eoghan Carrick, Niamh Lunny, Siobhán Mooney, Gráinne Pollock


  • Membership is up to date
  • From now on when people sign up to NCFA they sign up directly to campaign monitor not the website, this works much better

Work Placement

  • Michelle B suggested that we look into getting someone on a work placement
  • Arts Admin course in UCD run by Emily Mark Fitzgerald, Michelle B will contact her about this OR Arts policy course in IADT
  • Work placement candidate: help draft newsletters, work closely with a mentor who has a lot of experience, will have a desk they can work from (possibly in Theatre Forum)
  • Need to figure out: who does the work placement candidate report to? What exactly can we offer? How can we make the role sustainable so that the work that is done doesn’t fall off when work placement leaves? How long is the work placement?


  • NCFA Soundcloud is being reactivated. What do we want to use it for?
  • Maybe short interviews on policy? People will not listen to news/content that is out of date. Is there any point in reactivating? It is a lot of work for a low hit rate

NCFA Interaction

  • Gathering stories/interviews from people about how they interact with the arts and their first experiences with the arts etc., Jenny Keogh and Ali Kirby to take a lead on this
  • Good to have these interviews taking place nationally, not just in Dublin
  • How can you become the NCFA? Should try and get this question out to people, on the website etc., make it more personal
  • Michelle B will find out if NCFA can give a talk in NCAD during their Thursday lecture series
  • Need to get across that the NCFA What Next meetings are open to everyone – it is not a closed group


  • Newsletter to go out on the 30th of each month, it will be a concise roundup of the minutes and any other big news
  • Newsletter to be sent to Aoife Lucey and she will send it out
  • Draft will be set up in a google docs document to people can edit the draft instead of sending emails and drafts back and forth
  • Pre budget submission to be included in the next newsletter


Eoghan C:

  • To find out about details of the roadshow
  • Find out about the website and get constituency info from the old website
  • Put Michelle B in touch with Eugene D about visiting the collages

Michelle B:

  • To contact Emily Mark Fitzgerald about the work placement – look into other Arts Admin courses
  • Draft a job spec for the work placement position

Gráinne P:

  • To set up a google doc for the newsletter so everyone can edit the draft

VAI ARE MOVING TO OLIVER BOND STREET. NEXT WEEKS MEETING WILL TAKE PLACE at Independent Studios, 16 Eustace Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

What Next? Minutes of meeting 14 September 2016

September 28 2016, at 1.27pm

NCFA What Next?
Minutes of meeting, 14 September 2016

In attendance: Eoghan Carrick, Siobhán Mooney, Gráinne Pollock, Síofra Nic Liam, Niamh Lunny

Culture Night

  • Unable to go ahead with plans for volunteers and PDF for venues in short time frame
  • Hashtag #republicofculture to be used instead

Website/Email/Social Media

  • Eoghan to meet with Theatre Forumto finalise database so that all members will now receive email updates
  • Monthly Newsletter to start circulating to NCFA members, Síofra, Grainne and Siobhan to work on this
  • Website to be updated by David Wall and more linkage to website will be posted through facebook and twitter
  • #republicofculture to start being used

Meetings with TDs

  • NCFA met with oireachtas committe
  • NCFA members to begin to meet with local TDs
  • Information, possibly in podcast form, to start being produced to aid people who want to meet with TDs
  • Pre-budget submission will be emailed to members to also aid anyone meeting their TDs

What Next? Minutes of meeting 7 September 2016

September 07 2016, at 4.28pm

What Next? Minutes of meeting
7 September 2016

In attendance: Niamh Lunny, Gráinne Pollak, Síofra Nic Liam, Gavin Murphy


Culture Night:

  • PDF to be produced and distributed to Arts Organisations, providing facts on the current funding situation for the Arts in Ireland and inviting the public to offer their symbolic support for raising it to European average
  • Discussed: how many points/questions, what info needed from signer, what graphics to include. Regarding dissemination, need to provide clear guidelines for venues, publicise PDF to venues, publicise to public.
  • 3 points to be compiled, including info on government’s current spending on culture, poor working and living conditions for artists in Ireland and the benefits of engaging in culture for everyone across all areas like education, health, economy and community.


  • Niamh and Gráinne to revise and re-word any unclear points drawn up at meeting
  • Gavin to send final document to designer

d Connect with the ongoing campaign on Facebook