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BUDGET 2022: A Powerful Programme of supports for Tourism, Culture and Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media sectors

  • €50m for Tourism Business Continuity Supports, assisting business’ survival and recovery


  • €35m enhanced Tourism Marketing funding, accelerating the return of International Tourism to Ireland


  • €27m increased investment in domestic tourism initiatives, including festivals,  events, as well as initiatives in skills development and staff retention


  • Arts Council funding maintained at record level of €130m


  • €25m to pilot a Basic Income Guarantee Scheme for Artists


  • €25m for further supports for live entertainment


  • Additional €7m package for Irish Language plus €4.2m extra for Irish language broadcasting


  • Sport Ireland allocated €105.81m to support development and participation all over Ireland


  • Significant additional grants under Sports Capital and Equipment Programme


  • €5.5m to establish the new Media Commission, including an Online Safety Commissioner


The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, and Minister of State, Jack Chambers TD, today (13 October) announced details of €1,197,498,000 gross funding allocated to the Department in Budget 2022, covering an extensive range of imaginative new funding streams and measures to support the resilience and growth of practitioners, businesses, communities and operations in sectors overseen by the Department.


Minister Catherine Martin said:

“Budget 2022, which has been negotiated between the three parties in Government, delivers a powerful package of supports to strengthen the tourism, culture, Gaeltacht, sport and media sectors, right across Ireland. These measures announced in detail today, result from ongoing dialogue and engagement between the officials in my Department and the sectors and communities which come under our remit.  Together, we have provided strong supports throughout the very difficult COVID-19 period to help these crucially important sectors survive and, now that the country is emerging from the pandemic, we are supporting their future growth and successes.


The measures announced in detail are, of course, sector-specific measures, but are also supplemented by the economy-wide business supports and measures announced in Budget 2022, including wage supports. Working with Minister of State Jack Chambers, this budget gives us a strong platform from which to support our sectors in their recovery, direct a renewed focus on delivery of our ambitious Programme for Government commitments, and engage with the sectors to develop new policies and initiatives."


Minister Chambers said:“I am really pleased we have been able to increase funding for a range of programmes and initiatives for the Irish language and Sport sectors. As we emerge from the pandemic this extra support will ensure more people can return to the sports and activities they love, and allow us to build on important initiatives around participation. The continued incremental increase in funding for the Irish language will help our Gaeltacht communities to grow and prosper and are part of a suite of measures, including the Official Languages (Amendment) Bill designed to support the use of the Irish language and the provision of services through Irish.”


Key Highlights of Budget 2022




The aim of the Government’s Tourism policy is to support the development of a sustainable tourism sector, supporting it to recover and grow, making an impact on cities, towns, villages and rural areas across Ireland.

The Budget 2022 allocation will allow the Department to:

  • Sustain core capacity in the industry
  • Maintain business continuity supports for tourism enterprises
  • Significantly enhance our international marketing
  • Expand support for festivals and other domestic marketing initiatives
  • Enhance support for Tourism Product development


Highlights in Tourism include:


  • Record level of funding for Tourism in Budget 2022: €288.5m overall – an increase of €67.6m over 2021 allocation.
  • €50m provision for further business continuity support for strategic tourism businesses that can help drive the sustainable recovery of our tourism sector. This funding will assist vulnerable tourism businesses to survive until Summer 2022 when it is expected that inbound tourism will recover. Eligible businesses include: inbound tour operators, coach tourism operators, strategic tourism transport operators, tourism attractions, activity centres and accommodation. This Scheme is operated by Fáilte Ireland.


  • €35m increase in the Tourism Marketing Fund in 2022 to support the delivery of a marketing strategy to help restore inbound tourism to Ireland. This strategy will focus efforts on Ireland’s most successful markets on an unprecedented scale. This increase also includes €5m to begin preparations on the Programme for Government commitment to deliver a themed year project, The Year of the Invitation, aimed at stimulating additional demand.


  • €27m for a range of industry initiatives including:
  • Domestic Marketing and Festivals: Given the projected slow return of international visitors it will be important to increase investment in domestic marketing and festivals. Festivals are a key motivator for visitors to travel and provide an urgency and a specific timeframe in which potential visitors must visit Ireland, while domestic visitors will be crucial in sustaining businesses and jobs in the sector.
  • Investment in Digital: Through its Digital that Delivers investment programme, Fáilte Ireland will also be in a position to support the digitalisation of tourism businesses to grow their business in a sustainable manner, consistent with modern consumer preferences. 
  • Skills Development and staff retention: The additional provision will allow for targeted investment in human capital, skills development and education to help address particular employment challenges faced by tourism businesses in attracting talent, assisting skills development and retaining staff. 
  • American College Football Event: The hosting of American College Football, on an annual basis, will provide a significant boost to a sector that is facing a challenging recovery from COVID-19 impacts. 
  • €4m to develop a register of short term and holiday lets as outlined in Housing for All – a New Housing Plan for Ireland.


  • €36.5m in capital funding for tourism product development – an increase of almost €4m over the 2021 allocation – for the delivery of enhanced visitor experiences in line with the objectives of the National Development Plan 2021-2030.


The supports for Tourism in Budget 2022 also include a range of cross-Government measures which will assist the sector in its recovery and growth. These include continuation of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme to April 2022, a €90m package for the aviation industry which should complement marketing initiatives to attract overseas visitors, and the 9% VAT rate for hospitality which remains in place until September 2022.


The Government’s approval of an extension of the Targeted Rates Waiver, including tourism businesses, until the end of 2021, will further support this vital industry.


Total Tourism funding for 2022 will comprise €241.7m in current funding and €46.7m in capital funding.


Minister Martin said:

"The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on the tourism industry.  As we rebuild this vital sector, which supports livelihoods all across Ireland, we have an opportunity to ensure that the sector recovers and grows in a way which delivers social and economic gain to cities, towns and villages all across Ireland, more evenly spread throughout the year, and in a manner that protects our unique environment.  The significant additional funding that I have managed to secure for tourism services in Budget 2022 will help address immediate survival-related concerns while also enabling further resilience and recovery across industry as we reopen to international tourism and transition to a more sustainable future”.


The Minister added:

In addition to all of the measures announced today, my Department has initiated the development of a new national tourism policy which will have sustainability as a core value. The development of this new policy gives us an opportunity to set out what type of tourism sector we want out to 2030 and beyond”.


Culture and Arts


The aim of the Government’s Culture programme is to promote and develop Ireland’s world class artistic and creative strengths at home and abroad, maximising their value for the country, and supporting the sectors in their recovery. The 2022 allocation will allow this Department to:

  • Introduce a pilot Basic Income Guarantee scheme for Artists
  • Continue and expand its support of arts, artists and the arts sector as a whole including maintaining funding of €130m for the Arts Council
  • Provide supports of €25m for the live entertainment industry
  • Enhance support to the National Cultural Institutions
  • Support initiatives for the Night-time Economy
  • Increase support for the audio visual industry


Highlights in Culture and Arts include:

  • €25m to pilot a new Basic Income Guarantee scheme for artists and arts workers.  Significant sectoral stakeholder engagement will take place in the coming weeks to inform the pilot scheme, and ensure that it meets the needs of the sector.  Once that engagement is complete, details will be finalised and announced, with a likely pilot launch in early 2022.


  • Maintaining the Arts Council allocation at the record-level €130m. This allocation will allow the Arts Council to continue to protect jobs and livelihoods of artists, and assist arts organisations through financial difficulties. With such assistance and the support of the public, the core infrastructure of the arts in Ireland has survived. And with this ongoing strong public funding in 2022, the Arts Council is empowered to play a strong role in supporting artists and arts organisations to flourish in the years ahead.


  • €25m for further supports in 2022 for live entertainment as this important sector emerges from the devastating impacts of the pandemic.  Supports will be put in place to assist the live entertainment industry to recover fully and return to full-scale performances. This follows from a number of schemes in 2021 to support the industry including the LPSS (Live Performance Support Scheme), MEBAS (Music and Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme) and ESCSS (Events Sector Covid Support Scheme).


  • A €6.65m increase in funding for Screen Ireland from its initial 2021 allocation to over €36.7m. The audiovisual industry has been one of the success stories of the past 18 months, with internationally successful productions such as animated feature film ‘Wolfwalkers’ and TV Drama ‘Normal People’. Training and skills development will continue to be a strong focus in the sector. This additional Budget funding will ensure the continued success and growth of this internationally renowned industry into the future.
    • Increased capital allocation of €5.9m will allow Screen Ireland to bolster support for indigenous production. Key initiatives will include the encouragement of more regional production in the Irish language, the continuation of the Academies, a new funding stream to support documentary series and a further round of slate funding for Irish companies.  Remaining current funding will be used to support the resumption of market activity, and enhancing the profile of Ireland as a filming destination. 


  • A new tax credit for the digital gaming sector (to be published as part of the Finance Bill). One of recommendations in the Audiovisual Action Plan, this measure will help support the development of the digital gaming sector. Synergies with our film and animation sectors can support quality employment.


  • €5m in additional funding for the National Cultural Institutions will ensure they continue to provide high quality services to the public, and will deliver progress in the ongoing programme of investment.


  • €4m to deliver a suite of initiatives proposed by the Night Time Economy (NTE) Task Force:
  • A new Scheme for Pubs and Cafés to broaden NTE activity across the country 
  • Establishing six new pilot structures across the country to include NTE Advisors
  • Later night-opening in the National Cultural Institutions with cultural programming and new pilot late night initiatives in a selection of Institutions
  • Building on the pilot late night activities for Culture Night, develop more innovative programming for 2022 in partnership with the Arts Council and the NTE sector


  • €5m to support the 2022 Commemorative Programme, delivering rich and diverse national and local programmes marking the significant centenaries arising in 2022. The ambitious Programme for the Decade of Centenaries next year will include supporting the development and delivery of:
  • Major Academic Conferences  to mark the Handover of Dublin Castle and the centenary of the Civil War
  • Extensive exhibitions, outreach programmes and digitisation programmes in our National Cultural Institutions
  • Creative partnerships such as the Artists-in Residence Programme, a new major national poetry initiative and ambitious broadcasting and arts partnerships
  • Continued support and investment in our local authority partners to develop innovative and sensitive programming across the country next year, and
  • Investment in the Mná100 project to highlight the role of women during this period of history


  • Increased Creative Ireland Programme funding of €1.5m to support additional creative health and wellbeing initiatives, as well as increased resources for local authorities to deliver an enhanced Cruinniú na nÓg.


  • Funding of €4.6m forCulture Ireland to again support the international physical presentation of Irish artists worldwide, creating new work opportunities for Irish artists and reinforcing Ireland’s strong global reputation for arts and creativity.


Minister Martin said:“As Minister with responsibility for Arts and Culture, I am conscious of the contribution that this sector makes to people’s everyday lives both in Ireland and abroad; this was particularly evident during the pandemic. The importance of Irish culture, Irish art and Irish productions as a whole cannot be understated in terms of its impact both internationally and at home. The Government has recognised, with this strong and imaginative package of supports announced today, that bold steps are necessary for our much treasured arts, events and cultural community to come back stronger than ever before.”


The Minister added:“I am particularly pleased to be announcing the pilot of the new Basic Income Guarantee Scheme for artists.  Grounded in on-going dialogue with the sector, this scheme will bring new life and support to the arts and culture sector, and I hope it will provide an important legacy for our artists, after the very difficult circumstances they have endured over the last year and a half. The measure was also the key ask from the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce.”




The Government’s Gaeltacht programme aims to support the Irish Language and to strengthen its use as the principal community language of the Gaeltacht.

Under this programme, the 2022 allocation will allow this Department to provide:

  • Increased support for Údarás na Gaeltachta
  • Additional support for Irish Language and Gaeltacht support Schemes
  • Enhanced cross-border co-operation in the languages sector via an Foras Teanga
  • Increased support for the Language Planning process


Budget 2022 - Gaeltacht Highlights include:

  • Over €85.6m funding allocation for Gaeltacht and Irish language sector – an increase of €7m on the 2021 allocation
  • Additional funding of €1.5m for Údarás na Gaeltachta, bringing total funding to €33.3m
  • Additional €1m for Gaeltacht Community and Language Supports Programme, bringing total funding to €11.2m
  • Additional €2.3m for Irish Language Support Schemes outside the Gaeltacht, bringing total funding to €9.95m
  • Additional €800k for Language Planning Process, bringing total funding to €5.8m
  • Additional €700k for An Foras Teanga
  • Funding for TG4 increased by €4.2m


In line with Programme for Government commitments, Minister Martin and Minister of State Chambers together welcomed the announcement that additional funding of €7m will be provided for the Gaeltacht and Irish language sector next year, bringing its funding allocation to over €85.6m. In addition, under the Department’s Media allocation, funding to TG4 is being increased by €4.2m to bring it up to €44.933m – the organisation’s largest ever increase.  Also available to TG4 next year, will be potential for significant additional advertising revenue arising from the provisions of the soon to be enacted Official Languages (Amendment) Bill.


Additional funding totalling €1.5m is being provided to Údarás na Gaeltachta which will further assist An tÚdarás in developing enterprise in Gaeltacht regions and in implementing its 5-year Strategy. This includes an extra €1m towards community development and the hard-hit Gaeltacht tourism sector in 2022, building on increases provided in the previous three Budgets. The increase in An tÚdarás’ capital allocation of €14.45m for 2021 has been retained for 2022.


The Gaeltacht will also benefit from increased allocations for the statutory language planning process and for community and language supports, in line with the Government’s 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language. Additional funding of over €0.7m will also be provided for the cross-border language body, An Foras Teanga, thus building on a significant increase included in the last Budget.


Minister Chambers said:

"I am delighted to be able to provide an additional allocation of €2.3m for my Department’s Language Support Schemes outside the Gaeltacht as well as an additional allocation of €1m for the Department’s Community and Language Supports Programme in Gaeltacht regions. The various schemes and initiatives which operate under the programme have contributed greatly to supporting the ongoing implementation of the language planning process and the overall objectives of the Action Plan for the Irish Language 2018-2022. The additional funding being provided under my Department’s Gaeltacht allocation, in addition to the significant increase for TG4, will greatly assist in supporting the ongoing implementation of the Action Plan.”


Minister Chambers added that the Official Languages (Amendment) Bill, when enacted, would not only assist in ensuring that Irish speakers are provided with services in our first language, but would provide a myriad of new employment opportunities for Irish speakers, and enhanced public service advertising revenue for Irish language media including TG4.




The aim of Government’s Sport programme is to contribute to a healthier and more active society by promoting sports participation and by supporting high performance and the provision of sport facilities.

Under this programme, the 2022 allocation will allow the Department to provide:

  • Increased support for Sport Ireland
  • New allocations under the Sports Capital and Equipment Programme
  • Increased funding for Sports Measures via the Dormant Accounts Fund
  • Increased funding for initiatives to attract major sporting events to Ireland


Highlights in Sport include:

  • €96.2m current funding for Sport Ireland, an increase of €4.3m. This will ensure that Sport Ireland can continue to support Ireland’s valued sport sector and will include measures such as:
  • Additional funding for high performance sport as part of Team Ireland preparations for Paris 2024, consistent with the aims, objectives and funding trajectory of the National Sports Policy 2018 – 2027 and the High Performance Strategy 2021-2032
  • Equality in funding for women’s and men’s Gaelic players grants
  • Continued support for the sports sector in 2022 as it emerges from Covid-19 restrictions


In relation to capital support for sports projects, next year’s additional funding will cover all existing commitments plus significant new allocations under the Sports Capital and Equipment Programme. The new allocations will be announced in the coming months. Sufficient funding has also been provided next year to advance relevant projects under the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund.


The Government also agreed another increase in Dormant Accounts funding for sport of €2m bringing the total allocation up to €12m. This funding, more than double the level of a few years ago, will target hard-to-reach communities with innovative projects to promote and sustain participation in sport and physical activity for all.

Budget 2022 also reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to developing the Sport Ireland Campus at Blanchardstown with a capital allocation of €9.6m for 2022.


Minister Chambers said:“Budget 2022 brings a very significant investment in sport, and builds on the extensive support package provided to address the COVID-19 challenges to NGBs and clubs in 2020 and 2021. The funding complements the €65m sports funding package announced last week, and will allow Sport Ireland to continue to support our sporting bodies and ensure the emergence of a strong and vibrant sport sector post-Covid.  It will also support the implementation of the High Performance Strategy approved by Government in June and a range of participation programmes to ensure that there are opportunities for everyone to engage in sport. Equality in grant funding for female and male Gaelic players is a key priority for me and Minister Martin and I am delighted that we have been able to achieve this.”




The objective of the Government’s Media programme is to promote, support and protect a diverse and plural media sector, including through the establishment of a new regulator, the Media Commission which will support the provision of high quality public service broadcasting and oversee effective regulation of online safety.


Under this programme, the Budget 2022 allocation will allow this Department to:

  • Establish the new regulator, the Media Commission
  • Provide increased support for TG4


Highlights in Media include:

  • Funding of €5.5m for establishment of new Media Commission, including the appointment of an Online Safety Commissioner in 2022
  • Largest ever funding increase for TG4 with funding up €4.2m, bringing their annual funding for 2022 to €44.933m.


Minister Martin said:“I am delighted to secure €5.5m in funding for the establishment of the Media Commission in 2022. The funding will primarily be used to facilitate the formal establishment of the Media Commission, to build up regulatory capacity, structures and expertise in Online Safety and media regulation that will fall under the Commission’s remit. This will enable the Media Commission to hire an Online Safety Commissioner, to begin work on key issues at an early stage and to hit the ground running following the enactment of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill in 2022.”


The Minister also welcomed the substantial increase in funding for TG4 which is the largest annual increase in TG4 funding:

“TG4 have an ambitious post-Covid Strategy; I am delighted that the additional funding I secured will allow them to deliver on their plans to put news content and younger audiences centre stage. I also recognise that TG4’s programme supports a wide range of innovative content from the regional independent production sector. The additional funding will boost content production while providing a valuable source of employment in the Gaeltacht and the West of Ireland. Together with the increased revenues anticipated from the measures in the Official Languages (Amendment) Bill, I believe that TG4 will continue to grow its invaluable services for Irish speaking communities and beyond.”


TG4 propose to invest in their digital interfaces for youth audiences and develop youth-centred news and content. They will build on the success of Cúla 4 ar Scoil, which provided educational supports during the pandemic for home schooling. TG4 also propose to invest additional funding in the regional independent production sector, including the production of younger children’s content. This is in keeping with their strategy to support the regional development of the audio-visual industry.


Overall Comment


Minister Martin concluded by saying:

"This country is now beginning to emerge from what was the worst pandemic in a century, and one of the greatest crises of our time. The sectors covered by this Department were amongst those worst impacted, and they will be amongst the last to fully recover.  I have worked hard, in dialogue with sectoral representatives, officials in my Department, and Government colleagues to build this powerful programme of measures and supports announced here today, to ensure that the people of Ireland continue to participate in, and enjoy, the very important work that we oversee.”


Minister Chambers said:

"Sport and Gaeltacht communities in particular were extremely hard-hit by COVID-19.  Last year’s budget delivered strong supports, which have helped those sectors survive. Budget 2022 is about building further on growth and success in these sectors, developing wider and deeper participation across our communities.”