Arts in Ireland and abroad

FAQs on obtaining information on policy (administrative and institutional structures, issues and trends) legislative framework (copyright, artists taxation,work permits) and arts research and statistics. 

Can you give me some information on visas and work permits?

Full information about visas for people entering Ireland is available on the websites of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The allocation of a visa may be dependent on authorisation of a work permit. Applications for work permits are processed through the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment:

The ‘’Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service’’ (INIS) within the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, is responsible for processing applications for visas.  Application forms are available from INIS, from the Department of Foreign Affairs and from Irish Embassies abroad.  There is section on the INIS site with FAQs regarding visas:

Countries who do not require a visa

The document below lists all the countries from where citizens do not require a visa to visit Ireland.

Citizens from abroad need to contact the Embassy of Ireland in their home country, or assigned to their home country.  Here is the link to the list of Irish Embassies abroad, posted on the Department of Foreign Affairs website:

Here is the link to information about visas posted on the Department of Foreign Affairs website:

Conference visas

For artistic companies inviting over visiting artists or cultural experts for short stays, it may be appropriate to invite them over under the auspices of a ‘conference visa’.  For example, if the guest is due to participate in a meeting event, workshops etc.  See below for a link to information on conference visas:

It is the full responsibility of the company or people inviting over guests on this basis to comply with the application rules.  For example, they would have to vouch to look after the guests materially.  A company inviting an overseas guest requiring a visa would have to send the conference schedule etc to the visa office in INIS ( ) and normally have to send it to the Irish Embassy in the relevant country, etc.  It is essential to contact the relevant Irish Embassy in advance to find out the exact rules and regulations governing the application.

For example, here is the info on conference visas relating to guests from the US (once you activate link, scroll down visa types, to get to conference visa):

There are tight rules for the visitor to comply with as well, such as providing proof of employment in their home country, so as to demonstrate that there is not a likelihood the invited guest will stay beyond the duration of their temporary visa.

If a company is inviting an artist or a cultural expert of some type over to WORK on a show or a residency etc, they may have to apply for a work permit, and set up a proper contractual relationship with the artist(s) they are proposing to employ.

See below for a link to information about work permits on the Department of Foreign Affairs website:

See below for a  link to information about work permits, which is on the website of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

A general website about work permits, which has a section for information about Ireland:

For information about Visas for citizens from Ireland to travel abroad, please contact the embassy of the country of destination. Here is the list of foreign embassies accredited to Ireland:

The most important advice to give enquirers is for them to research their requirements very well, to get specific information relating to the country / countries involved, and to check the citizenship of the invited guest(s) (e.g. a citizen from the US may not need a visa, but someone resident in the US of different citizenship may require a visa to enter Ireland).  It is also important to apply in time.  There is a surprisingly long lead in time for most visa and work permit applications, and they usually take a long time to process.

Where can I get information on national and international arts policy, issues and trends?

For a summary of the history and character of the Irish system for policy development and funding of the arts since 1921 you might like to read the record for Ireland in the Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe. The Compendium of Cultural Policies in Europe provides a central source of information on arts policy, public expenditure and the regulatory environment for culture in Ireland, and in 35 other countries over seas. Information includes:

  1. Historical perspectives: cultural policies and instruments;
  2. Administration and decision making;
  3. General objectives and principles of cultural policy;
  4. Current issues in cultural policy development and debate;
  5. General legislation; 
  6. Financing of Culture;
  7. Cultural institutions and new partnerships;
  8. Support to creativity and participation; 
  9. Sources and links.

You can create a table from the Compendium of Cultural Policies in Europe for comparative data on a selection of these issues.

Where can I get information on copyright in Ireland?

The following are a re-election of national copyright, collection and distribution societies. Collated data on collection and distribution might be available from these organisations. There is no central repository of such information at present.

Irish Copyright Licensing Agency

ICLA encourages respect for copyright, licenses users for copying of extracts from published works, collects fees, pays authors and publishes their share of the collected fees.

Copyright Association of Ireland

CAI has the following objectives:

  • The promotion of informed debate on copyright;
  • The promotion of awareness of copyright among users of copyright works, creators of copyright works and the public generally;
  • The examination of legislative measures having effect on copyright.

Irish Visual Artist’s Rights Association

IVARO is a new organisation. It was launched on June 25th 2005. It is a copyright collecting society for visual artists. On behalf of its members, it collects and distributes royalties for the reproduction of visual works of art.

Irish Music Rights Organisation

IMRO is a national organisation that administers the performing right in copyright music in Ireland on behalf of its members - songwriters, composers and music publishers - and on behalf of the members of the international overseas societies that are affiliated to it. IMRO’s function is to collect and distribute royalties arising from the public performance of copyright works

Irish National Federation Against Copyright Theft

INFACT protects the rights of its members and others in Ireland against piracy of copyright in cinematograph films, television programmes and all forms of visual recordings.

Where can I get information on artists taxation in Ireland?

Artists in Ireland benefit from a specific tax provision which was introduced in the 1969 Finance Act.

For more information on artists tax exemption please contact the Office of the Revenue Commissioner:

Office of the Revenue Commissioner,
Direct Taxes: Administration (Artists Exemption),
Blocks 8-10,
Dublin Castle,
Dublin 2.
Tel: + 1 6792777 Ext. 24106, 48683 and 48684
Fax: 353 1 6799287
Direct Link:

Where can I get statistics on arts in Ireland?

For an overview of cultural landscape in Ireland including:

  1. Historical perspective: cultural policies and instruments;
  2. Administration and decision making;
  3. General objectives and principles of cultural policy;
  4. Current issues in cultural policy development and debate;
  5. General legislation;
  6. Financing of Culture;
  7. Cultural institutions and new partnerships;
  8. Support to creativity and participation;
  9. Sources and links;

Log onto the Compendium of Cultural Policies in Europe  Just visit the website and click onto ‘Country Profiles’ on the menu bar and scroll along for Ireland.

The Central Statistics Office collects data on the labour market; public finance; and the consumer expenditure. However the CSO does not currently systematically collect detailed data on the cultural sector. But you can find their statistics at: The main CSO data sources of relevance are the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS), the Census of Population (CoP), and the Household Budget Survey (HBS). The QNHS is the largest regular household sample survey conducted in Ireland. The main focus of the QNHS is the compilation of quarterly labour force estimates. The QNHS collects detailed information on place of employment and occupation. The Census is conducted every five years and collects similar detailed information on employer and occupation.

As an advocate for the arts the Arts Council directly commissions, and also funds arts resource and service organisations to undertake research into products of culture; producers of culture; cultural consumption and practices; participation in culture activities and events; spending on culture goods and services; culture workforce; funding in support of culture; cultural industry; cultural events; and education and training in the cultural sector.

A library of past research from 1951 to date is available on the publications section of  the Arts Council website.

The Arts Council also supports external resource and service organisations in providing targeted information and advice. You can find a list of these organisations in the links section under resource organisations.

CLÉ, Irish Book Publishers Association, and Theatre Forum have recently undertaken research in their respective artform areas. CLÉ, Irish Book Publishers Association:; Theatre Forum:

Finally, take a look at the data available from the National Cultural Institutions Unit of the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism. The unit seeks to create an environment enabling the National Cultural Institutions to flourish through the provision of financial resources and an appropriate policy framework. The National Cultural Institutions are: National Archives, National Concert Hall, National Library of Ireland, National Museum of Ireland, Chester Beatty Library and the Irish Museum of Modern Art and in addition the National Gallery of Ireland, which has its own Exchequer Vote and is responsible to the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism. Issues relating to the day-to-day management of the individual National Cultural Institutions are dealt with directly by the institutions themselves; matters relating to the general policy under which they operate and the provision of financial resources are matters for this Unit.

Take a look at the web pages at:

Attendance figures are available from:

Parlous land (suite of 10 litographs) Elizabe
arrow bullet iconParlous land (suite of 10 lithographs) - Elizabeth McGill, 2006, Arts Council collection.
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