"The Arts Council recognises the very difficult issues facing the Government and the need to reduce public expenditure. While today’s additional reduction in the 2009 grant to the Council will be felt hard across the sector, the level of public funding allocated underscores the commitment of the Government, and in particular the Minister for Arts, Sport & Tourism, Martin Cullen TD, to the distinctive contribution of the arts to the Irish economy.
"The arts have never been more productive, employing more than 50,000 people -- almost as many as the Information Technology industry - who make and deliver arts in communities across the country, twelve months of the year. The arts are the bedrock of our €5.1 billion cultural tourism industry, and play a key role as a research and development (R&D) engine for a smart, creative workforce.
"Despite the challenge of reducing financial resources, the Arts Council will strive to maintain, as far as possible, a viable arts sector so that people across the country are guaranteed an opportunity to experience the best of the arts."