28 February 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Minister for Arts speaks of ‘positive growth’ in the Film Industry
09 Oct 2014 : Seán Brosnan
Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, has spoken of the ‘positive growth and international acclaim’ that the Irish Film industry has seen in recent years.

Speaking on Fianna Fáil Private Members' Motion in the Seanad, the Minister spoke about the importance of the film industry to local economies and stated her intention to attract more international productions to Ireland.

The Irish Film and TV Industry is going through a period of positive growth and international acclaim,said Heather Humphreys, who took over the Minister post from Jimmy Deenihan in July 2014. This is following the success of recent movies such as ‘Calvary’, ‘St Patrick’s Day’ and ‘71’, and television shows ‘Love/Hate’ and ‘The Fall’ which have sold well internationally.Not only are some of the biggest TV series in the world being made here but it was a real pleasure for me to visit the set of one of the biggest film franchises in the world when ‘Star Wars’ came to Skellig Michael for a few days in the summer.

The Minister continued:It was fantastic to be able to see first-hand the buzz a major production brings, and of course the positive spin off for the local community in terms of jobs and economic activity. The welcome and the cooperation that the film crew got from the community in Portmagee is what Ireland is all about and makes us special.

With international productions such as ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Ripper Street’ and ‘Penny Dreadful’ filming in Ireland, the Minister said:I want Ireland to become a first choice destination for film makers. The audio visual sector has a turnover of about €500 million per year, supporting 6,000 jobs. The increase in independent TV productions is driving this growth and I remain very committed to supporting the industry through direct funding supports and financial incentives like the enhanced Section 481.

Humphreys also re-iterated her devotion to the arts and spoke of the program ‘Culture 2025’ which will set out the high-level aims and policies in the area of culture for the period up until 2025. This is the first time in the history of the State that any Government has undertaken such an endeavour. She also guaranteed independence of Ireland’s national cultural institutions and their boards from political interference.

Following years of budgetary cutbacks, she stated that it was her intention to protect Ireland’s cultural institutions and the arts from any further budgetary cuts, as far as possible.

Humphreys said:The arts are for everybody. For every human being who ever wanted to lift their voice in song, who felt the need to write a poem, who took a pencil in their hand to create a thing of beauty. The arts are how we explain our world to ourselves - in song and story. They're the end product of when we dream dreams and see visions. States that prioritise the arts, from when their citizens are toddlers - those States do well, not just in the arts, but in industry, technology and innovation. So here's the bottom line, as I see it. It's my job to help make everybody own the arts, enjoy the arts, gain from the arts. That's a big, complicated task. And I'm up for it.

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