Arts Council (Ireland)

The Arts Council (sometimes called the Arts Council of Ireland; legally Irish: An Chomhairle Ealaíon[1]) is the arts council of Ireland. It was established in 1951 by the Government of Ireland,[2] to encourage interest in Irish art (including visual art, music, performance, and literature) and to channel funding from the state to Irish artists and arts organisations. This includes encouragement of traditional Irish arts, support for contemporary Irish arts, and finance for international arts events in Ireland. The council was modeled on the Arts Council of Great Britain, founded in 1946, and works closely with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, formed by the British government in Northern Ireland in 1962 to fulfil a similar role.

Arts Council
Native name
An Chomhairle Ealaíon
IndustryPerforming arts
Founded1951 (1951)
FounderGovernment of Ireland
Headquarters70 Merrion Square,
Area served
Key people

International policy

The Arts Council of Ireland is the official "Cultural Contact Point" between the EU Commission's Cultural Programme and Ireland.[3]

The Arts Council of Ireland is a founding member of the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies.

Visual Artists Ireland, the all-Ireland non-governmental organisation representing Irish artists nationally and internationally, is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.


The arts council consists of 12 members and a chair, each appointed for a five-year term by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Sheila Pratschke was appointed chairwoman in January 2014.[4] The CEO is Orlaith McBride.[5]

  • Sheila Pratschke, Arts Council chairwoman
  • John McAuliffe, Deputy Chair
  • Joan Sheehy
  • Miriam Dunne
  • Monica Spencer
  • Paddy Glackin
  • Loughlin Deegan
  • Martina Moloney
  • Helen Shaw
  • Pádraig Ó Duinnín

Chair of the Arts Council

The Chair of the council is appointed for a five year term by the Minister of Arts and Culture.

  • Monsignor Pádraig de Brún (1959–1960)
  • Father Donal O’Sullivan SJ (1960–1973)
  • Máire de Paor (1974–1978)
  • Dr. Ciarán Benson (1993–1998)
  • Dr. Brian Farrell (1998–2000)
  • Patrick Murphy (2000–2003)
  • Olive Braiden (2003–2009)
  • Pat Moylan (2009–2014)
  • Sheila Pratschke (2014–2019)

See also


  1. "Arts Act 2003, Section 8". Irish Statute Book. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  2. "Arts Act, 1951, Section 2". Irish Statute Book. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  3. The Irish Times
  4. Boland, Rosita (2014-01-29). "Arts Council appoints new chair and board members". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  5. The Arts Council Website
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