The Arts Act 2003 establishes the legislative framework for cultural policy-making in Ireland. This Act defines the arts, sets out the role and functions of the Minister, local authorities and the Arts Council and prescribes the membership and procedures of the latter. The Act re-endorses the autonomy of the Arts Council in funding decisions while enshrining the overarching role of the Minister in policy matters. Provision is made for the appointment of special committees by the Minister to advise the Arts Council and the Act also provides for local authority arts planning under Section 31 of the Local Government Act 1994.
While the Arts Act is overarching in terms of provision for individual artists and while it refers to film and traditional arts, it is supplemented in these areas by other pieces of legislation, described in chapter 4.2.2, chapter 4.2.5 and chapter 4.2.6.
Legislation is currently in preparation to dismantle the National Cultural Institutions Act, 1997 by bringing National Cultural Institutions back under the control of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
Table 1: List of the existing cultural legislation
|Title of the Act||Year of adoption|
|Public Libraries Act||1947|
|Film Board Act||1980|
|Local Government Act||1994, 2001|
|National Cultural Institutions Act||1997|
|Taxes Consolidation Act||1997|
|Copyright and Related Rights Act||2000|
|Heritage Fund Act||2001|
|Broadcasting (Funding) Act||2003|
|Planning and Development Act||2003|
|National Monuments Act||2004|