Investing in Our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018 – 2027

10th April, 2018

Minister Madigan hosts special forum and announces details of a plan to invest €1.2 billion in our culture, heritage and language as part of Project Ireland 2040


The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan T.D., today (Tuesday) hosted a special forum at the National Gallery of Ireland to announce details of a capital investment plan in our culture, language and heritage as part of Project Ireland 2040.


Investing in Our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018 – 2027 is a ten year plan setting out the Government’s commitment for capital investment of almost €1.2 billion in Ireland’s culture, language and heritage.  The plan recognises that high quality infrastructure is critical for a vibrant culture and heritage sector and that investment in our cultural heritage underpins social cohesion and supports strong, sustainable economic growth.


  • This historic ten year programme of investment includes €460 million to bring our National Cultural Institutions to world-class standard, open them up to more citizens and protect our national collections for future generations. The National Library of Ireland, National Archives, National Museum of Ireland, National Concert Hall, Crawford Art Gallery, National Gallery of Ireland, Abbey Theatre, Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Chester Beatty Library are all identified as priority projects.


  • A Culture and Creativity investment programme comprising €265 million will be closely aligned with the cultural infrastructure, creative communities and creative industries pillars of the Creative Ireland Programme. It encompasses a €10 million national digitisation investment programme which will see national collections digitised over the course of the plan. It will also ensure wider access to these rich resources. €200m is to be invested in our vibrant media production and audio visual industries which will have a positive impact right across the country. Investment in local arts and culture infrastructure will support the maintenance and development of a range of regional facilities including arts centres, theatres, museums and galleries. This represents real investment in our rural communities in particular. Galway as European City of Culture will also benefit from investment to bring its cultural programme to life ensuring maximum benefit for the city, county and region as a whole.



  • Investing €285 million in our heritage will include a major €50 million programme of investment for our national parks and reserves right across the country to deliver a world class visitor experience for the 4 million people that visit the Parks annually. It also includes investment in our historic environment and national monuments, allowing us to celebrate our rich archaeological and architectural heritage, and protect our natural heritage and biodiversity. Historic buildings will be restored, and we will be investing in our ancient monuments.


  • Investment of €178 million will support us in celebrating, protecting, developing and expanding the use of the Irish language, both in the Gaeltacht and outside of it. It will assist in developing critical infrastructure for our offshore islands to safeguard their rich heritage, and to support those living on them. It will facilitate the development of important marine infrastructure, in particular on the Aran Islands of Inis Oírr and Inis Meáin, and the development of the pier at Machaire Rabhartaigh to facilitate passenger services to Oileán Thoraí.


This Plan will help promote and celebrate Ireland as a centre of culture and creativity, a place of rich natural, archaeological and built heritage and the home of one of Europe’s oldest and richest languages.  It will set out the high-level, strategic investment priorities for this Department over the next ten years.


Speaking at today’s event, Minister Madigan said: “I am delighted to launch this historic capital investment plan in our culture, language and heritage. This level of investment will transform our cultural and heritage infrastructure right across the country.  It is also an important statement for this and future generations: our culture, language and heritage are fundamental to all of our lives.  They affect our education, our public buildings and public spaces.  They impact the relationship between the citizen and the State, and the relationship of citizens to each other.  They are about our identity and our values. Cultural infrastructure provides a home for all of us, a space for all us to meet, to exchange ideas, to create the new, to imagine what could be. With this announcement, I am delighted that we have delivered on an important pillar of the Creative Ireland Programme. ”


Minister Madigan was joined at the launch by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D., Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., and Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh T.D.

Speaking at the event, An Taoiseach said: “
This investment plan is about much more than cultural institutions, collections and biodiversity.  It challenges all of us to think about the meaning of culture and heritage in the 21st century.  It requires us to think about how we provide a heritage and culture landscape which responds to the needs of our communities, aligning with all of our existing resources, to complete an ecosystem that is accessible, welcoming, responsive, dynamic and deeply embedded in our society.”


The Taoiseach added, “Our heritage is as much about our legacy to future generations as it is about our past.  In the Irish language, the word ‘oidhreacht’ means both legacy and heritage.  I’d like to think that deep in our souls we understand the timelessness of heritage, and the obligation of every generation to accept the gift it receives, to protect and nourish it, and then to hand it on, ideally, having enhanced it.”


Speaking at the launch, Minister Donohoe said: “The scale of the investment in our cultural and heritage infrastructure that we are now announcing is unprecedented. This investment will deepen our cultural foundations in every part of our country; it will allow us to create world-class cultural institutions; it will protect and enhance our built and natural heritage; and it will support our Gaeltacht and Island communities, allowing our language to prosper. Our culture and heritage are expressions of our soul as a people. Investing in in these not only brings to life all that we are, and all that we have to offer, to those who are visiting from foreign shorts, it also acts as a reminder to us of our achievements and what we have accomplished down through the years. Ensuring that our heritage sector  – in the form of our parks and nature reserves – is well resourced, means that our places of spectacular beauty are also safeguarded so they can be enjoyed now and into the future. This investment, over the next ten years, demonstrates the Government’s commitment to the sector and emphasises the importance we place on protecting it for future generations.” 


Minister of State McHugh commented:
“This funding will allow us to really make a difference for Irish speaking communities and networks both within and outside the Gaeltacht and on the Islands.  We will be prioritising investments that will help sustain these communities, as well as creating opportunities for more people in all parts of the country to engage with the Irish language.”