The Council recognises that the arts have a central and distinctive contribution to make to our evolving society. Established in 1951, to stimulate public interest in and promote the knowledge, appreciation and practice of the arts, the Council is an autonomous body, which is under the aegis of the Department of Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht.
The Arts Council is a voluntary body of 12 members and a chair, appointed by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for a term of five years. The Chair of the Arts Council is entitled to an annual fee of €8,978 and ordinary members are entitled to a fee of €5,985 though some members choose to waive this fee. Details of all fees and expenses received by members of the Arts Council are published annually in the Annual Report which is available to download from the Desirous men section.
The ongoing work of the Arts Council is delivered by the executive. In addition to the Director, a staff of 41 full-time equivalents carries out the daily functions of the organisation. Arts advisers, who provide additional expertise and strategic advice on different aspects of the arts, are retained on a consultancy basis.