Resources > Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
06 Sep 2010

Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

The Department is primarily a policy-making Department in the three sectors of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Specifically, the Department has the following functions:


  • Facilitating the continued development by the tourism industry of an economic and environmentally sustainable and spatially balanced tourism sector, through formulating monitoring and reviewing a range of supporting policies and programmes, particularly within the framework of the National Development Plan and North/South Co-operation.


  • formulation, development and evaluation of policy and structures to promote and foster the practice and appreciation of the creative and interpretative arts and to encourage the development of the Irish film industry;

  • enabling the national cultural institutions, as integral elements of the national culture, to preserve, protect and present for the benefit of present and future generations our moveable heritage and cultural assets.

The responsibilities in the field of culture are further broken down into specific tasks and duties of the Department for the Arts and Culture (public cultural institutions in Ireland) and Heritage.


  • formulation, development and evaluation of sport policy (the implementation of which in the main is a matter for the Irish Sports Council);

  • overseeing major sports projects, including the National Aquatic Centre at Abbotstown; developing proposals for the provision of a national stadium; the administration of the Sports Capital and the Local Authority Swimming Pool Programmes.

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht was established on the 1st of June 2011 on foot of the reorganisation of Government Departments announced by the Taoiseach in March 2011, bringing together functions from the former Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs.

The Department oversees the conservation, preservation, protection and presentation of Ireland's heritage and cultural assets. The Department also seeks to promote the Irish language and to support the Gaeltacht. The key functions under its remit include:

  • Arts, Culture, Film and Music, as well as oversight of Ireland's cultural institutions;

  • Ireland's Built and Natural Heritage;

  • The Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands; and

  • North/South Co-operation insofar as it relates to Waterways Ireland, An Foras Teanga and the wider functions of the Department.