As most sectors of the economy are dwindling, the TV industry here in Ireland is continuing to thrive. The increase in the size of the industry is coming not from domestic productions but from overseas ones and the big driver is the ‘drama’ genre of television. It is not simply because we have ideal locations or a peaceful country with little to no media/paparazzi attention, but due to our tax breaks which are attractive to producers and film crews from the UK and America in particular.
In 2010, the spending on the drama genre of television alone (in Ireland) was €241 million. This is more than twice that of film. ‘Camelot’ and ‘The Tudors’ have been two globally notable successes. In 2007, total expenditure on the Irish film and television industry was €182 million. By 2010 it was €358 million. The 2011 figures are still not published but are said to be in excess of the 2010 figure. Interestingly, television dramas can recover up to 22 per cent of the costs of their spend in Ireland. It is not hard to see why Ireland has become so popular.
The Government’s decision to retain section 481 tax breaks for television productions as well as film has proved to be of critical strategic importance in attracting British television drama to Ireland.
‘Ripper Street’ is just one of three big-time/popular BBC dramas currently being filmed in Dublin this year. To those currently on Ireland vacations, there is no evidence that 19th century London is being recreated on a deserted Dublin square. We suggest you check out the area in and around the old Victorian Clancy barracks where you might catch a glimpse of the filming!