Aosdána is a unique initiative established by the Arts Council in 1981 to honour creative artists who have made a significant contribution to the arts in Ireland. It is an Arts Council initiative and there are no proposals to place it on a statutory footing. Under section 24(2) of the Arts Act 2003 the Council is independent of the Minister in its funding decisions.
Following recommendations in the Value for Money Policy Review of the Arts Council - undertaken under the guidance of an expert Steering Committee chaired by Dr. John O’Hagan, Professor of Economics at Trinity College as well as an internal audit of Aosdána, the Arts Council is reviewing all aspects of the administration and procedures of Aosdána. This review will ensure the most appropriate governance and oversight arrangements are in place.
There are currently some 250 members of Aosdána. Members who are resident in Ireland and are full-time practising artists can qualify for an Arts Council means-tested payment known as the Cnuas. Approximately two-thirds of Aosdána members qualify for the cnuas. Along with all Arts Council grantees, recipients of the cnuas and amounts paid are published in the Arts Council annual Report available at