The executive director of the Association of Irish Festivals and Events (AOIFE), Colm Croffy has said that the ban on all major public gatherings up to the end of August will mean a loss of up to €85m to the economy.
The government confirmed on Tuesday that events with crowds of
“We’ve seen nothing like this ever before.”
Mr Croffy pointed out that a report conducted in 2017 into the sector found that festivals and events provide employment for 11,500 people and €1.7bn to the economy annually. The cancellation of events up to the end of August will mean a loss of €85m going by those figures, he said.
He welcomed the efforts of the Arts Council and Bord Fáilte to provide support and said that some festivals such as Galway 2020 are attempting to use creative solutions such as moving events online.
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said yesterday that the country is “clearly now in the midst of a severe recession” and is set to shrink by 10.5% this year on foot of the Covid-19 crisis.
As a result, the public finances are under severe strain and a deficit of €23bn is now projected for this year.
That compares with a forecasted surplus of €1.4bn or 0.4% of GDP at the start of the year.
The Irish economy will suffer a huge contraction in output and endure record job losses this year, before employment levels recover gradually as output rebounds in 2021, according to the first Government forecasts on the fallout from the Covid-19 crisis.
Mr Donohoe has warned 220,000 jobs will be lost before a recovery in 2021 when there will be a 5.5% increase in employment, but the economy will not return to where it was at the start of this year until 2022.