This small country is earning a big global presence

Ireland’s animation studios have the claim to award-winning features and shorts. Moreover, Ireland’s reputation is growing a name for itself in app development, gaming and animated programming for adults. Both the 2D and 3D studios combine vibrant storytelling with digital innovation to impress on a global scale.

Growth in the Irish animation sector

Just ten years ago, Ireland had around 70 people working in the animation industry. Nowadays, there is over 20 times that number with over 2,000 employed full-time in the field

Over 500 Irish owned companies head the innovation of creative arts and media production. These companies produce content across film, television, animation and video content. The generous tax breaks make Ireland an enticing place to create high-quality animated productions. 

The industry is currently valued at around €80m. The highly skilled workforce and advanced technicians has Ireland firmly planted as an international centre of excellence for animation production.

International interest has been a primary reason for this drastic growth of employment in the industry. The talent is here then but so too is the culture. Irish culture and heritage are filled with spirited storytelling, while Ireland also thrives at the heart of the digital economy.

Overseas interest

Irish animation studios are currently collaborating with the industry’s hallmark names, including Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and the BBC. The shows deliver content to millions of children across the world every week. 

Irish animation has been nominated for many major international awards, including Academy Awards, BAFTAs, Emmys and Annies.

The animation sector in Ireland also works with apps and gaming. Although still in its early stages, the gaming industry in Ireland hit a milestone in late 2018. Games studio Digit, one of the largest developers located here, released the first AAA game developed in Ireland, Star Trek Fleet Command. The game followed Digit’s success with Kings of the Realm, a top-grossing game in more than 50 countries.

Tax benefits

Ireland has one of the world’s most enticing tax benefits for overseas studios looking to collaborate with the Irish animation industry. The tax benefit lies between 32-37% depending on location. This incentive is also cash-flow friendly, with up to 90% of financing available in advance of production.

Irish animation festivals

Animation Dingle 

Animation Dingle is a 2-day festival that takes places on the Western coast of Ireland, an Irish-speaking town called Dingle. Animation Dingle works hard to seek out new trends and opportunities from around the globe to host this vibrant event. 

It is a uniquely Irish affair with events such as Pitch and a Pint where students have timed round to pitch to studio executives. The event’s programme boasts conferences for the best and brightest in animation, workshops, screenings and masterclasses. It’s festivals like this one that keep Ireland such an innovative source within the animation industry. 

DAFF (Dublin Animation Film Festival)

In the country’s capital lies the autumnal animation film festival where the quality work of Irish animators is recognised. This festival has been running since 2011, when Irish animation was in its infancy. Nowadays, there are many qualifiers for the DAFF awards and also plenty of workshops.


Over the years, Irish Film Services have gained the experience to help you maximise the benefit of Section 481. There are many strategies to help you maximise the financing possibilities of the Irish tax incentive. We work with a stable structure of lawyers, accountants and auditors who all understand the scheme intimately but also understand the needs and necessities of film production. You can get in touch with us to begin the application process.