Troy Studios exec says tax cap is holding film industry back

Ardmore and Troy Studios

LIMERICK’S Troy Studios have declined to comment after it emerged recently that a letter sent by the studio’s chief executive pinned Ireland’s tax situation as the reason for the country losing out on big-budget movies and TV shows.

A letter to then finance minister Paschal Donohoe, written by chief executive of Troy and Ardmore Studios Elaine Geraghty, was recently released under a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the Sunday Independent in which Ms Geraghty criticised Ireland’s tax cap for big productions.

Currently, the tax cap stands at €70 million, which Ms Geraghty argued should be increased to €150 million to encourage production companies to consider Ireland as a filming location.

In the letter, published by the Sunday Independent, Ms Geraghty said: “We know from our direct experience and knowledge that Ireland is continuing to lose out internationally.”

However, when contacted by the Limerick Post, representatives of Ms Geraghty and the Castletroy-based film studio said that Troy Studios “was not in a position to comment” on the matter.

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In her letter, Ms Geraghty said that the lack of competitiveness was seeing production companies favour other countries over Ireland.

“Ireland is losing out on major global tentpole film and TV titles to London, Scotland, Wales, Hungary, and the Czech Republic and also to North American hubs like Atlanta Georgia and Toronto in Canada,” it read.

She pointed out the example of Northern Ireland, which has become a respected global destination for big-budget TV shows and movies, and points to the economic spin offs of this.

“It has also been proven throughout the world that high-end productions provide the best building blocks for self-sustaining, local creative sectors to thrive.

“We’ve only to look to Northern Ireland to see the proof of this, where it is now a global destination for long-running and high-end/high-budget TV shows, sustaining local crews.”

The Troy chief executive said that the uncertainty around the Section 481 tax credit – which production companies can use to offset some of the costs of making a film in Ireland – is only set to remain in place until 2024, with no certainty on what will happen after this.

She said this acts as a deterrent to movie makers as they usually plan production budgets two years in advance.