Irish directors and screenwriters have weighed in behind Screen Producers Ireland's (SPI) campaign for the retention of Ireland's Section 481 tax break beyond its December 2004 termination date.

Expressing their concern about the expiration of the tax incentive at a Dublin press briefing on Oct 22 were director Neil Jordan, screenwriter and Irish Film Board member Roddy Doyle, writer and director Conor McPherson, director Aisling Walsh, writer and director Barry Devlin, director and writer Gerry Stembridge, director Paddy Breathnach, and director Liz Gill.

Trish McAdam, a board member of the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland, the representative body for screen directors working in Ireland, said, "There is no doubt in our minds that not to extend this tax incentive will lead to a decline in the number of Irish films being made. Irish artists will be silenced and the Irish economy will lose an industry that is creative, culturally powerful, region-friendly, non-polluting, technically advanced and thus highly sought-after. History books and empty archive shelves of the future will bare witness to the irreparable damage that will be done."

The Chair of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild (IPSG), Sean Moffatt said, "Ireland's impending loss of a tax incentive is already receiving international attention. At a recent meeting in Toronto of the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds writers and their representatives from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the US passed a resolution to 'urge the appropriate authorities in Ireland not to remove the tax incentives, as their removal would destroy the prospect for continuing success of Irish film and television production for the future'. This resolution demonstrates the support and merit that the Irish film industry has gained at an international level."

Alan Moloney, Neil Jordan's producing partner on Intermission, speaking for SPI said, "Many countries place great emphasis on protecting their indigenous cultures through strong film and television support. It will stunt the growth of the industry and fundamentally limit the potential development and success of young up and coming Irish writers and directors if the Irish tax incentive is not extended. Given Ireland's recognition on the world stage for its creative talent it is a shame this could all be lost overnight."