Veteran producer Ronan McCabe has been appointed chief executive of trade body Animation Ireland, at a time of rapid growth for the country’s animation industry.

Here are the details:

Ronan McCabe
Ronan McCabe
  • McCabe’s career as a producer stretches back to the 1990s. In his two-decade stint as managing director of Double Z Enterprises, he oversaw the creation of puppet series like Zig and Zag and The Podge and Rodge Show for RTE, BBC, MTV, and other broadcasters.
  • In addition, he had served as treasurer of Animation Ireland, which represents the country’s animation studios, since its foundation in 2015. He was also a chairperson of Screen Producers Ireland, which promotes the growth of the independent production sector.
  • The Irish animation industry is growing quickly. Since 2015, Animation Ireland’s member studios have expanded in number from 14 to 30; the industry’s employment figure has doubled to more than 2,000 people; and investment has tripled to €180 ($201) million.
  • In a statement, McCabe said, “It is a privilege to be appointed chief executive of Animation Ireland. The Irish animation sector is performing very strongly, and my focus is on leading the sector through this period of enormous growth. I plan to address major challenges such as education and recruitment of talent, the effective operation of the S481 tax credit system, and the implementation of the E.U. Audio Visual Media Services Directive. My mission is to ensure that Ireland continues to be a leading global destination for animation production, and bring new energy, purpose, and ambition to the role.”
  • S481, or Section 481, is Ireland’s tax credit for film and television production, including animation. It is generous, offering up to 32% credit on Irish expenditure. The rate of tax relief was set at this level in 2015.
  • The animation industry’s growth, and the challenges it faces, are covered in greater depth in this recent profile on Animation Ireland’s website.

(Image at top: from the conceptual trailer for Cartoon Saloon’s upcoming feature “Wolfwalkers,” slated for Apple TV+.)

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