Almost half of professional artists considered abandoning their career in the arts over the past year, largely due to lack of income and financial pressure.

48% of artists described the financial impact of Covid-19 as "severe" and those working in music said the situation was worse in 2021 than in 2020.

The figures are revealed in an Arts Council report on the impact of Covid-19.

The survey also found that "lack of work opportunities" was the most challenging aspect of trying to maintain an artistic practice.

The Arts Council said it experienced a 90% increase in the number of funding applications in 2020 over 2019, and approved funding for 129% more applicants.

However, it funded less than half (47%) of the total amount requested.

The Arts Council received a funding allocation of €130 million for 2021, a historically high figure, and said it used its budget to help the sector survive and adapt.

It is submitting a proposal for a budget allocation of €150 million for 2022.

Chair of the Arts Council, Professor Kevin Rafter, said that increased public investment enabled the Arts Council to protect livelihoods and jobs, but he also said the impact of the crisis will continue into next year and that ongoing support will be vital.