The past few months have been an 'utter nightmare' for artists and arts organisations, according to opera singer Gavan Ring.
He has welcomed the announcement of a new stimulus package for the sector, but says it could have come sooner.
He was speaking after the Government today confirmed €25 million in extra funding will be provided to the arts.
€20 million of that will be administered by the Arts Council, while €5 million will be spent on other measures.
It's planned that the additional funding will protect jobs and livelihoods for individual artists, as well as helping key art organisations facing financial difficulty.
Mr Ring told The Hard Shoulder: "For every artist and arts organisation whose existence thus far has been hand to mouth, these past few months have [not] only been financially precarious... but existentially speaking an utter nightmare. We're not just talking about artists here - we're talking about workers with bills to pay and families to feed, rent, mortgages... tax-paying workers.
"I had a string of concerts and recitals pencilled in during these months of lockdown.
"I have lost, in terms of gross income, upwards of €70,000 - that is the same for many, many colleagues, not just in classical music but across the arts spectrum."
He said this new stimulus package is "hugely welcome", but that it's a "huge pity" it has taken a global pandemic for the Government to take action for the sector.
He praised the National Campaign for the Arts for 'successfully lobbing' for such a package.
Mr Ring said he acknowledges that we're living in "extraordinary times", but stressed that the arts isn't "some luxurious, standalone, tax-free, bloodsucker" of a sector.
He argued that the maintenance of the arts is important for Ireland's international standing and reputation, as well as playing a vital role at home.
He observed: "This has been a time of intense sorrow and suffering for many, many people on this island, and our indigenous arts and creativity have been an ever-present touchstone and source of solace and comfort for us all.
"Without a reasonably support arts and culture sector, we would not just be economically destitute from this pandemic... but also the soul of our nation would be left impoverished."