Basic income for artists: ‘The idea is great, but the challenge is making sure it is going to the right people’

A pilot scheme to pay 2,000 Irish artists a weekly allowance has been broadly welcomed for the financial security it will afford those lucky enough to get it, but there are others who do feel it will not solve their problems

Deirdre Murphy, a musician who has also worked as a choreographer, dancer, playwright, circus artist and actor, says she is ‘tremendously grateful’ that the pilot scheme is being introduced. Picture: Bryan Meade

When Robson Rocha left Brazil in 2006, he had already decided to leave music behind. A busy performance career had left him with almost no social life: weekends spent on the road gigging meant there wasn’t a lot of time for seeing friends.

And so Rocha sold up all of his musical kit – or almost all. At his father’s pleading he kept a single guitar, which he brought with him across the Atlantic to ...