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It's music to their ears as royalties hit high of €32m

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U2 performs a concert at the Olympic stadium in Turin.

U2 performs a concert at the Olympic stadium in Turin.

U2 performs a concert at the Olympic stadium in Turin.

U2, Paul Brady and Christy Moore, along with thousands of other Irish artists, last year shared a €32.4m bonanza in royalties from the broadcasting of their songs.

This follows the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) -- which collects royalties on behalf of the artists concerned -- confirming that licence revenues last year increased by 1pc, or €379,178, to €36.8m.

IMRO's directors' report states that "public performance and overseas revenue contributed largely to this increase".

The organisation has about 8,500 members.

However, the figures show that IMRO is in a deficit position following a refurbishment of its Copyright House on Dublin's Lower Baggott Street in 2008.

The organisation was sitting on an accumulated deficit of €2m at the end of last year.

IMRO generates its royalties from a range of sources -- from the music played to phone callers when put on hold to a low percentage of revenues at the O2 arena in Dublin.

GORDON DEEGAN

Irish Independent