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Clare commits to new Creative Ireland Culture and Creativity Strategy

1 March 2023

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, Catherine Martin TD, and Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning, Kieran O’Donnell TD, announced the roll-out of 31 new local authority Creative Ireland Culture and Creativity Strategies (2023-2027) at an event at Farmleigh in the Phoenix Park on 23rd February, 2023.

Included in the launch was a new vision for creative activity in Clare that was developed in consultation with the people of the county and will be delivered by the Clare Culture and Creativity team, led by Helen Walsh, Creative Ireland Programme Coordinator and County Librarian.

The Clare Culture and Creativity team also includes Anne Haugh, Director of Social Development; Siobhán Mulcahy, Clare Arts Officer; John Rattigan, Clare Museum Curator; Niamh O’Donovan, Executive Librarian; Sinéad Dixon-Slattery, Local Enterprise Office; Congella McGuire, Heritage Officer; Rene Franklin, County Archivist; Dena McGrath, Healthy Ireland Co-ordinator; and Morgan Lahiffe, Climate Action Officer.

Last year, the Clare Culture and Creativity team reviewed the original strategies that were devised in 2017 and made changes that reflected the evolving priorities of the county and community. The new Clare Culture and Creativity Strategy reflects the creative ambitions of the county that will be supported by the Creative Ireland Programme from 2023-2027. Emphasis will be on enriching communities, celebrating a sense of place and belonging, promoting climate action and biodiversity, and strengthening the impact of Creative Ireland in Clare.

Commenting on the work undertaken by the 31 local authority Culture and Creativity teams, Minister Catherine Martin TD said: “Your teams are the key strength of the Creative Communities initiative and the engine that drives our collective efforts. The agility of the local authority teams has facilitated a collaborative and flexible approach to reshaping how creativity and culture is valued within and across local authorities. Through the Creative Ireland Programme, my department will continue to work with collaborators across Government to activate the power of creativity in every community.”

Since its inception in 2017, Creative Ireland has allocated over €962,000 for the implementation of Creative Ireland initiatives in Clare. Highlights include:

Reading Your Local Landscape: a training course aimed at empowering local community members to discover, recognise, promote, and conserve their rich unique local heritage.

Cultural Companions: a social network for Clare’s older citizens who enjoy the thriving social and arts scene in the county in the company of others with similar interests.  

Creative Souls of Clare: an online podcast led by Ruairí McKiernan that features a diverse group of Clare-based poets, musicians, playwrights and craftspeople.

The 31 local authority Culture and Creative Strategies have been key to the successful delivery of creative opportunities directly into communities. Between 2017 and 2022, Creative Ireland allocated €29.8 million to support thousands of local authority initiatives that have unlocked a national ecosystem of creativity. This year Ministers Martin and O’Donnell announced funding of €6.1 million for the 2023 Creative Ireland Programme Creative Communities initiative. 

Reiterating Minister Martin’s praise, Minister of State Kieran O’Donnell TD said: “I would like to sincerely thank all of the Culture and Creativity teams in our local authorities who have been working hard in recent months to drive the key ambitions in the Creative Ireland Programme. I look forward as the new Minister of State for Local Government to travelling around the country to each of our local authorities to see the ambitious plans they have to promote creativity. The power of culture cannot be overestimated, arts and culture can open our minds, enliven our communities, and enrich everyone’s lives,” he concluded.

A total of €962,675 has been allocated to Creative Ireland projects in Clare since 2017. In 2023, €161,161 will be allocated for core Creative Ireland initiatives in Clare.  

For more information about Creative Ireland’s programme of Creative Communities initiatives please go to



Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media Catherine Martin TD and Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning Kieran O’Donnell TD pictured at the launch at Farmleigh House with representatives from 31 local authorities. 

Page last reviewed: 01/03/23

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