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Westmeath Culture Plan to be ready by October 2017

Thursday, 15th June, 2017 2:44pm

Westmeath Culture Plan to be ready by October 2017

From left, acting county librarian for Westmeath, Paula O’Dornan, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Miriam Mulrennan, Westmeath Creative Ireland co-ordinator, Minister Heather Humphreys and Westmeath County Council cathaoirleach, Cllr Frank McDermott.

Work is ongoing on the completion of the Westmeath Culture and Creativity Plan, Westmeath arts officer, Miriam Mulrennan has said.

A version of the plan was launched as part of the Creative Ireland Programme, at a special event in Dublin Castle.

“This is a massive programme arising out of last year’s Centenary Celebrations – a community-driven programme of events all around the country,” said Ms Mulrennan, adding that the aim is to build on that.

Creative Ireland was launched in December, and it addresses five ‘pillars’ of creativity. Pillar 2 is ‘Enabling Creativity in Every County’.

Since the launch of Creative Ireland, every local authority has established a culture team of arts and heritage officers, librarians, museum and gallery curators, led by a Creative Ireland co-ordinator. Ms Mulrennan is Westmeath co-ordinator. “Our plan is being worked on at the moment,” she said, adding that she anticipates completion by October.

Also on the Westmeath culture team are David Hogan, director of services, Westmeath County Council, Hugh O’Reilly, head of Community Development, Westmeath County Council; Paula O’Dornan, acting county librarian, Westmeath; Gayle Tarmey, Dean Crowe Theatre manager; Aedín McGinn, assistant manager, Athlone Arts and Tourism.

Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys said: “I would like to thank all of those in Westmeath who have helped us realise some of the key ambitions in the Creative Ireland programme. Westmeath already has a vibrant cultural scene and through Creative Ireland we want to see more people participating in the arts locally.

“We want to create an ecosystem of creativity in Westmeath and every other county; we want to see more people not just attending the theatre or going to cultural events, we want to see them getting involved. In this way, we can help to build happier, healthier communities.

“The power of culture cannot be overestimated; arts and culture can open our minds, enliven our communities and enrich our children’s lives. I look forward to seeing this plan being implemented in Westmeath in the coming months, to see Creative Ireland in action.”