A group of children in historical costumes running along a beach shore.

The Magic of the Sea, featuring children from Fanore National School, Cruinniú na nÓg 2022. Photograph: Rosaleen Marion.

Creative Ireland is a culture and well-being programme for people and communities. Its aim is to transform and inspire people, places and communities through creativity. Every person in Ireland should have the opportunity to realise their creative potential.

Clare’s Creative Ireland programme is administered by Coordinator County Librarian Helen Walsh,  Creative Communities Engagement Officer Eva Birdthistle,  and a Culture and Creativity Team who represent a cross-directorate of Clare County Council services:

  • Anne Haugh, Director of Services
  • Congella Maguire, Heritage Officer
  • Siobhan Mulcahy, Arts Officer
  • Morgan Lahiffe, Climate Action Coordinator
  • Barry O’Louglin, Biodiversity Officer
  • Sinead Dixon-Slatter, Local Enterprise Office
  • John Rattigan, Museum Coordinator
  • Niamh O’Donovan, Executive Librarian
  • Rene Franklin, Archivist


Each year Creative Ireland Clare invites people and groups to apply for funding to develop small scale creative projects through the Creative Communities Project Award.  Creative Ireland Clare also supports local festivals such as the Sparks Youth Film Festival, Ennis Book Club Festival, Clare Food and Drink Fleadh and Ennis International Fantastic Film Festival. The Culture Team also partners with a variety of groups and organisations in Clare to develop larger projects.

Projects can fall under a number of themes including include history, heritage, health, arts, literature, biodiversity and climate action. Projects can be in a variety of formats including festivals, film productions, music events, community events, literary events, workshops and exhibitions.

The programme aims to meet the priorities set out in Clare County Council’s Culture and Creativity Strategy 2023 -2027, aligning to the Creative Communities and Creative Youth pillars of Creative Ireland.

Its vision is to

’embed culture and creativity into the activities, sustainability and growth of communities’.

Clare Creative Ireland also participates in Cruinniú na nÓg, a national day of creativity for young people. Each year children are invited to participate in a programme of fun, free, creative activities; from graffiti art workshops to stop-motion animation, to coding and architecture workshops that take place around the county. Cruinniú na nÓg is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme’s Creative Youth Plan to enable the creative potential of children and young people.

Since 2017, communities in Clare have benefited from €962,675.00 in Creative Ireland funding.