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John Brady for Cruinniú na n Óg, Galway County Photo by Xposure

Galway County

County Galway has long been associated with the arts and culture, with our unique quality of life and natural landscape offering artists the type of environment for creativity to thrive. Underpinning the support of our creative community is a responsibility to ensure we preserve our landscape, our built and natural heritage to attract further development and ensure that the factors which are so conducive to creativity are preserved.

We see culture and creativity as an essential component for communities to thrive and understand that creativity is the foundation of innovation, the most coveted skill across all areas of life in the 21st Century. Our 2019 programme focused on cross collaboration between our Culture Team and beyond. Our Pop up Poetry for ‘lil Peeps with Branar is a two year project which will support the commissioning of new Irish Poetry for children aged 0-4 years to include a publication, performance and podcast of the original work in 2020. Our other key projects included Reading the Landscape a heritage project with Zena Hoctor using a Heritage Audit Toolkit to train local groups to develop their own local heritage fieldwork.

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Culture and Creativity Team

Laughing conductor

Sharon O'Grady

Creative Ireland Coordinator/Arts Officer


Valerie Kelly

Creative Communities Engagement Officer


Bernie Kelly

Acting County & City Librarian


Patria McWalter



Jo Vahey

Executive Librarian


Marie Mannion

Heritage Officer


Mairin Doddy

Conservation Officer


Una Ní Eidhin

Irish Officer


Ruth Mulhern

Tourism Officer


Mary McGann

Community Officer


Caroline McDonagh

Local Enterprise Office


Claire Connolly

Arts Office - Admin Support


Our Strategy

Following from a very successful first year of Creative Ireland programmes in Galway County in 2017, the Galway County Council Culture Team began drafting this five-year strategic plan, adhering to the national template provided by Creative Ireland to all Local Authorities. ...

Key priorities were identified, informed by several existing local Council strategies and public consultation and with significant community feedback and ideas incorporated for the delivery of the plan at local level. The devolution of responsibility for the Creative Ireland programme to local authorities supports the crucial role we play through our Culture Team to make an impact within our community, working collaboratively to increase participation in the arts, to boost our creative industries and preserve our heritage with a focus on language, landscape and the environment.


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