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County Kildare, the 'Short Grass County’, is synonymous with the vast Curragh Plains, the Hill of Allen, boglands, canals, Maynooth University and Quaker history in Ballitore. The cultural landscape is steeped in military and equine history, inspiring storytellers and musicians.

The county has strong traditions in choral, orchestral and traditional music, amateur drama, youth theatre and musical societies, with a large cohort of professional artists, arts collectives and creatives residing in, working in and enriching the county. Local history and Irish language initiatives are set against the natural and archaeological heritage. Programmes such as Heritage Week, Culture Night, Biodiversity Week, Kildare Readers Festival, the Library Service annual programme and Play Day punctuate the cultural calendar, alongside a vibrant year-round festival programme. Initiatives such as the ‘Kildare Short Grass Films’ commission support creatives and highlight the county’s offerings.

The Kildare Creative Ireland programme allows us to expand on what we have already achieved, building vibrant, cohesive and sustainable communities for people to live, work, play and invest. The diverse Creative Ireland programme is delivered collaboratively across all sections of Council but particularly the heritage, library, arts, recreation, parks, community and leisure services. The role of inter-agency collaboration to further support the programme is essential.

Kildare County Council prides itself on its work to date in the area of 'wellbeing', to promote quality of life for all citizens. Our increasing population of children and young people creates an increased demand for the local authority to provide cultural services and facilities. Riverbank, the county arts centre is renowned for its education and outreach programme. We welcome the roll-out of Music Generation Kildare in 2020 to further strengthen that infrastructure. Meanwhile, we also recognise our significant ageing population and the challenges and opportunities that this creates around 'quality of life.'

Local authorities across Ireland have been charged with the delivery of Pillar 2 component of the national Creative Ireland plan, 'Enabling Creativity in Every Community'. Within this, the vision for Kildare is to augment and nurture a valued network of partners that collaborate to achieve shared outcomes for culture and creativity in County Kildare'.

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Kildare’s Culture and Creativity team

Creative Ireland and RTÉ Supporting the Arts: The Kildare Covid Diaries

Open Video

Culture and Creativity Team

Laughing conductor

Gillian Allen

Acting County Librarian and Acting Creative Ireland Coordinator


Colleen Werle

Creative Communities Engagement Officer


Sonya Kavanagh

Chief Executive


Eoghan Ryan

Director of Services (Corporate, People and Cultural Services)


Anne Myler

Senior Executive Librarian – Citizen Services


Bridget Loughlin

County Heritage Officer


Kevin Murphy

Librarian, Local Studies, Archives and Research Services


Betty Maguire

Kildare County Irish Officer


Syl Merrins

Kildare Sports Partnership Co Ordinator


Paula O'Rourke

Climate Action Coordinator


Ruth Kidney

Conservation Architect


Paula O'Brien

Economic Community & Cultural Development, Senior Executive Officer


Our Strategy


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