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Newgrange, over 5000 years old World Heritage site, Co Meath

Meath

The Cultural Sector in Meath is vibrant with considerable talent and enterprise in the county. The literary legacy of great writers such as Mary Lavin and Francis Ledwidge is protected and enhanced through the creation of two annual Meath County Council Creative Writing Awards: the Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award and the Mary Lavin Short Story Award. Gaeltacht communities are supported in their role as custodians of the modern Irish language tradition with an annual programme of events celebrating Meath’s own native language which is rooted in the Gaelic poets of North Meath and inspired by Athboy native and Gaelic League founder, Fr Eoghan O’Growney. The appointment of an Irish Language Officer as well as support to Dámh na Mí and Comharcumann Ráth Chairn in the setting up and long-term running of their community archive are key strategies.

Festivals such as Hinterland, Guth Gafa and Cruinniú, along with implementation of artist and writer residencies, underpin and reinforce commitment to continual development and accessibility to creative culture.

Artists are at the heart of articulating a county’s distinctive expression of itself, its concerns and its peoples. We are nurturing and encouraging artists and creators by developing a cohesive policy for supporting artists’ livelihoods and progressing plans for studio space. The creative industries are flourishing through the development of a number of Creative/Cultural hubs in the county – Courthouse Kells Creative Hub; Toradh Gallery county expansion programme; the Francis Ledwidge Cottage; Dunshaughlin Arts space. The redevelopment of existing award structures to meet the needs of individual artists, along with financial investment in our Professional Development Artist Award, underpin our commitment. The Creative Award to a public arts project of brilliance that fosters collaboration between people or communities in Meath with professional artists and arts organisations is in its second year and proving highly successful.

Collaboration with the Printworks Studios in Kells to establish Ireland’s first typographic centre celebrating lettering as an art form and capitalising on the unique history of lettering in Kells is progressing. It complements work in Kells on Creative Placemaking which creates quality public spaces drawing on local assets and enhancing quality of life, well being and sense of place.

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Dunboyne Flower and Garden Club

Dunboyne Flower and Garden Club and artist Alan Phelan bring the art of flower arranging and photography together in a unique collaboration. Working over nine months, Dunboyne Flower and Garden Club have worked in the artist’s studio, at Temple Bar Studios with Alan, in an exchange of expertise that investigates forgotten histories in flower arranging and photography.

Culture and Creativity Team

Ciaran Mangan

Arts Officer, Creative Ireland Coordinator

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Jackie Maguire

Chief Executive, Meath County Council

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Frances Tallon

Senior Executive Librarian

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Tom French

Local Studies Librarian

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Gerardette Bailey

County Arts Officer

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Loreto Guinan

Heritage Officer

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Robert Miles

Conservation Officer

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Belinda Quirke

Director, Solstice Arts Centre

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Barry Lynch

Director of Services

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Our Strategy

Meath County Council is proud to be at the forefront of support for the arts, heritage and literature in Meath, support for which ensures meaningful cultural engagement, delivery of Creative Ireland objectives and participation for the county’s citizens. ...

We will conserve and promote our cultural and literary inheritance and encourage and support new and emerging writers. We aim to mainstream culture within the local authority and seek the appointment of professionals to deliver integrated cultural services as envisaged by Creative Ireland. We intend to nurture and support artists and creators in their professional work though financial support, research and professional development, working space and promotion. We will enhance our cultural and creative infrastructure to foster local, professional, amateur and community initiatives and generate both life enhancing and economic benefits for all.

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