An Taoiseach and Minister Madigan welcome young Cruinniú na nÓg Ambassadors to Government Buildings to mark national day of creativity on Saturday 15th June

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD and Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan TD, welcomed to Government Buildings the inaugural three Cruinniú na nÓg Ambassadors in advance of Ireland’s national day of creativity for children and young people on Saturday 15th June.

A flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme’s commitment to enable the creativity of every child and young person Cruinniú na nÓg will see over 700 free events nationwide on Saturday 15th June next – with hundreds of opportunities for children and young people to fire up their imaginations and take part in creative activities hosted in every local authority area.

Three young people – Sarah Fitzgerald, Ben de Barra and Adam Cunningham – have been chosen as “creative ambassadors” for the Cruinniú na nÓg. The first Ambassadors to be appointed to the initiative, all three share a passion for creativity and already have a roll call of creative achievements to their name.

Speaking at his meeting with the 3 Ambassadors, An Taoiseach said: I am really pleased to welcome Sarah, Ben and Adam as the first Cruinniú na nÓg Ambassadors for children’s creativity. Their passion and skill in coding, film-making and literature is inspiring and in their role as Ambassadors they’ll be able to encourage their peers to explore their creativity.

“It’s great to see so many events taking place nationwide this year as part of the second annual Cruinniú no nÓg. Being involved in cultural and creative activities is hugely beneficial for young people; it broadens the mind, it’s a great way to make new friends, it’s good for your mental health and most importantly it’s great fun. I’d encourage families and young people to get out and explore what’s on offer across the country on June 15th.”

Also speaking at Government Buildings, Minister Madigan said:  “Although only in its second year, Cruinniú na nÓg has already grown in ambition and scale with almost double the number of free activities taking place across the length and breadth of the country this year. Everything from shield making to game coding, Japanese kite making to dark-room photography and tapestry weaving workshops. There’s a strong emphasis on participation and workshops designed to spark an interest and encourage the inner creative in children to try something new or fulfil a secret ambition!

Cruinniú na nÓg is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme, bringing together two of the Programme’s Pillars – Creative Youth and Creative Communities – and is an exemplar of cross-Departmental and agency cooperation and collaboration. I would like to thank my colleague, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy TD for his ongoing support of the Creative Ireland Programme, and in particular the 31 local authorities, their culture and creativity teams, without which Cruinniú would not be possible.”

Now in its second year, Cruinniú na nÓg celebrates and encourages participation by children and young people in creative activities in their local neighbourhoods and communities.  It is led by the local Creative Ireland Programme teams across the 31 local authorities, with huge support from local artists, arts organisations, creative practitioners and community festivals. With a strong emphasis on participation, there are lots of starter workshops specially designed to spark an interest and encourage the inner creative in children to try something new or fulfil a secret ambition!

Cruinniú na nÓg Ambassador Sarah Fitzgerald said: “Cruinniú na nÓg is a day of creativity for all young children in Ireland. I think it’s a really great initiative because people get to use their imagination and that’s something really important. There are so many brilliant events happening all over the country to choose from on the day and it’s all free. It’s so important that kids still get to use their imagination and try something new so I’m really delighted to be an Ambassador for that.”

Adam Cunningham, Cruinniú na nÓg Ambassador added: “When I was seven or eight years old, Coderdojo started in Athenry and I’m still going there now. That was my main inspiration for getting into coding. Once you know how to code, you can create virtual worlds within the computer where the only limit on what is possible is your imagination. There are loads of free starter workshops in Cruinniú na nÓg so everyone can have the chance to try something creative on the day. That’s really important.”

Cruinniú na nÓg Ambassador Ben de Barra said: “I have always loved films and I had lots of stories I wanted to tell so it felt totally natural for me to start making my own films. It’s a really creative and fun way to bring your ideas, your surroundings and your imagination to life. So many of my creative heroes are Irish film makers – especially Jim Sheridan and Kristen Sheridan. Cruinniú na nÓg could be the spark that ignites the next generation of Irish film-makers so I would encourage everyone to participate on June 15th and unlock your creative hero.”

Minister Madigan added: “I am particularly pleased that all Cruinniú na nÓg events are locally based and free so that as many children and young people as possible will have the opportunity to participate. I would encourage everyone to check out what is happening in your local area and to avail of the opportunity to make this year’s Cruinniú na nÓg the spark that ignites your child’s imagination and adventures in creativity.”

Cruinniú na nÓg takes place on Saturday 15th June next with full event details available at https://cruinniu.creativeireland.gov.ie.

#MyCruinniú #CruinniúToCreate

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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