Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, speaking at the Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival
A Chathaoirligh, Councillors, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I’m very pleased to be here with you tonight to celebrate the 2019 Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival.
Is féile thábhachtach í seo dúinn. Tuigim go maith an méid oibre a théann isteach sna h-imeachtaí seo agus tá mé an-bhuíoch díbh ar fad a d’oibrigh chomh crua chun é a bhaint amach.
I would like to congratulate dlr Council, the festival team and in particular Programme Director Liz Kelly for putting together another wonderful programme to celebrate all aspects of the written word – encompassing fiction and non-fiction, poetry and music.
While the festival will examine and explore many themes through an exciting programme of readings, talks, workshops, exhibitions and masterclasses – I am especially delighted to see such a strong focus on programming aimed at children and young people, with a range of both school and family events.
A new and innovative initiative for this element of the programme is “Adopt An Author” – which is designed to develop relationships between primary school students and children’s authors, and aims to promote literacy and encourage writing – and which has been part-funded through the Creative Ireland Programme.
A culture-based wellbeing initiative, the Creative Ireland Programme is guided by a vision that every person in Ireland will have the opportunity to realise their full creative potential.
An ambitious and ground-breaking initiative, the Creative Ireland Programme has achieved so much to date – from establishing Culture Teams in every Local Authority, and the launch last September of their five-year Culture and Creativity plans (at which Dun Laoghaire Rathdown council was represented by CEO Philomena Poole), to the cross-departmental implementation of the ambitious Creative Youth Plan, which is now well underway. This new initiative truly captures the vision of the Creative Ireland Programme and we are delighted to support it.
With Creative Ireland, the Irish Government is telling everyone – policy makers, arts practitioners, our citizens, our diaspora and our friends everywhere – that we believe in the value of creativity, for people and for society.
It is about building bridges between culture and creativity, between artists and communities – for the benefit of our entire society.
It is centred on collaboration and “Adopt An Author” is an exemplar of this approach – managed by the local authority and working with local schools – and for this all involved here must be congratulated.
Under the Creative Ireland Programme, this Government is committed to ‘Enabling the Creative Potential of Every Child’, and “Adopt an Author” provides another pathway for children to engage with literature.
I personally find huge joy in reading and I know from my own experience the benefits it can bring to your life. This project presents a unique opportunity for young readers to meet writers and to develop a closer relationship with a particular book. Such initiatives play a significant part in helping to introduce our children to the joys of the written word and creative writing – or indeed to strengthen their existing love of books.
I would like to congratulate Sara Keating, who has come on board as Associate Writer, and has been working with schools on the initiative since last October.
As I have a captive audience I would like to bring people’s attention to Cruinniu na nÓg – the national day of creativity for children and young people. This event is taking part on the 15th of June all across the country with free creative events for children and young people – we want them to get out into their communities and get creative on this special day. I know that the Culture Team and the Creative Ireland Co-ordinator here in Dún Laoighre- Rathdown are working on developing an exciting programme of events and I would like to thank Mairead Owens and her team for their work on this.
I am so pleased that funding provided under the Creative Ireland Programme is helping to deliver innovative and exciting initiatives such as this. It really shows what we can deliver by working in partnership and thinking creatively.
As the author Ashley Ormon said:
“Creativity is the brain’s invisible muscle — that when used and exercised routinely — becomes better and stronger.”
Go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir.