The Community Enterprise Centres in the Western region are shaping up for growth.

This Tuesday, enterprise centres from Donegal to South Galway gathered in Claremorris, County Mayo where the WDC in conjunction with NACEC provided a platform to discuss the opportunities and challenges of operating an Enterprise Centre in the region.  It was imperative this discussion took place as we are a region where many new jobs are classified as self-employed, demonstrating the entrepreneurial culture, mindset and opportunity to innovate in the region.  According to the WDC policy team, self-employment is a more important source of jobs in the region than elsewhere, with 1 in 5 working people in the region self-employed, compared with 1 in 6 in the rest of Ireland.     ‘People are having to create their own jobs,’ according to Ian Brannigan, CEO(a)WDC ‘and with 65,000 people working for themselves in the Western Region, we value self-employment as a source of jobs growth which is central to the region’s future.

With the opening of the Porter Shed in Galway City on Monday and this  regional enterprise centres meet up on Tuesday, there is an appetite to drive further support, energy and coordination across our network of top class regional facilities.  The Western Region provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to operate in a connected, smart, professional landscape as well as benefit from a rich quality of life, clean environment and where heritage is a valued.

“A network of purpose built and investor friendly property solutions for business across the Atlantic Economic Corridor is central to the growth of enterprise in the Western Region and future economic development” added Kevin Thompstone, Director of Shannon Chamber and economic development consultant.  Joe Kelly, Chairman of NACEC and Manager of IRD Kiltimagh added “Community Enterprise Centres offer a bespoke local and community led response to a job creation in a particular area.  Businesses can start-up, survive, develop and prosper in a low risk environment where self-employment and job creation is valued. With about 4000 jobs currently domiciled in the 120 NACEC Member Community Enterprise Centres nationally, these centres play a pivotal role in the regions ability to innovate and facilitate indigenous businesses with a significant job creation dimension.”




Clodagh Barry, Regional Development, Western Development Commission, 086 0424857

Pauline White, Policy Analyst, Western Development Commission, 086 832 8055

Irish Country Living interview with Anne-Marie Gibbons Mezzo-soprano

By Aisling Hussey on 05 May 2016

Mezzo-soprano Anne Marie Gibbons talks to Aisling Hussey about deciding to pursue her dream of becoming a singer and the upcoming Knock Concert for Peace.

Courtesy of Irish Country Living The Irish Farmers Journal
Find out more about The Knock Concert for Peace HERE

Local communities go global for Mayo Day 2016

ALL eyes will be on Mayo and Erris in particular this weekend, when the Mayo World Convention takes place to coincide with Mayo Day 2016. At home and abroad, people with Mayo connections have an opportunity to celebrate all that is great about their progressive, can-do county. This day is an opportunity for businesses, communities, families and individuals to celebrate who we are, and where we come from, on a day in the calendar year that recognises Mayo and its people.
An initiative of Mayo County Council’s Enterprise Office, the second annual Mayo Day celebration takes place this weekend, (Mayo Day is Saturday, April 30) and after the huge international success of Mayo Day 2015, a lot of the focus is shifting back to local shores  this weekend. However, there are dozens of events lined up across the globe as Mayo diaspora and communities united to celebrate their heritage, culture and all things Mayo, and keep an eye our for some high profile ways that this novel day will be marked, as it trends on social media and captures the attention of the world.

Flagship gathering
In association with Muintir Mhaigh Eo Atha Cliath and Mayo County Council, the Mayo World Conventiontakes place in the Broadhaven Bay Hotel and will be a mixture of promotional, networking and informative events, with some special guests and a gala evening.
This event which is hosted every two years by one of the Mayo Associations globally, provides the network of Associations scattered around the world an opportunity to connect, network and strengthen ties with each other. The convention will ensure the Associations continue to remain strong, vibrant and purposeful at a time when more and more Mayo people are emigrating and building roots away from their home county and in need of support from the Mayo diaspora.
The theme of this year’s convention is ‘Mayo The Connected County’ and it is the flagship event of the Mayo Day weekend.
The convention which will be officially opened by the Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Michael Holmes, on Friday evening at Aras Inis Gluaire, Belmullet. The convention will incorporate several sessions over the weekend covering a diverse range of themes such as sustaining jobs, growth and investment in Mayo, Mayo – heartbeat of the Wild Atlantic way, Global Mayo and Mayo Day initiatives and Mayo – a superior quality of life.

A range of moderators to facilitate each session from different walks of life will support the speakers at the convention. Keynote speakers who are connected in some way to the topics of discussion under the various themes will have the support of a panel to lead discussions on the topics at hand. The highlight of the convention will be the gala banquet taking place on the Saturday night in the Broadhaven Bay Hotel. The banquet dinner is a black tie event and it promises to be a fantastic occasion for Mayos to mingle, socialise and dance until the early hours with musical entertainment being provided by The Brose Walsh Band.
The committee’s longstanding member Fr Gerry French will say Mass on the Sunday with brunch to follow prior to the convention coming to an end.
As Saturday April 30 is Mayo Day, the Association plans to mark the occasion in showcasing and celebrating the best of County Mayo to the attendees of the convention who represent the Associations from around the world. To support the Mayo Day initiative, the convention will convey to diaspora what it means to have Mayo heritage and be in some way connected with the county.
Muintir Mhaigh Eo Atha Cliath explained that they were keen to host the 2016 Convention, not just in Ireland but in Mayo, given the efforts afoot this year to mark the historical significance of 2016, a hundred years on from the 1916 Easter Rising. The founder of Muintir Mhaigh Eo Atha Cliath was Major John McBride from Westport, who played a very significant role in leading the insurgents of the 1916 Easter Rising, and was executed for this. Muintir Mhaigh Eo Atha Cliath wish to acknowledge the dedication of the World Convention subcommittee who have worked tirelessly on organising the logistics of this event.

To purchase tickets for the convention please visit the Mayo Association website;
The following ticket options are provided online: a complete weekend ticket, all day Saturday event or a gala banquet only ticket. The Broadhaven Bay Hotel have offered special rates for those attending the convention with double rooms and single rooms available. For guests arriving on the Friday, there is a dinner after the Civic Reception and some special entertainment lined up, including an Irish dancing display from the Sylvan Kelly School of Dancing, Ballina. These supremely talented dancers are the current holders of three world titles and 47 world medals, won at the recent 2016 World Irish Dancing Championships in Glasgow last month.

A scenic tour of the North Mayo coast via Barnatra, Inver, Pollatomish, then along the North Coast Road to Downpatrick Head is planned for Sunday, May 1. Leaving promptly at 2pm from the Broadhaven Bay Hotel, on the return journey the tour will stop at the Céide Fields before diverting at Belderrig to take the wilder route to Porturlin and the Erris cliffs. Along the way, there will be commentary on the unique landscape, archaeology, history and folklore of North Mayo. There is no bus charge for the tour.

West Mayo
In the West Mayo Municipal District there is a huge array of events taking place, outside of the world convention. On Friday, April 29, The Monday Club, in association with Men’s Shed, are hosting a celebration of Irish set and Céilí Dancing at The Quay Community Centre from 11.30am to 1.30pm.
The ever popular Westport Bike Buffet returns for Mayo Day on Friday evening at 6.30pm, showcasing the best of Mayo food producers as you cycle. Mocktails at The Town Hall, cycle to The Towers for a Mayo Starter, onto Gracy’s at Westport House for The Mayo Day gourmet barbecue, and then to Hotel Westport for a sweet Mayo dessert. Book you place at Westport Town Hall on 098-28459.
Saturday, which is Mayo Day,  sees a host of magnificent free entertainment at Westport Town Hall. At 12.30pm The Clew Bay Pipe Band commence with a short performance before their Piper’s Trail from The Octagon. Follow if you wish… Enjoy short informal sessions throughout the day with Westport Sound Division at 1.30pm; The Horkan Family at 2.30pm Last Night’s Session bring their very special brand of Irish and Folk Music to the balcony at 4.15pm followed the up and coming Under The Radar at 5.15pm . The Mayo School of Ballet have two performances on both Saturday and Sunday at 3pm and 6.30pm.
Interactive Story Telling is also a feature of the day on Saturday and O’Cee’s Coffee Shop will host acoustic sessions with two very talented local singer/songwriters – at 1.45pm Grainne Fahy followed at 2.15pm by Rosa Kinsella
At Curry’s Cottage you can enjoy some great stories, poetry and chat with well-known local writers and storytellers, while other events in the district include: Mayo Day Treasure Hunt at Bangor Erris; Ceiliuradh La Mhaigh in Oilean Acla with Cluiche Peil Gaelach idir na cailini oga and Cluiche Sacar idir na gasur oga and Scoil Acla music evening in Teach Gielty.
Newport youths are hosting a traditional session The Bridge Inn, while on Clare Island there will be an an adventure race.
A community futures launch will take place on Inishturk with a locally handcrafted sea currach and film documentary.
Teach Greannai Community Centre Corrán Buí, Ros Dumhach, are celebrating their Mayo past and present with displays of domestic antiques, exhibits by an award-winning local photographer, music from local musicians and the local national school children’s choir, as well as good Mayo food.

Live Broadcast

Irish TV will have a live broadcast on Saturday, April 30, between 10pm and 11pm following the gala dinner during the Mayo World Convention.

Courtesy of The Mayo News

ONSIGHT Art Trail Documentary Film at The Museum of Country Life

On Sight is an annual Summer art trail in the grounds of the National Museum of Ireland, Turlough Park, Co. Mayo. The purpose of the art trail is to encourage visitors to explore the themes of the Museum through outdoor art works.  It is also to encourage artists to create works in a site specific location. It is a partnership project of the National Museum of Ireland, Mayo County Council, Mayo Arts Squad and independent artists. Further information about On Sight HERE

Watch this beautiful documentary film made by Mary Henning on the On Sight Art Trail.


Féile na Tuaithe – bringing the Museum to life 21-22 May 2016

Féile na Tuaithe -Turlough Park, one of the biggest free family festivals in the West, returns to the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd May 2016. The festival was officially launched at the Museum of Country Life in Turlough, Castlebar on Wednesday 13th April 2016, giving guests and visitors a glimpse of the dynamic programme on offer this year.

Féile na Tuaithe brings the Museum to life and effortlessly connects with visitors of all ages.  During Féile the entire site is full to bursting with the sights and sounds of traditional Irish life, set against innovations of the 21st century. From a modern take on traditional weaving from Claremorris-based Wild Cocoon, to the time honoured traditions of Nephin Whiskey’s master cooper, (alongside twelve other demonstrations) visitors have the opportunity to see a living history of strong Irish craft traditions.  Vintage farm machinery and a visit to the Animal Village, which this year includes horses, cows, donkeys, Moiled Cattle, Blackface Sheep, pigs, and poultry, provide a glimpse into agricultural history. Woodland trails full of mythical creations and large-scale artwork provide the perfect reason to explore the Museum’s grounds, and then continue that exploration within the Museum’s galleries.  Younger visitors can enjoy hands-on art and craft activities, face painting & traditional games, and our Craft and Food Villages provide exceptional opportunities for a bit of shopping and perhaps an outdoor meal enjoyed alongside a live performance from one of the musical acts in the Entertainment Village. Not just across the site but into the galleries itself

Entry and car parking are free of charge and crowds of up to 30,000 are expected in Turlough over the two day event. A combination of familiar offerings with new and innovative attractions packs the programme. All elements have a direct connection with the exhibitions within the Museum itself which showcases traditional country life since the 19th century.

Speaking at the launch, Tony Candon, Manager Keeper of the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, spoke about the strong connection between the festival and the Museum itself, “Féile na Tuaithe is grounded in the National Folklife Collection which we are proud to have here in Mayo. Everything in Féile derives from the collection and truly brings the Museum to life during this, the most joyful of festivals. With nearly one hundred different participants, there is something for everyone, young and old.”  He also was fulsome in his thanks to all sponsors, saying, “I want to sincerely thank all our sponsors and our principal partner, Mayo County Council, without whom Féile na Tuaithe would not be possible. “

Raghnall Ó Floinn, Director of the National Museum, is a strong supporter of the Museum’s flagship festival, “If the Museum of Country Life is very much about the lives of ordinary people in rural Ireland in the relatively recent past, Féile na Tuaithe is the natural extension of the Museum’s remit to bring the craft dimension of the lives of our recent ancestors to public attention in an enjoyable and family friendly way,” he said.

Peter Hynes, Mayo County Manager spoke about the longstanding connections between the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life and Mayo County Council, saying, “This is Mayo County Council’s third year as partners in Féile na Tuaithe but the connections with the Museum go back much further – indeed right back to the early days of 1996 before construction had even started. We are proud to be associated with Féile which has been such a resounding success and saw an attendance increase of 25% last year alone”.

Féile na Tuaithe would like to thank their partners and sponsors: Mayo County Council, Local Enterprise Offices (Mayo, Roscommon, Galway, Donegal),, Bord Bia, Teagasc, Music Generation, Mayo Artsquad, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Connaught Telegraph, MidWest Radio, Spear Design and Cashin Print.







Contact:              Lesley Emerson, PR West, Ri Rua, Cogaula, Westport, Co. Mayo
Tel: 087 2263319

Lisa Fahy, Project Co-ordinator, Féile na Tuaithe 2015, National Museum of Ireland –                                  Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland
Tel: 094 903 1755 (Ext 381)