Creative sector key role in rural economy

Design and craft industries make a huge contribution to Ireland’s rural economy, said Karen Hennessy, CEO of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) at the group’s AGM at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, Dublin.

The DCCoI also hosted a seminar entitled Creative Livelihoods: The Value of Craft in Communities highlighting the sector’s impacts on local communities and the boost for Ireland’s reputation internationally.

Karen Hennessy said: “Throughout Europe, governments have invested in and mobilised the design agenda. Our ambition is to position Ireland at the forefront of this movement, notably informing Government policy on the development of Ireland’s design and craft sector.”

Our industry is included in the Future Jobs Ireland programme. Ireland is viewed by many European countries as a model of good practice in terms of promoting design and craft. This is reassuring but we can’t become complacent. It is imperative that Ireland remains focused on supporting this sector.

Guest speakers and exhibitors included Lorna Macaulay, CEO of Harris Tweed, Tara Kennedy of Freemarket and Chupi Sweetman of Chupi.

Since the establishment of Ireland’s first Ministerial-led National Design Forum back in 2017, the DCCoI has been working collaboratively with many other organisations to influence the development of design infrastructure across Ireland. This work has culminated with the provision for a National Design Centre within the National Development Plan 2018 – 2027.

The DCCoI plays a role in advocating for the sector internationally. Karen Hennessy was appointed to the Board of the Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA) in 2018 and was recently elected vice president. BEDA is a not-for-profit company made up of 50 members based across 28 European countries.

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