The annual event acts as a showcase for some of the country’s leading artists and designers of crafts, fashion, jewellery and other gift items at a trade fair that will will be attended by more than 9,000 trade buyers, including 2,000 from overseas.
More than 550 exhibitors representing all sectors of Irish craft and design industries will have stands at the show. Showcase Ireland 2008, which is organised by the Crafts Council of Ireland, was formally opened by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Micheál Martin, at the RDS yesterday.
The minister praised the talent and skills of the large number of Irish artists and designers who were exhibiting their products.
“In an era of mass-produced goods our crafts people, with the support of the Crafts Council of Ireland, have shown there is demand for gifts which are unique, innovative and made with that special personal touch,” said Mr Martin.
Chairman of the CCI Gerry Wycherley said the Irish arts and crafts industry had the potential for substantial expansion on a global scale.
Now in its 32nd year, Showcase is recognised as one of the top international trade shows for arts and crafts. It will continue at the RDS until January 23.