Longford County Arts Office recognised with national award

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Fergus Kennedy

Aidan O’Reilly, Principal Officer, Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Longford County Arts Officer Fergus Kennedy, Liam Tuohy of Zurich, Longford Enterprise Officer Michael Nevin, a

After 17 years of toil and effort, Longford County Arts Office has become “an overnight success”, according to County Arts Officer, Fergus Kennedy.

On November 23, the Arts Office were thrilled to win a prestigious national Excellence In Local Government Award for its literary website, www.virtualwriter.ie


“Needles to say, we’re over the moon, as this kind of national success comes rarely to even the biggest local authorities, not to mind the second smallest,” Mr Kennedy said.


The 14th annual Excellence in Local Government Awards ceremony was held in association with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and showcases and celebrates the best of Local Government in Ireland.


Longford County Arts Office was successful in the highly competitive category of Supporting the Arts.


Longford County Council, in partnership with the Arts Council has made a long term commitment to the development of the use of digital technology as a means of development of artistic activities in a rural setting and this is a wonderful recognition of years of commitment to this goal,” said Mr Kennedy.


Virtualwriter.ie was established with the specific objectives to provide a shop window for Longford writing, to provide a contact point for Longford writers, to establish personal creative contacts, to circulate literary information and to provide a starting point for organised literary activities.


Over the years, hundreds of local writers both professional and amateur have used the site as a shop window for their work or as a resource to help them develop or refine certain technical aspects of their poetry and prose.


“Over the years our growing experience of innovation in the area of digital technology and creative development has led us to the construction of other digital platforms designed to support local artists such as longfordmusic.ie, which supports and showcases local music of all kinds; visuallongford.ie which is now the official window on the visual arts in Longford; and finally, longforddigitalarts.ie, the showcase of all newly emerging digital arts locally,” said Local Enterprise Officer and line-manager for the arts in Longford County Council, Michael Nevin.


He went on to say: “This award is excellent recognition of how a small rural county can be a pioneer in the area of the development of information technology to support the entire cultural landscape of a county and can set national standards in helping develop the professional and commercial lives of local artists.”


Fergus Kennedy thanked the IT Department of Longford County Council for its technical support over the years and was anxious to highlight the invaluable support of a local IT company createinteractive ltd. and in particular the CEO Paul Greally for his invaluable technical support and creativity in designing each of the sites.

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