The Creative Ireland Programme kicks off with Cruinniú na Cásca, a new national day of culture and creativity that will take place on Easter Monday in every county in Ireland.
Here in Longford three special events will take place that day, one of which will be held at Ardagh Creativity Centre that includes a wonderful afternoon for children.
A visit to a number of special sites that encapsulate the rich history and culture of this county is also on the cards, and there is currently 55 people booked in for that.
“We have so much to offer here in Longford; it is a wonderful little county,” Co Longford programme co-ordinator Mary Carleton-Reynolds told the Leader.
Creative Ireland is the Government’s Legacy Programme for Ireland and is a five-year initiative, from 2017 to 2022 that places creativity at the centre of public policy.
“This is one of the most exciting initiatives to happen in Ireland in a long time,” Ms Carleton-Reynolds continued, before pointing out that if would force all of us to look at what we are good at; what we need to be celebrating and at our creativity.
“This initiative is all about showcasing what is best about Ireland; we are being provided with an opportunity to look outwards instead of looking in.
“Our Taoiseach was in America for St Patrick’s Day and we had many people around the world too who were focused on Ireland at that time.
But it wasn’t about our economy; that was a time when we were all celebrating our own creativity.”
The local county librarian went on to say that when we thought about our own creativity, sometimes we tended to focus on just one aspect, but in fact there were numerous aspects to consider.
“Of course, our heritage and history is extremely important as well and what is really interesting about this whole Creative Ireland idea is that is is about all aspects of our creativity,” she continued, before admitting that it can mean anything to anyone depending on the person.
“This programme is about openness and interest, it is about thinking about our future, our young people and is inclusive of everyone from the very young right up to our oldest citizens.
“It is very important that we all have a sense of pride in our own place; we keep talking all the time about sense of pride in our county and our place and this can never be talked about too much; that sense of pride is part of all of us and it must be nurtured.”
She said the Creative Ireland initiative would give us back our sense of pride because for a while, we lost the run of ourselves, and the things that were really important to us were sidetracked.
“People want a quality of life; it is not just about the house and the school; it’s about a sense of ownership, a sense of place,” Ms Carleton-Reynolds continued.
“Over the next year, there will be 90 different events taking place in Co Longford in conjunction with this wonderful initiative.
“And what a wonderful time we are all going to have.