Cruinniú na nÓg: Free national day of creativity in Longford on June 15

Longford Leader Reporter

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Traditional Irish group, Meabhrach, from Granard, who will perform in France

Traditional Irish group, Meabhrach, from Granard, who will perform in France

Ireland is the first, and only, country in the world to have a national day of free creativity for children and young people under 18.

Cruinniú na nÓg is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland programme to enable the creative potential of children and young people.

Mary Carleton Reynolds Creative Ireland Coordinator for County Longford said, “There will be lots of opportunities for children to unleash and celebrate their creativity in every part of the county on June 15 and in the whole week leading up to the event.”

Beginning on Monday, June 10, an exhibition showcasing some of the exciting creative projects carried out by schools in the county throughout the past year will go on display in the Atrium Gallery Backstage Theatre Longford and everyone is invited to drop in any day during that week to see examples of the inspiring work carried out by the children and their teachers.

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The Pushkin Trust, an inspirational creative programme enabling children and teachers in Ireland north and south to discover the joys of creativity and imagination was established by the late, great Sacha Duchess of Abercorn over 30 years ago. She will be remembered this week when three primary schools Ballymahon, Glen and Killoe will showcase their Pushkin projects completed over the past year at a special event which will take place on Wednesday, June 12, at the Backstage theatre.

Kitty Hughes former School Principal of Aughnagarron national school and Midlands Coordinator for the Pushkin Trust said,“The creative phenomenon that is The Pushkin programme of ‘inspired learning’ was founded by Sacha Duchess of Abercorn in 1987.

“For over thirty years it has rooted, grown and blossomed into an inspirational programme enabling children and teachers in schools all over Ireland to find their ‘voice’ and discover the joy of imagination, inspiration and integration.

“We in County Longford were very lucky to be part of this programme and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to a wonderful woman Sacha who at a difficult time in our history ‘took a road less travelled’ and enlisted artists, musicians, dancers, writers and lovers of nature and sent them out into the schools and classrooms to open up new horizons and unlock hidden ability in our children.”

Some of the other highlights of this week will be Beats in the Barracks, a week long music making camp coordinated by Longford School of Rock which will culminate in a public performance of all the young musicians taking part on Saturday, June 15, Cruinniu na Nog Day in the Temperance Hall at 2pm.

There are still a few places left for young people 14 years or over who wish to take part in this incredible week of music making and performance led by renowned Galway composer and percussionist Anthony McNamee and multi- instrumentalist Dennis McCalmont. To book your place please telephone 087-4144082 or 0433341124.

A red carpet Film Premiere of the screening of three short animation films made by Newtownforbes, Ballinalee and Melview National Schools will take place at 11am in Longford Library.

Mary Smyth Film Animator said, “This was a great project to work on and the pupils and teachers in the three schools were very creative and we are delighted to be premiering the three short films as part of Cruinniu on Saturday at 11am in Longford library.”

At the recently opened Knights & Conquests Heritage Centre in Granard from 11am you can don the clothes of our Norman ancestors and walk on an interactive journey through time.See what it feels like to be a king or queen in your own game of thrones and meet and learn all about our incredible Birds of Prey including Lucy our magnificent Eagle Owl as well as Barn Owls, our Harris Hawk and more.

Corlea Trackway in Kenagh will host a nature walk and a Painting in the Bog outdoor workshop or why not drop into any of the six libraries around the county and enjoy teddybears picnics, storytime for tiny tots, grow your own edible flowers and herbs and much more.

Finally two groups of young traditional musicians will travel to Longford’s twin Town Noyal Chatillon sur Seiche to be Cruinniu Ambassadors for Longford and bring the best of traditional Irish music to a Celtic festival in France on that day.

For more information of all the events that are happening across the county drop into your local library or see www.longfordlibrary.ie or log onto: cruinniu.creativeireland. gov.ie.

You can also check us out on Facebook: Creative Ireland Longford or telephone 043341124.

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