Donegal: A Creative County: Making Connections ~ Creating Opportunities’

25 November 2011

Major Conference on Culture in Donegal.


“Strange how things in the offing, once they’re sensed, convert to things foreknown”.

Seamus Heaney’s poignant words, quoted by Philip King in his speech, eloquently capture the prevailing mood at the one day conference on culture organised by the Donegal CDB Cultural Resources Forum in Ballybofey on October 4th last. Heaney’s lines could easily refer to the possibilities that are now opening up for the cultural sector in Donegal. Many of the speakers at the conference alluded to the unparalleled uniqueness, beauty and authenticity of the culture, language and landscape of Donegal, and to how, traditionally, they were not viewed as valuable resources. The prevailing feeling at the conference was that we are finally beginning to sense the importance of our cultural resources, and are beginning to develop what is a unique and beneficial resource. All the speakers highlighted the fact that culture will play a central and highly important role in the future development of Donegal, both economically and socially.

145 people attended the conference to listen to a strong line-up of expert speakers that included Dermot McLaughlin of Temple Bar Cultural Trust, Ian Brannigan of the Western Development Commission, Michael Starrett of the Heritage Council, cultural entrepreneur Philip King, Kevin Kidney of Failte Ireland and Shona McCarthy of Derry-Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013. The attendees included a broad cross-section of people from the business, cultural, voluntary, public, and media sectors, as well as members of the public. The conference, entitled, Donegal: A Creative County: Making Connections ~ Creating Opportunities’ explored the possibilities that exist for the Cultural and Creative industries and for Cultural Tourism in the county. A number of workshops were held and the forum hope to produce a number of recommendations and actions over the coming months.

The CDB Cultural Resources Forum is an instrument of the Donegal County Development Board and is a vehicle for greater co-ordination and co-operation within the cultural sector in Donegal. Its aim is to the develop Donegal as a creative county. The cultural sector is operating under harsh economic conditions at present. This, however, has not impeded the activities or energy of the sector in Donegal and the Cultural Resources Forum of the CDB in particular. The forum continues to initiate and spearhead initiatives, a number of which were instigated in recent months. The conference was one such initiative and it represents a starting point for the development of Donegal as an identifiable creative county.

Conference Report

Creative County Conference - Final Report     

Donegal - A Creative County: Press Release  



Cultural Tourism - Kevin Kidney Failte Ireland  

Earagail Arts Rathmullan House Paul Brown/Mark Wheeler  

WDC - Ian Brannigan  


Conference Photos  


Calendar of Events


PEACE III Project Photos