Cork County Council Launches Year Two of Innovative Cultural Development Initiative on West Cork’s Islands

A group of people playing tug of war on Sherkin Island.

Cork County Council has announced the continuation of an innovative community project to strengthen creative opportunities for the residents on West Cork’s islands. 

“Creative Places West Cork Islands”, a three-year project, which is funded by the Arts Council and Cork County Council, is now entering its second year. It aims to redefine the cultural landscape of West Cork's islands, transcending traditional boundaries to foster connections, nurture creativity, and uplift communities through sustained investment in the arts.

Local artists such as Kirsty Affleck and Nigel Towse exemplify the diverse talents supported by this important cultural programme. Kirsty Affleck is renowned for her exquisite hand-knitted garments crafted from wool sourced from her self-shedding sheep on Cape Clear, while Nigel Towse is a master of preserving traditional rope-making techniques on Sherkin Island.

The initiative also supports programmes such as the ‘Bere Island Arts Festival’ and the ‘Festival of Music on Heir Island’ which returns this year from the 4th to the 8th of June, welcoming musicians from the Irish and European Doctors Orchestras to perform on the islands of Heir and Sherkin.

Emphasising the importance of the programme in building vibrant, inclusive island communities, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Frank O’Flynn said, 

Through Creative Places West Cork Islands, we are building bridges that endure beyond the summer season, guiding communities through the quieter, darker months of autumn and winter. It's about encouraging island communities to get involved by proposing ideas to enhance social and cultural life across the islands. It is this combination of creativity and collaboration that enriches the fabric of island life year-round. As Creative Places West Cork Islands enters its second year, it continues to pave the way for a future where art not only enriches lives but also serves as a catalyst for positive change.

Creative Places West Cork Islands has a diverse partnership representing the island communities, including Comharchumann Chléire, Sherkin Island Development Society, Bere Island Projects Group and Uillinn – West Cork Arts Centre.