Douglas Hyde, the first President of Ireland
Former President, Douglas Hyde, puts ‘Creative Economy’ in the frame
“One of the most striking things to come out of the recent Farmleigh conference, which attracted Irish leaders from all walks of life and from all over the world, may have been the emphasis placed on Irish creativity and its role in securing the country’s economic future,” according to Lisa McAllister, CEO of the Western Development Commission (WDC).
“This is something we believe very strongly ourselves in the WDC and that is why we have placed such an emphasis on it in our research and policy development programmes. We Irish are a highly creative people and our country attracts many other creative people from around the world. We have the capability, in particular with the internet, of becoming a world creativity centre, bringing many thousands of sustainable jobs in its wake.
Ms. McAllister was announcing the speaker list at the 2009 Douglas Hyde conference, to be held in Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon, from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th October 2009. The conference theme is “Culture and the Economy – Creativity & Innovation in post-boom Ireland” and will study and discuss the role and potential of the Creative Economy in Ireland.
She added, “It’s a sign of the times that, as far as I know, this will also be Ireland’s first ever ‘pay as you go’ conference, allowing people to pick and choose the events they want to attend without having to pay for the entire conference attendance. This is our version of helping to make the arts, in the widest sense, accessible to everyone who is interested.”
This is the 22nd Douglas Hyde Conference which was founded in 1988 by Roscommon County Council to celebrate the life, interests and legacy of the President, poet and playwright Douglas Hyde. Speakers at the conference, co-sponsored by Roscommon County Council and the WDC, include Martin Cullen TD, Minister for Arts, Sport & Tourism, who will deliver the opening address with Mayor Tony Ward on Friday evening. They will be joined over the weekend by, amongst others, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance /Culture Ireland; Finbarr Bradley, Co-author of “Capitalising on Culture, Competing on Difference”; Roger O’Keeffe, European Commission Directorate General of Education and Culture; John Concannon, Fáilte Ireland; Sarah Glennie, Irish Film Institute; Garry Hynes, Druid Theatre Company; Michael John Gorman, The Science Gallery, Stuart McLaughlin, Business to Arts, and Alice Lyons, Poet and Visual Artist.
The ‘pay as you go’ option refers to each lecture and discussion “pair” of which there are four on Saturday and a lecture / field-trip pair on Sunday morning.
The Conference Concert on Saturday evening features the unparalleled talents of Máirtin O’Connor, Cathal Hayden, Séamie O’Dowd and Jimmy Higgins and on Sunday morning archaeologist Niall Brady will deliver a talk on medieval settlements in the area followed by a field trip to some of the nearby sites in the region best known for Queen Maeve’s fort and the Táin Bó Cuailnge which the Discovery Programme have been investigating over the last four years.