Creative Lives is delighted to announce the seven recipients of Seed Funding grants for creative projects in Edenderry. 

The Seed Funding was available for people from Edenderry and the surrounding area who had an idea for a creative or artistic cultural project they would like to explore and develop, and which will benefit the Edenderry community. 

Grants were awarded based on the strength of the project idea; how well it engaged with the local community in Edenderry; and the artist or group's connection to and interest in Edenderry and the surrounding area. 

Edenderry Seed Funds - List of Awards

Laura Phillips

Project: Monthly Mindful Journaling project, helping people to relax, focus and explore their thoughts and feelings in a safe and supportive environment. 

Bio: Laura is the founder of The Barley Moon. She's passionate about mindfulness and its role in holistic well-being. Mindfulness, with its focus on non-judgmental awareness and being present in the moment, offers numerous benefits like stress reduction and improved emotional regulation. Laura uses doodling as a powerful tool for nurturing mindfulness. It's not just about creating art; it's about the process, fostering focus and tranquillity. Doodling encourages spontaneous and unstructured drawing, promoting the expression of thoughts and emotions while cultivating patience and perseverance. 

Helen Keenan

Project: An Easter creative intensive for a senior youth group from Edenderry Youth Cafe that focuses on dance, drama and digital creativity.

Bio: Helen is a multidisciplinary artist, greatly influenced and inspired by dynamic, ensemble physical theatre, and the cross section between dance and circus. She is deeply interested in how these two disciplines can co-exist, support and transform storytelling within movement-based performance. Helen brings to bear various strands of creativity to the making of her work, and to her performance for both stage and screen. Helen also has a strong community-based practice delivering dance programming for people aged 50+, and delivering an abundance of drama and dance residencies for young people, and arts in education initiatives nationally.

Caoimhín Ó Súilleabháin - Gaelscoil Éadan Doire

Project: Spás an tSáimhín Só involves the creation of a sensory garden that will serve as a therapeutic and educational space for the children at Gaelscoil Éadan Doire. 

Bio: Gaelscoil Éadan Doire has long been committed to providing an inclusive and enriching educational environment for its students, including those in their ASD classes. As educators at Gaelscoil Éadan Doire, their connection to Éadan Doire is deeply rooted in their commitment to providing an exceptional learning environment for their students. They recognise the importance of fostering strong ties with the local community to enhance the overall well-being and educational experience of their students.

Lorraine and Cormac Reilly

Project: ‘Croí’, a new original musical play by local artists Cormac and Lorraine Reilly, which celebrates Offaly, its people and its unique heritage. The local area and the bog itself will feature strongly in the play to showcase and celebrate the beauty of the landscape. The Seed Funding award will allow videographer Evin O’Toole (Malfi Productions, Tullamore) to capture video footage of landscapes including Croghan Hill and the peatlands of Offaly to act as a backdrop to exterior scenes in the play and will also provide for filming of the performances in June.

Bio: Cormac and Lorraine Reilly are emerging artists from the Rhode/Edenderry area pursuing their passion for songwriting and storytelling through theatre, with a particular interest in local history, landscape, archaeology and folklore. They received a semi-finalist award in 2023 for their original song ‘Mo Chroí Ochón’ from the International Songwriting Competition (Nashville) as well as a highly commended award in 2023 from the UK Songwriting Competition. They received funding from Creative Ireland Creative Communities/ Offaly County Council and SSE Renewables (Yellow River Windfarm Construction Fund) to undertake a theatre workshop in Summer 2023 which received very positive feedback from participants and the invited audience. They are also recipients of the Offaly County Council Professional Artists Support Scheme 2024. 

Youth Café 

Project: Friday Youth Club-based activities for young people to take part in and explore their creative talents, including drama, dance, music and crafting.

Bio: Edenderry Youth Café was established in 2012 as a safe space for all young people in the area. They achieve this by having drop-in chill-out times as well as organised programmes and clubs. One of the clubs is a Senior Youth Club. This group is for 1st year and young people and runs every Friday night from 7pm to 9pm. The young people come to have that space to meet up with friends as well as make new friends in a safe, chilled-out manner. 

Yelyzaveta Marchenko

Project: Group singing lessons. An 8-week express course, giving participants the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of singing, introducing regular singing exercises, getting your voice ready, and how to overcome stage fright. 

Bio: A professional Ukrainian pop singer, songwriter and pianist, with more than 10 years' experience of working on stage in China, Ukraine and now in Ireland. 

Men's Shed Edenderry

Project: The project participants will be making a Donkey cart from scratch with oak and beach wood. 

Bio: From humble beginnings, Edenderry Men's Shed in Co. Offaly was established by a group of men in the local area. "We started in 2014, and the first thing we had to do was find a premises. We secured a location in the old Station yard owned by the late Sean Norman, who was a well-known local musician," says Mick Clancy, assistant treasurer and secretary of the shed. "The first thing we do in the morning is have a cup of tea and a chat, then we get to work." 

"The shedders have become popular within their local community for providing a valuable service to the locals. The members of Edenderry's Men's Shed are a very diverse bunch. I'm a welder by trade. We have a mixture of tradesmen, but you don't have to have a trade to join. You can come and learn, make tea and have a chat. Some of the men would come in three or four times a week. There is a great spirit in the shed, a great group of men and great craic," says Mick.

Creative Places: Edenderry is supported by The Arts Council / An Comhairle Ealaíon (as part of the national Creative Places programme) and led by Creative Lives, in partnership with Offaly County Council’s Arts Office and a range of other stakeholders.

Click here for more information about the Creative Places Edenderry project