Three Westmeath people in running to share brewer’s €3m innovation fund

At least three Westmeath projects are in with a shout for sharing in a €3m investment fund, applications for which close tonight, August 9.

Brian Fagan and Pat Freeman from Mullingar, along with Pauline Nannery from Kilbeggan have been long-listed for the Arthur Guinness Projects, a brewery-sponsored initiative to support innovation in four creative categories - art, music, sport, and food.

Brian Fagan, a former international charity worker, and now full-time volunteer is hoping “to establish a 100-marathon relay across the 32 counties of Ireland in June 2014 to promote fitness in the workplace whilst breathing new life into bypassed or forgotten towns and businesses around the country”.

Artist Pauline Nannery plans to paint a cross-section of the nation’s iconic Guinness drinkers as an idiosyncratic snapshot of Ireland, while Pat Freeman is in the process of building a comprehensive, nationwide festival and gig guide website.

“This is a major new cultural initiative designed to champion and celebrate Ireland’s talent and creativity across the four categories. Hundreds of extraordinary people with inspiring ideas from all across the country have uploaded projects ontowww.arthurguinnessprojects.com, and thousands more have shown support by voting for their favourite projects,” said Stephen Kelly, marketing director at the brewery.

The public can continue to vote for the projects that they would most like to see come to life up until August 23.

Once voting is closed, the Arthur Guinness Projects panel will then choose the winning projects from the top 10 per cent as voted by the public in each of the four categories.

Comprising of 16 experts, four within each category, the panel is spearheaded by world-renowned Irish band, The Script, food guru, Dylan McGrath, Donegal inter-county manager and sports consultant, Jim McGuinness, and celebrated Irish actor, Chris O’Dowd.

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