Cruinniú na nÓg 2021 - ‘Let's get creative, Galway’

Free online exhibitions, storytelling, music, events, and workshops take place throughout the city and county, and online on Saturday June 12

Storyteller Pat Speight (aka ‘Pat the Hat’) and pupils from the Claddagh National School at the recent launch of Cruinniú na nÓg 2021.

Storyteller Pat Speight (aka ‘Pat the Hat’) and pupils from the Claddagh National School at the recent launch of Cruinniú na nÓg 2021.

Children across Galway city and county will celebrate Cruinniú na nÓg - a national day of creativity for children and young people – with a host of free online events and workshops on Saturday June 12.

Cruinniú na nÓg, the world’s only national day of creativity for young people, will involve a host of activities, including computer coding, filmmaking, séan nós singing, ballet, drumming, and LGBT+ awareness event.

The event is being run by Creative Ireland, in conjunction with the Galway City Council, for events in Galway city, and in conjunction with the Galway County Council for events across the county.

City youth raise issue of climate change

The children of Galway city have asked that the theme of this year’s Cruinniú na nÓg events in Galway city itself be based around climate change. As a result, many of the events will incorporate sustainability, recycling, utilizing the natural and built environment, as well as encouraging creative solutions to climate change.

Deputy Mayor of Galway, Cllr Colette Connolly, is encouraging young people to “embrace their creativity” and “use their talents” during Cruinniú na nÓg.

“This year, more than ever, young people need to embrace their creativity and Cruinniú na nÓg will provide opportunities to help young people do this from their homes, gardens, and local community while staying safe,” she said. “It has been a tough time for many families, and I'm delighted to say that all events are free. I want to encourage everyone to check out what is happening and to join in making Cruinniú na nÓg 2021 a big success. Creative activity and engaging with the arts’ is good for our well-being so let's get creative, Galway!”

Events on June 12

Merlin Woods will host the ‘Natural Way to Creativity’ a workshop for older teens at 11.30am on biodiversity, mindfulness, and the health benefits of nature, ending with a session of botanical art. Booking is through [email protected].

Paintclub will host ‘Bee the Change’, a painting of the Corrib River areas of the city, where children will also be asked to add elements to their paintings to make the area more environmentally friendly into the future. The tutorial will be live on the Paintclub Facebook page from 3.30pm to 5pm and will be suitable for children ages six+. Parents are invited to join in the fun.

Storyteller Pat Speight (aka ‘Pat the Hat’ ) as he is better known, will have entertaining stories for children on June 12 on the Galway Public Libraries Facebook page at 9.30am and 4pm. Lapree Lala of Southside Moves will host an energetic Afrodance Class at 3.30pm on the Southside Moves YouTube channel.

Cruinniú na nOg 2021

Galway Community Circus will run five different tutorials on circus skills at 10am, 11am, 12 noon, 1pm and 2pm on its Facebook page. The earlier classes will be for younger children, the later ones suitable for teens.

‘Éalú’ will see teenage musicians and spoken word artists from the Galway Hub of the Irish Youth Music Awards perform their own material from 6pm to 7.30pm on the Youth Work Ireland Galway YouTube channel. This performance will be aimed at a teen audience and anyone older who is interested in new, local music.

Exhibitions in the city and online

While many Cruinniú na nÓg events take place on June 12, four local projects have taken place over a number of weeks, with the results going on display on the day itself.

Galway City Museum has engaged city schools in ‘Imagine a Better World’, asking students to propose solutions to climate change through drawing, painting, or model making. Galway City Library has engaged a poet to work with local primary pupils to facilitate a ‘A Wall of Words’ on the topic of climate change. The work of all the students will form part of a large-scale exhibition in the Eyre Square Centre on June 12.

SAUTI Youth Project is also working with older students and an artist to give creative voice to youth on the climate crisis, and this will be exhibited via social media pages. Youth Work Ireland Westside is engaging young people in ‘Sew Stylish’ looking at ethical and sustainable fashion options, as well as sewing a tote bag from recycled materials.

A county wide Cruinniú

Cahergal NS Cruinnii na nOg 1

Pupils at Cahergal NS working on their exhibition for Cruinniú na nÓg.

The undoubted highlight of events in County Galway will be the Exploring Outside The Box, an exhibition at Tuam Library, featuring work by third and fourth class pupils from Cahergal National School, who, for the last number of weeks have been working with leading Galway artists, Jojo Hynes, Kathy Ross, Midie Corcoran, and Jennifer Cunningham, to create an art installation.

For Exploring Outside The Box, the children have been asked to reimagine local landmarks, with the artists helping them create fantastical fun narratives inspired by escapism, while also helping the children develop their skills in collaboration, imagination, and creative intuition.

The exhibition is one of the very few in-person events which is being staged this year. Public health guidelines will be in place and social distancing will be required.

Cahergal NS Cruinnii na nOg 2

Cahergal NS pupils hard at work on their Cruinniú na nÓg project.

Budding young film-makers and film enthusiasts will be keen to check out Nova Productions workshops on June 12 and 13, covering screenwriting, cinematography, and production (suitable for ages 12 to 17 ). Those interested in ballet and acrodance can look forward to a workshop with Síomha McGarry. No experience is necessary. Corrib Coding will be offering online coding workshops for beginners (ages nine to 12 ) and an online workshop for teenagers on creating and publishing a retro arcade game.

Lá Amuigh Faoin Spéir is something for all the family. Presented through Irish, and with the aid of special guidebooks and activity sheets, families are invited to explore their local areas and capture everything they discover in their natural environment on June 12.

Other events to enjoy include sean-nós singing with Lasairfhíona Ní Chonaola; a virtual LGBT+ awareness and inclusion youth festival hosted by Youth Work Ireland Tuam; children can join author Maria Breen Fahey on Facebook as she reads from her book, Silly Sammy; creative reading with Curo and CANT Beat with Atmos Collective.

For details on all County Galway events go to: Full details of all events will be on the Creative Ireland Galway City Facebook page. Details for all events around Ireland for Cruinniú na nÓg are at


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