Mayor supports vision of Cultural Centre at Coole Park

Coole Winter Programme launched

Marie Donghue of Failte Ireland West, Lois and Sean Tobin ( Friends of Coole), and Paul Connolly assistant director of the National Park & Wildlife Services at the launch.

Marie Donghue of Failte Ireland West, Lois and Sean Tobin ( Friends of Coole), and Paul Connolly assistant director of the National Park & Wildlife Services at the launch.

The Coole Cultural and Heritage Winter Programme 2008 was launched at Coole Visitor Centre on Tuesday by Mayor of County Galway Peter Feeney.

At the launch of the programme the mayor thanked the National Parks and Wildlife Service for its management of Coole Park Reserve and for allowing the visitor centre to be used so creatively. Coole Park serves as a focus for the area for both adults and children alike. It is a haven that is on the doorstep of Gort serving Counties Galway and Clare, is a marvellous educational facility, and a visiting place for tourists. The Cultural and Heritage Winter Programme 2008 continues this tradition.

“The programme is a response to the growing need for a cultural education centre at Coole, a vision that I support and hope we will one day see at Coole Park,” Mayor Feeney said.

The Coole Park Cultural Programme aims to provide a series of high quality multi-disciplinary arts and heritage events to as wide and inclusive a local audience as possible in a site that has national and international cultural status. The programme events in spring and winter yearly endeavour to showcase locally based artists and lectures on local topics. The programme was initiated in 2005 on a pilot basis and its success to date is largely due to the strong partnership of agencies and active community involvement in its organisation, delivery and support.

Paul Connolly, assistant director of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, paid tribute to all involved in the programme from the staff at Coole Park to the Friends of Coole.

”This programme and the schools programme serves as an example of how to utilise such sites to their potential in off season periods,” he said.

The Winter Programme 2008 aims to integrate arts, culture, heritage, and education with a series of events for adults, young people, and families. Dance, drama, genealogy, heritage, music, poetry, puppets, and storytelling feature in this exciting new programme of events taking place between now and December. The programme has something for all ages.

The 2008 Winter Programme gets underway as usual by hosting an event with the Cooley Collins Festival, with pottery and painting workshops with Caroline McDaid this Saturday from 1.30pm to 4.30pm.

Admission to all events is free. The 2008 Winter Programme Brochure is now widely available locally and also from Coole Park. For further information or a copy of the brochure contact Coole Park at (091 ) 631804.

The Coole Winter Programme is organised by the Friends of Coole in partnership with the National Parks and Wildlife Services, Galway County Council, Galway Rural Development, Galway Education Centre, Fáilte Ireland West, and the community of Gort.

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