The Western Development Commission (WDC ) is delighted to be partnering with the Crafts Council of Ireland (CCoI ) this year to co-fund CCoI’s International Fair Fund. The fund was initially established by CCoI in 2011 and this is the first time that there has been a collaboration with a partner agency, facilitating greater access to export markets for craft businesses.
Following the evaluation of applications to the fund earlier this year, five craft enterprises based in the western region were successful in securing funding—Foxford Woollen Mills, Mayo-based Lisibach Marble, the Sligo-based jeweller Martina Hamilton, Molloy and Sons Weaving from Donegal, and the Clay Pipe Centre in County Roscommon which produces a range of Irish gifts. They will be supported to attend fairs in locations such as the UK, US, France, and Germany during 2013.
Paddy McGuinness, chairperson of the WDC, said: “We’re delighted that these five craft businesses represent such a broad range of crafts and skills from across our region. The strong weaving tradition in Donegal and Mayo for clothing and home is well represented, while the Clay Pipe Centre and Lisibach Marble both draw on the region’s natural assets and strengths through their ‘bog buddies’ and Connemara marble jewellery, cufflinks designed by Martina Hamilton and inspired by WB Yeats’ poetry were presented by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to President Obama on St Patrick’s Day, bringing the creativity and culture of the west to international attention.”