Published on Friday22ndJune2018

Minister Madigan encourages children and young people to make, create and try something new as part of Cruinniú na nÓg

Over 500 free creative activities for under 18’s taking place in cities and towns across the country as part of Creative Ireland Programme initiative

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan TD, today (Friday) encouraged children and young people, to unlock their inner creative genius and take part in one of the hundreds of free events taking place tomorrow (Saturday 23rd June) as part of the first Cruinniú na nÓg.


An initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme and supported by the Local Authorities and RTÉ, Cruinniú na nÓg celebrates and encourages participation by children and young people in creative activities in their local neighbourhoods and communities. Led by the local Creative Ireland Programme teams across all local authorities, with huge support from local artists, arts organisations and community festivals, activities include everything from bicycle tyre painting and bee-hotel making to robotics and smart phone film-making. There are also lots of taster workshops for everyone from early years (0 to 4 years) to teenagers in visual arts, creative writing, coding, music-making, theatre and dance.

Some of the highlights of Cruinniú na nÓg include:

  • Children’s Ceramics Class with Vivien O’Malley (Waterford) where children will make and keep their own masterpieces
  • Virtually Here – using a mixture of smart devices, iPads, apps and traditional drawing, children will create their own content for their real and imaginary perspectives (Galway)
  • Led by artist Sophie Graefin von Matzlan, children will build a sculptural bee-motel using willow as a suitable home for the Mason bees (Drumcondra, Dublin)
  • Sea Songs on the Seashore – 150 scouts present an outdoor performance of songs which they have composed and written, with instruments made from their collected beach litter, with special guest Inni K (Clontarf, Dublin)
  • Still Loading – The Ark Children’s Council of 30 children, aged 9 to 11, present a mini-festival of new work in progress for children (Dublin)
  • Bicycle Tyre Printing where children will make special bicycle tyre prints of multi-coloured patterns and designs (Leitrim) 
  • Cruinniú na nÓg Youth Gig will showcase local youth rock bands and musical acts (Wexford)
  • Thurles Library Fun Day including arts and craft work stations where finished artwork will be displayed on the boardwalk for a Pavement Art session (Tipperary)
  • Seoid/Jewel: An Opera for Babies and Small People up to four years inspired by a box of memories including baby clothes, a much loved toy and a blankie! (Cork)
  • Pop-up Gaeltacht in Market Square Cavan from 1.30pm featuring music, circus show and stilt-walkers organised by Cavan Comhairle na nÓg

Speaking today Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan TD said:

“Today’s inaugural Cruinniú na nÓg embodies so much of what the Creative Ireland Programme is all about. Thousands of children and young people across the country will have the opportunity to participate in a whole range of creative activities, to express themselves and to share their ideas and inspiration with friends and peers, and it is all happening right on their doorstep, in the heart of their local communities.

I would encourage everyone, but especially those under 18, to check out what’s happening in your local area today and go along and try something new. Each event has been carefully curated by our Creative Ireland Programme teams across the country I would like to particularly thank the 31 local authorities and RTÉ, who have been enthusiastic partners and collaborators on this event from the beginning, and also the many artists, arts and youth organisations, festivals and communities who have helped to make this exciting new day of youthful creativity for children and young people.

I would also like to thank the children and young people who took part in our special consultation, organised by Hub na nÓg and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. Their contribution has helped us to deliver a diverse and exciting programme of events for all interests.”

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy T.D. added:

“I am delighted to see the Local Authorities right across the country actively working to promote creativity in our communities. The Creative Ireland coordinators and Culture Teams at local authority level have really delivered for our children and young people.”

Sam Gorman Cooke, aged 14, from Dublin City Comhairle na nÓg, who participated in a Cruinniú na nÓg consultation workshop with children and young people said:

"I believe it is crucial for young people’s views to be included in the planning of Cruinniu because children’s outlook on creativity is the key foundation of the event. I thoroughly enjoyed the consultation process as I believe that our views were really considered. I felt confident and comfortable within the process. Creative activities are important for young people as a means of introduction to a variety of ways of self-expression.
This will allow young people to develop and grow within their own secure bubble of enjoyment.”

Dee Forbes, Director-General, RTÉ, says:

"Creativity and community are at the heart of RTÉ's new mission statement. They sit at the heart of Cruinniú na nÓg too, which makes this partnership especially relevant for RTÉ. There are hundreds of events taking place nationwide on June 23rd, and we have been particularly delighted to partner with the 31 local authorities to showcase what's happening in villages, towns and cities all over Ireland. RTÉ supports over 130 arts and culture events every year, and so supporting artistic endeavour and creativity at community level is something we take very seriously. On June 23rd we will see hundreds of our communities come together for this latest Cruinniú - I wish it every success."

Full event details for Cruinniú na nÓg are available at