John Concannon has been appointed director of a new Government initiative aimed at giving young people access to learning music, drama, art and coding. Called Creative Ireland, the five-year plan will involve local authorities. At the launch in the refurbished National Gallery, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the aim is to place culture at the centre of Irish people’s lives.
Creative Ireland intends to build on the legacy of the Ireland 2016 centenary programme which Concannon directed, working to the Minister for the Arts, Heather Humphreys. The plan for the next 12 months includes a pilot scheme to help self-employed artists who applied for Job Seekers Allowance and a new annual cultural day to be held on Easter Monday.
A culture team for every local authority nationwide will be established. Plans are being laid for an investment programme for Ireland’s cultural and heritage bodies and for developing Ireland as a worldwide hub for film, TV drama and animation. Concannon won Marketer of the Year in 2010 for Fáilte Ireland’s staycations campaign.
Concannon was later a joint runner-up for the award with Jim Miley for the input they made towards The Gathering which, in turn, led to him taking on the job of director for the Ireland 2016 centenary programme. A native of Tuam, Co Galway, he has FMCG experience, having worked with Unilever on rolling out HB’s Magnum luxury ice cream brand.
He chairs Gaisce, the President of Ireland’s award programme aimed at helping young people.
For more details on Creative Ireland, go to www.creative.ireland.ie