LAOIS County Council’s arts officer Muireann Ní Chonnaill received high praise from councillors when she unveiled the draft arts plan at last week’s monthly meeting of the council.
Muireann outlined the many projects that the arts office have undertaken, as well what they have planned and the venues the council has around the county dedicated to the arts.
These include galleries in Mountmellick and Abbeyleix libraries, a studio and apartment in Mountrath, the Arthouse in Stradbally and the Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise. Cathaoirleach Paul Mitchell commended Muireann for her work.
Cllr Marty Phelan congratulated Muireann, saying “you are doing an excellent job and people appreciate it. All these things count”. Cllr John Joe Fennelly welcomed the plan and told the arts officer that “Abbeyleix is being very well used. We definitely need arts in the county”.
Cllr Mary Sweeney said that the people are the foundation of the arts section. “There are a variety of opportunities for people with interest. It has been a resounding success for many small areas. There is an immense amount of art classes and exhibitions in the county. We all recognise the benefits both physically and mentally for people”.
Cllr Tom Mulhall also complimented Muireann and told the meeting, “she knows her job inside out”. Cllr Jerry Lodge added that Muireann “above any employee gets everyone singing positive about the good things in the county. Over the years you’ve built up our knowledge and presence throughout the county”/
Cllr Ray Cribbin said that the council did a good day’s work when they appointed Muireann and Kathleen O’ Brien and that Laois arts has gone from strength to strength.
County manager Peter Carey said that it was important that the council is “as innovative as possible”, adding that the most recent addition to Laois Arts - Music Generation - has brought economic investment to the county.