GANS/ DCCoI info

Design & Craft Council of Ireland information

Design & Crafts Council of Ireland

AGM of DCCoI in Collins Barracks Tuesday 11th June

I ( Breda Fay) attended a very interesting AGM of the Craft Council today on your behalf. As members are elected to Council for a three year term there was no need for elections this year– thus shortening the proceedings. Breege O’Donoghue, chair of the Council gave an account of the year’s work. You can access this information on their site at:

Karen Hennessly, chief executive, closed the meeting  with a brief description of the many projects, home and abroad, that DCCoi had supported. She also emphasized the importance of GANS involvement with the Council, citing the organization of seminar for the afternoon “Creative Livelihoods” as a requirement suggested by GANS members.

She advised all members to look at the Craft Council’s Strategy 2017-2020 which can be easily accessed at She also advised that we all sign up the the Craft Council ezines which have lots of topical information especially for those who are in or interested in starting a business.

CEATIVE LIVELIHOODS: The Value of Craft in Communities

Five inspirational speakers who have taken small craft businesses into the 21st Century told their stories.

Lorna Mc Auley CEO of Harris Tweed talked about the centrality of the Harris Tweed industry to life on the Island of Harris and the rejuvenation of the industry since 2000. I think a visit to Harris in the Shetlands will be on every listener’s bucket list now.

Architect, Tara Kennedy, spoke about her project  “FREE MARKET” which showcased in Venice Architecture Biennale on the the myriad of challenges facing smaller Irish towns and villages and examining the role and opportunities for craft in this context. It will tour the 4 highlighted towns in July and August and would be well worth a visit –  Castleblaney and Macroom ( July) and Mountmellick and Kilmallock (August).

Colin Mc Callion, from eBay  highlighted the potential for rurally based enterprises to trade in a global economy and how eBay “adopted” a number of small companies and helped them develop their online presence and success.

Chupi Sweetman spoke about her growing her business from a one woman venture in a spare room to an on-line brand building in 64 countries through on-line and retail channels.

Eamonn Terry, previously a glass cutter from Waterford Glass told his story of his business, Criostal na Rinne’s development following Waterford Crystal’s closure. His story of giving contemporary life to historical skills had us spellbound.

A round Table discussion modulated by Padraig Casey, CEO of Ballyhoura Development CLG followed. Mentoring, support, building connections, starting small before going global, and staying true to your own story seemed to be the central themes in the development of business.


Notice of future meetings of GANS will be published on FELTMAKERS IRELAND site. As your rep I will attend the meetings and furnish a short account for the site. I will also post notice of upcoming meeting. I would advise that all members keep an eye on DCCoI site as well as Feltmakers Ireland so that they are aware of current happenings. Signing up to the Craft Council ezine would also be worthwhile.

  • GANS Representative: Breda Fay


GANS Information & Events

GANS Review and Re-Ignite Day, 27th May 2019

This was an energized and highly informative day.  The day was filled with presentations and opportunities to network with other Guilds, Associations, Networks and Societies (GANS).  Groups received feedback on the earlier GANS survey which focussed on organisational planning.  The Design Council of Ireland (DCCoI) gave an outline of how they might further support the GANS members to address the various challenges in the future.

Presentations were made by the DCCoI and their consultant on a number of topics including how to improve communications within our respective organisations, how to complete the Organisational Plan, how to write a grant application and we were introduced to crowd funding.

Excellent presentations were also delivered by three of the GANS members, the Patchwork Society, Leitrim Design House and Ceramics Ireland.

Following a short exercise which helped groups identify their particular strengths and challenges faced, each group was given the opportunity to have one to one consultation with a DCCoI staff member.  The advice received during this session is invaluable.

The networking opportunities gave us all the chance to discuss our many successes and the various challenges that each group faced.  Groups very quickly realised how much we all had in common!

All the groups were actively encouraged to support the manifesto towards a European strategy for crafts which is being championed by the World Crafts Council (Europe) of which the DCCoI is the Irish representative.  They are asking that all craft members support the call for a programme which will focus on the survival of crafts and skills transmission and innovation to future generations.  The manifesto needs a minimum of 100,000 signatures to make this a reality.   Craft organisations are also asked to sign up to it and to raise awareness among its membership.  If you would like to add your support can you please log onto the following link:


Heritage Ireland 2030, 28th May 20119

Further to our ( Feltmakers Ireland) submission to Heritage Ireland 2030, an Information Session was held in Dublin Castle Printworks (Lower Yard) on the 28 May. Attended by two members Helene & Trish.


CRAFTlink is the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s monthly email newsletter sent to registered clients and GANS containing regular updates on DCCoI news, opportunities, exhibitions and events.

CRAFTlink e-newsletters provide news on DCCoI and industry opportunitites and supports that are available to help you develop your enterprise. Click on past issues below here.

Craftlink 2019 Updates