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Mountshannon art show benefits local charities


TWO Clare-based charities have benefitted from the very first fundraising exhibition organised by Mountshannon Arts. 

Entitled ‘Hush Hush’, the exhibition was the brainchild of Tara Considine, an art lover and local librarian who brought the idea to Mountshannon Arts committee. Hosted by Scariff Library, the show allowed members of the public to buy a painting for €40. Only when they collected their piece, did they discover the identity of the artist. This week, the proceeds were donated to Clare Haven Service who offer refuge, support and safety to women and children subjected to domestic abuse; and Every Child Ireland, who work to establish an ongoing back-to-school assistance fund for children living in Direct Provision. 

University of Limerick (UL) Arts Officer, Patricia Moriarty opened the exhibition at Raw Café in Killaloe at the end of November and the exhibition continued mid-December.

Two hundred pieces of original work were submitted by artists from all over Ireland, Europe and the USA. Children from Mountshannon National School also took part and submitted their original art which sold for €20.

A total of €4,000 was raised and Mel White, Chair of Mountshannon Arts said members were delighted with the result. “We are absolutely blown away by the amount of support we have received for our very first Hush Hush exhibition,” she said, “first of all from the artists involved who gave freely of their time and talent, and secondly from everyone who purchased pieces both on our opening night, online and also during the exhibition in Scariff Library. We hope that these funds go some way to helping our chosen charities in their endeavours.”

Donnah Sibanda Vuma founder of Every Child Ireland, and Dr Siobhán O’Connor, manager of services in Clare Haven, have expressed their thanks for the initiative which came at the end of another year of limited revenue generation opportunities.

“I was honoured to be asked to speak at the opening on November 25, which was so apt as that date is also the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women” Dr O’Connor said. “The goodwill that was expressed to me that evening and the generosity as evidenced by the amount raised is encouraging. It showed that despite the awfulness of the situation, the kindness that people have shown in this creative initiative will assist us address the scourge of domestic abuse in the county.”

Donna Sibanda Vuma said: “Every Child is Your Child was set up with the intention of establishing an ongoing fund to assist children living in Direct Provision with back-to-school provisions such as uniform, stationary, books and to assist with school related cost such as book rental and extra-curricular activities.

“We are extremely grateful for the support and inclusion shown by Mountshannon Arts through initiatives such as the Hush Hush Exhibition. This initiative has not only helped us with the necessary funds to continue our mission but also does an amazing job at raising awareness about the plight of people seeking asylum in the country and living in the Direct Provision system. We are so grateful to everyone who supported Hush Hush and we are especially proud of the children at Mountshannon primary school for the gentle reminder that empathy goes a mighty long way.”

There are a still very limited number of pieces still available in the lead-in to Christmas, with all profits going directly to the charities on Mountshannonarts.ie/hush-hush-shop

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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