Ballaghaderreen hosts creative jobs conference

Roscommon LEADER Partnership, along with development agency partners, held a major conference in Ballaghaderreen on Friday, July 22nd outlining the immense opportunity creative entrepreneurship has in creating new employment opportunities in the local community of Ballaghaderreen.

  Addressing the conference, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connell said: “I commend the agencies and the local community on focusing on the creative sector as a means to overcome economic challenges. Projects like these will make a difference; it is about shared knowledge and meaningful collaboration.

  “There is an inherent creative ability in our young people and to provide stepping stones to entrepreneurship is an astute undertaking.”

  Chairman of Roscommon LEADER Partnership, Micheál Frain, acknowledged Ballaghaderreen’s huge potential and the opportunity it presented for entrepreneurs in the creative sector. He said: “Underpinning this project is the desire to transform local communities, tackle dilapidated buildings while nurturing new creative entrepreneurs to set up their business in towns such as Ballaghaderreen.”

  The eclectic mix of speakers included Úna Burke, a multi-award winning luxury leather accessories designer and artist; Shane Deasy, founder of Irish Wi-Fi business called Bitbuzz; Alan Duggan, CEO of Tribal City Interactive, and a stalwart of the mobile games industry;  John Higgins, a passionate and proven advocate of rural communities; Brian McAuley of Dungannon Enterprise Centre, who oversaw the transformation of 13 steel shipping containers into enterprise hubs; Sarah Daly of Creative Spark in Louth and Deirdre Mortell, CEO of Social Innovation Fund Ireland, who all shared their knowledge of stimulating economies through the creative sector.

  Head of the Centre for Creative Arts and Media, Dr. Paddy Tobin of GMIT launched one of the first outputs of the project, a Toolkit for the Establishment of Creative Communities Regional Alliances. The toolkit is available to download on

  Senator Maura Hopkins outlined details on the Ignite Creative Pod, which will be a free coworking space and training centre for emerging entrepreneurs. She said: “The Ignite Creative Pod, located in the Ballaghaderreen Business Park, will not only provide a foundation, but also a springboard, for new and emerging entrepreneurs who have developed a feasible business model. As those entrepreneurs emerge, they will be encouraged to stay in Ballaghaderreen.”