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The 33rd Dunlavin Arts Festival ran from June 19 until June 21. The festival comprised of art exhibitions, music from local musicians, children’s entertainment, dance workshops and a walking historical tour of the town, plus much more besides.

Speaking from the festival launch in Dunlavin, Fine Gael TD for Wicklow and Minister of State Simon Harris stated, “It is truly remarkable what a small village can achieve in producing this impressive and successful arts festival. The host of talent on display from local artists is inspiring. Well done to the Dunlavin Arts Festival Committee, with whom I met recently, and the entire community for its continuing success in organising the festival. There is little wonder how and why the Dunlavin Arts Festival has reached its 33rd year. Such events are a testament to the local community and showcase the power of community spirit, which Dunlavin so clearly demonstrates,” concluded Minister Harris.

Minister Harris has also encouraged members of the public, patients, patient representative groups, carers, voluntary organisations, healthcare providers and healthcare professionals to take part in the consultation which will shape the National Cancer Strategy for 2016-2025.

A Cancer Strategy Steering Group was recently established to advise the Department of Health on the development of a Strategy. The consultation process will inform the work of this Steering Group.

The consultation process is now open and the consultation document can be accessed from the Department of Health’s website. The document may be submitted by email to or by post to: Cancer Strategy Public Consultation, Department of Health, Hawkins House, Hawkins Street, Dublin 2. The closing date for submission of the document is July 24.

Harris Dunlavin fest

Minister Harris with Una Deering at the launch of Dunlavin Arts Festival

Speaking on the launch of the public consultation, Minister Harris stated, “It is a tough reality that there isn’t a family in the country which hasn’t been affected by cancer. Following the last two cancer strategies, cancer survival rates continue to improve. The objective of the National Cancer Strategy for 2016-2025 is to ensure that Ireland’s cancer care is among the best in the world. This new strategy comes in addition to the extension of the BreastCheck screening programme, announced in Budget 2015, to include women in the 65-69 age group. This will mean that an additional 100,000 women will be taking part in the BreastCheck screening process.

“Given the very large number of people in our communities who have been affected by cancer I am hopeful that the work which this Government is carrying out to address this disease will mean that less families will have to go through the hardship which cancer can bring. I encourage members of the public to participate in the consultation process which will shape the new Cancer Strategy,” concluded Minister Harris.

Harris has also welcomed the ‘New Ideas in Ancient Spaces’ Capital Grants Scheme to encourage the development of visitor experience in Wicklow as part of the new Ireland’s Ancient East tourism initiative. Ireland’s Ancient East is Fáilte Ireland’s new tourism initiative which builds on the wealth of historical and cultural assets in the east and south of Ireland. Fáilte Ireland aims to have the brand up and running in time for the 2016 tourism season. The New Ideas in Ancient Spaces Capital Grants Scheme will encourage the development of compelling visitor experiences throughout Ireland’s Ancient East. This funding is the first phase of the Capital Grants Scheme for the brand, and it is envisaged that further funding schemes will follow. The scheme will favour projects which promote a destination that is easy and enjoyable to explore; a location that is rich in heritage experiences and which links to other sites across the region.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to discuss their proposal with Fáilte Ireland before submitting an application form, which can be requested from Completed applications must be submitted by 12 noon on July 13.

Speaking on this funding announcement today, Minister Harris stated, “I am very pleased that Fáilte Ireland is now accepting applications for the first phase of the capital grants scheme for Ireland’s Ancient East, a fantastic new tourism initiative which sees Wicklow playing a key role. Since the launch of Ireland’s Ancient East just a few months ago, I have received very positive feedback from Wicklow businesses and tourism operators. I look forward to working with local communities throughout Wicklow in order to capitalise on this new tourism initiative.

“Fáilte Ireland has high expectations for Wicklow’s role in this ambitious and exciting project. I am confident that community groups and businesses in the tourism sector in Wicklow will reap the rewards of this initiative which will be a welcome boost to our economy,” concluded Minister Harris.


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