Craft makers from County Kilkenny were among those to attend the closing ceremony for the Craft Council of Ireland’s 2011 Year of Craft in Dublin’s RDS last week.
The Crafts Council, whose headquarters is in Kilkenny’s Craft Yard, says the initiative will help to sustain thousands of jobs in the sector into the future.
“Research conducted by Indecon estimates that the craft industry contributes almost €500 million to the Irish economy and employs over 5,700 people. The overall aim of our Year of Craft initiative has been to promote Irish craft in order to sustain and grow this economically significant sector,” said Crafts Council CEO Karen Hennessy.
“The feedback we have received to date indicates that the awareness of Irish craft which resulted from Year of Craft 2011 activities has given a boost to many craft enterprises. While the economic downturn has meant that craft businesses throughout the country have continued to be under pressure during the last 12 months, we hope that everyone involved in the Irish craft sector will experience the long term benefits of Year of Craft 2011 in the years to come,” she said.
Despite the Year of Craft coming to an end, Ms Hennessy said that a programme of events for 2012 is already under way to promote and expand the Irish craft industry at home and abroad.