Pictured at the Amber Stars for Yulefest star installation in the Castle Yard for Yulefest Kilkenny Festival are Meabh O’Sullivan (9), Kells and Sadie Morris (6), Dublin Road, Kilkenny
Amber’s One Million Stars Ireland project celebrated its second birthday recently, announcing that star weavers from Kilkenny and across the country have helped the project reach the significant milestone of 100,000 stars.
The inclusive community arts project, which connects communities across Ireland in solidarity against domestic abuse and all forms of violence, was formed in Kilkenny in 2019. Part of the global One Billion Stars project, founded in Australia in 2012 by artist Maryann Talia Pau after the rape and murder of an Irish woman living in Melbourne, the One Million Stars Ireland project was brought to Ireland by Art Therapist Siobhan McQuillan and Amber Women’s Refuge.
Stars woven by at-home star weavers, local businesses and community based weaving groups in Kilkenny are curated into Amber’s travelling ‘LOVE’ star installation, which is currently part of the Amber Stars for Yulefest installation at the Castle Yard. Each eight-point star represents light, hope and solidarity against violence and promotes the project’s eight points of healthy love within relationships.
At the project’s launch in the Newpark Family Resource Centre in November 2019, ten stars were woven by survivors of domestic violence and abuse. There are now star weaving communities in 17 other counties, who together with Kilkenny based weavers, have to date woven 100,000 stars to end violence in Ireland. The youngest star weaver is five years of age, the eldest is 89.
“We are so excited to have already reached this significant milestone of 100,000 stars in Ireland. We are well on our way and on track to reach our goal of One Million Stars to end violence in Ireland. I’d like to thank the committed star weavers, star weaving groups and valued volunteers across Kilkenny who have been instrumental in helping us reach this milestone.“ said Siobhan McQuillan, Project Lead, Amber’s One Million Stars Ireland.
Amber is calling on families, businesses and community groups in Kilkenny to weave stars to help them reach the next milestone. Register as a star weaver at www.onemillionstarsireland.ie to receive a star weaving pack. Weavers can tie their stars on LOVE or on one of the star spangled Yulefest Christmas trees at the Amber Stars for Yulefest installation. Visitors to Yulefest can take photos inside the Amber Star, a new addition to the LOVE star installation. The Amber Star was designed and donated by local company CDS Architectural Metalwork for Amber Stars for Yulefest. People are encouraged to get pictures with their family and friends inside the Star #onemillionstarsireland and share them on social media, tagging @amberwomensrefuge and @irelandstarweavers, to spread a message of hope for a future free from violence and abuse for all.
“Amber Women’s Refuge is proud to be the creator and driver of the One Million Stars Ireland project. Over the last two years, the project has gained real momentum within communities across Ireland, which has helped us reach this important milestone. The project started with 10 stars at its launch in 2019. The 100,000 stars milestone represents a phenomenal 10,000% growth rate, made possible by committed star weavers in Kilkenny and beyond” said Lisa Morris, Manager Amber Women’s Refuge.
The Amber Stars for Yulefest installation is part of Amber Women’s Refuge programme of awareness raising and community engagement for the global 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence. Amber launched its #womenbehindthenumbers campaign on day one of the 16 Days of Activism. A series of audio recordings of local women who are survivors of domestic violence and abuse, #thewomenbehindthenumbers campaign seeks to highlight the real women’s experiences behind the statistic of one in four Irish women experiencing domestic abuse. The recordings are available at www.amberwomensrefuge.ie.
Amber Women’s Refuge provides emergency refuge accommodation, support and information services and a 24hr Helpline to women and children in Kilkenny and Carlow who are victims of domestic violence and abuse. Amber also provides safe, inclusive, community-based support services in Kilkenny city and county and throughout county Carlow to women and children living with or fleeing the serious crime of domestic abuse. Amber Women’s Refuge works to achieve equality and the right to live a life free from violence and abuse for all in our community.
1 in 4 Irish women and 1 in 7 Irish men will experience abuse from an intimate partner in their lifetime. 1 in 2 women murdered in Ireland are murdered by an intimate partner. Donations can be made at www.amberwomensrefuge.ie.
Amber Women’s Refuge 0818 42 42 44
Men’s Aid Ireland 01 554 3811
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.