I am delighted to have been awarded the Mayo County Council bursary for the Tyrone Guthrie centre. I have heard great things about the lovely artist retreat centre and I hope to make the best of my time there.

Mayo County Council Tyrone Guthrie Regional Bursary Scheme 2014 Recipients Announced


Every year Mayo County Council offers two bursary awards to artists born or living in Mayo, to enable them to spend two weeks at theTyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, County Monaghan.  Each bursary covers the costs for a two-week period, plus the use of a studio if relevant. There are a variety of artist work spaces available including studios, a music room for composers and musicians, a multi-media room and a large rehearsal and performance space.

The Tyrone Guthrie Centre is a residential workplace for artists, dedicated to supporting and facilitating creativity within a welcoming and trusted environment and it is an established and central part of cultural life in Ireland being the largest residency of its type for artists in this country. The centre at Annaghmakerrig is universally well-regarded for successfully providing a creative space outside everyday life, which gives artists time and space to focus on ideas and work.

The Mayo County Council Tyrone Guthrie bursaries are advertised annually and are open to practitioners in all art forms born or domiciled within County Mayo. Applicants need to show significant achievement in their chosen field, e.g. visual artists should have had one-person shows in reputable galleries and composers or musicians should have had their work commissioned, recorded or performed or whatever might be appropriate to the particular art form. Otherwise the applicant must demonstrate a high degree of promise attested by references or other forms of support from established figures in the arts.


All submissions are assessed by an independent, expert panel who were extremely impressed with the quality and standard this year. This year’s successful applicants are harpist Laoise Kelly and playwright and actor Andrea Cleary.


Laoise Kelly from Westport, now living in Achill, is regarded as “the most significant harper of her generation”. She has two critically acclaimed solo albums ‘Just Harp’ and ‘Ceis’, and ‘The Wishing Well’ a live duo album with the Clare fiddler, Michelle O’Brien.  Laoise was a founding member of traditional group ‘The Bumblebees’ with whom she recorded two albums and toured extensively. Throughout her solo career she has recorded with many of Ireland’s foremost artists including The Chieftains, Christy Moore, Sharon Shannon, Dónal Lunny, Tommy Makem, Matt Molloy, John Hoban, Mary Black, Maighread & Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, Eimear Quinn as well as Kate Bush and American country/bluegrass icon Tim O’Brien. “Laoise Kelly is a young harpist with the disposition of an iconoclast and the talent and technique of a virtuoso.” Irish Times.


Playwright and Actor Andrea Cleary from Hollymount studied at Swansea Metropolitan University, Wales graduating with a B.A (hons) in Performing Arts and Theatre Studies. She has been working in theatre for over 7 years. She is the co-founder of Maylin Productions, a theatre company that has been producing new writing since 2010. She wrote and directed The Curious Case of the Stoneybatter Strangler, which premiered at 2013’s Dublin Fringe Festival. Other writing credits include Neighbours, The Book and she wrote two short plays which were included in the show, 60 minutes in Dublin, performed last year in the 10 days in Dublin Festival as well as being revived and produced by the New Theatre last December.