Image shown: James O'Flynn from The Claddagh Rogues. Photo credit: Tomasz Madajczak.

The Wicklow Music and Health Gathering will take place in the Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, on Thursday 1 June 2017. This gathering has been organised by Alchemy Music with the aim of highlighting the efficacy of arts engagement as a component of the Recovery Model of mental healthcare and to spotlight some of the valuable work taking place in Wicklow. 

The Gathering will take place from 11am-1pm and will include:

  • presentations on three recent ‘Music and Mental Health’ pilot projects in Wicklow
  • a discussion led by Kevin O’Shanahan, Clinical Nurse Specialist /Arts and Mental Health Manager for  West Cork Mental Health Services, on the role of the arts in supporting mental health
  • first-person testimony on the therapeutic benefits of music as a component of the Recovery Model
  • musical performances, including The Claddagh Rogues
  • tea and a chat

The hosting of this event is generously supported by The Mermaid Arts Centre.

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Wicklow ‘Music and Mental Health’ pilot projects 
There have been three ‘Music and Mental Health’ pilot projects running in Wicklow during the last few months at Kilmullen Enterprise Centre, Newcastle Hospital; Portview Day Care Centre, Arklow; and Lincara Centre, Bray.

These projects are running under the aegis of Alchemy Music and have been made possible with the support of Wicklow County Arts Office and the Community Education Service of the Kildare-Wicklow Education and Training Board. The projects have received advice and support from Kevin O’Shanahan.

The pilot projects have incorporated weekly music sessions at the Centres led by experienced music faciltators – working through song, poetry, creative composition and relaxation.

Alchemy Music is a Wicklow-based, not-for-profit, ‘music in the communty’ initiative – dedicated to making music that connects people through the production of powerful cross-genre musical events and community projects that unite, engage and uplift. Projects they have spearheaded (including Féile Londubh, formerly Féile Heaney) have been funded by Wicklow Arts Office, The Arts Council, Kidare-Wicklow Education and Training Board and Music Generation Wicklow. Eamon Sweeney and Rachel Factor, Ashford-based professional musicians, are co-directors of Alchemy Music

The Claddagh Rogues started life during an artist-in-resident project at the Cork Simon Community in 2007, led by musician Kevin O’Shanahan.  Lead singer and songwriter, James O’ Flynn explores in song, experiences of homelessness, addiction, mental health difficulties and  recovery.  Throughout 2017 and 2018, The Claddagh Rogues will be touring their new album For the Record across Ireland. The Claddagh Rogues are supported by HSE South’s Cork Arts and Health Programme, Cork City Arts Office, Cork Mental Health Services and MusicAlive. For the Record is available as a download and a limited-edition vinyl album from


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