DCCI Keep Well Campaign

keep well bench
New DCCI-funded lace bench in front of Headford Library in St. Fursa’s Hall, Headford.

As part of the Irish Government’s Keep Well campaign Switching Off and Being Creative strand, an innovative Sláintecare funded collaboration between Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) and Healthy Ireland provided funding to HLP to create a new lace bench for the town of Headford. This was part of the Government plan for living with Covid-19 to promote individual and community resilience and ran until March 2021 with its delivery through libraries nationwide. HLP was selected as one of nine projects nationally. HLP commissioned Conor Murray of Kilkee Forge, a professional member of DCCI, to create the lace bench. HLP had previously worked with Conor to create another bench for the Community Orchard. Conor decided to keep the intricate lace pattern the same to provide continuity but altered the shape of the bench. The blending of two heritage crafts lacemaking and blacksmithing resulted in a second beautiful lace bench. As the bench is 2m long it provided a safe place for people to sit outdoors during the pandemic. The lace bench embeds the rich history of bobbin lacemaking, going back to the mid-1700s, into the fabric of the town. Another point of interest has been created for the Lace Maker’s Shoes walking tour linking it to the bench at the other end of the town. HLP are grateful to St. Fursa’s Hall Committee for permission to site the bench there, CE scheme for the ground works and the painting of the hall. We wish to acknowledge the support of DCCI and Mary Whelan, Client Liaison Officer for this project.