Drumgoon and Tullyvin were amongst those to pick up awards at the Creative Lives Awards in Coventry.

Drumgoon and Tullyvin’s hooley in the cathedral

Never has there been so much reason for Cavan to celebrate in Coventry than over the last year.

The latest cause for celebration was the double win for Drumgoon Hill Old Graveyard at the Creative Lives Awards 2021 held in Coventry Cathedral last Saturday night.

Selected from a shortlist of 31 inspiring groups from across the UK and Ireland, the winners were chosen for helping people through the pressures of lockdown by offering ways to stay connected, feel supported and be creative.

Drumgoon Hill Old Graveyard claimed the People’s Choice Award, decided by public vote, and also received the runners-up award for the Creative Lives Ireland Award. The Black Box Projects in Belfast, won the Creative Lives Ireland Award.

Drumgoon’s joy follows success from their neighbouring parish at last year’s awards. Tullyvin Musical Society won the People’s Choice Award in 2021, but due to the pandemic were unable to collect their award last year. It made this year extra special as they joined the Drumgoon contingent to celebrate together at the 2022 awards bash.

Roseabby McGorry, chair of Drumgoon Hill Old Graveyard said: “We’re proud of the work that the Drumgoon Hill Old Graveyard team does, because of the many fantastic people it involves. Over the pandemic we delivered the online event Hooley in the House and this helped to safely showcase the wonderful talent and creativity of the Cavan area while overcoming the restrictions which impacted on the local community. We feel honoured, happy and humbled to be recognised.”

Roseabby was eager to stress the collective effort being recognised by the awards.

“The awards were proudly accepted as a token of appreciation for all the voluntary work and community spirit in the region.”

Culture Minister Catherine Martin congratulated Black Box and added of Drumgoon: “Set up five years ago in response to the local community wanting to clean and maintain an overgrown site, the same space soon saw several creative projects flourish. I would like to take this opportunity to applaud both groups for these outstanding achievements during such difficult times for local communities.”

Coventry - the UK City of Culture - was also where Cavan’s Laura O’Connor picked up the Turner Prize for Belfast arts collective ‘Array’ last year.