Savina Donohoe.

Former museum curator appointed to board of Pobal

- Molly O'Reilly -

The former curator of County Cavan Museum has been named on the board of Pobal.

Savina Donohoe was appointed to the role by Minister Heather Humphreys late last month.

Pobal works on behalf of the Government to support communities and local agencies toward achieving social inclusion and development.

Ms Donohoe said she was privileged to be part of this “important work”.

She added: “Through my years of working in culture, education, peace and reconciliation and local government I have learned the value of collaboration, listening to people, and positive engagement.

“The voice of the lesser heard is important to me, and as a member of the board I will work to ensure change is achieved to improve the lives of others.”

In making the announcement, Minister Humphreys said that Ms Donohoe and a second appointment, Irene Gleeson, both bring “a wealth of experience and expertise to what is a particularly important body.

“The role of Pobal today is to provide management and support services to 41 programmes, schemes, and services in the areas of Social Inclusion and Equality, Inclusive Employment and Enterprise, and Early Years and Young People,” explained the Minister Humphreys.

Both new board members were selected following an appointment process, which was managed by the Public Appointments Service.

The Crosserlough native is best known for her role as curator at Cavan County Museum in Ballyjamesduff. Her tenure saw the installation of major attractions such as the WWI Trench Experience and the GPO experience, and also regular talks and concerts.

The county council paid tribute to Ms Donohoe on her retirement with Cllr Winston Bennett observing: “Savina ate, slept and drank the museum. Her dedication made it one of the finest museums in Ireland.”

Ms Donohoe also contributed significantly to the local arts sector.

“The arts are the beating heart of Cavan,” she told the Celt this week. “We have a wonderful arts community, with a wonderful group of artists.”

That said, Ms Donohoe feels further support is needed for creatives. While funding is key, support and encouragement are also helpful.

Ms Donohoe is a former chairperson of the Droimín Creatives, which is a group of artists who work together to promote events for artists and provide support. As such she is well aware of the talent and potential locally.

“We need to support, respect, and honour them. It takes artists a lot of time to get [to the point] where we see them,” remarked Ms Donohoe.

She highlighted events, such as the Cavan Arts Festival, as important platforms for budding artists. Likewise she regards Cavan Creative Ireland as “a fantastic resource promoting creativity and engagement for communities around the county” and the new artist studios in the Townhall Cavan as “another wonderful development”. Ms Donohoe also commended Cavan County Council and its Arts Office for its supporting the sector.

In her semi-retirement, Ms Donohoe is also looking forward to her involvement in a production in Ramor Theatre ‘Choral Society’ this April.

“If I’m, anything I’m passionate about Cavan.”