The ii – inishowen innovation - digital hub in Buncrana is delighted to announce a launch event for 'Irish Hands', a groundbreaking new e-commerce platform dedicated to selling unique handmade arts, crafts, clothing and homeware from Inishowen and the North West.

The launch event, which takes place from 2pm – 4pm on Friday the 7th of June 2024, is a call to all creatives from the North West (artists, artisans, designers & makers) to discover how the new platform offers each of them a free, customised, online store designed to showcase and sell their unique products locally, nationally and internationally.

Attendees will learn about the platform’s key features, including how Irish Hands will harness videos and social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, X, TikTok & YouTube to showcase local makers and their unique creations globally. They’ll also learn about “Inishowen’s sacred ancient triangle” – a term coined by Irish Hands founder Shane Kirby, consisting of a 6,000- year-old Neolithic settlement at Thornhill, prehistoric rock art sites, and the ancient ringfort Grianán of Aileach – and his claim that the peninsula and wider North West is the ancestral home of Irish arts, crafts and creative making.

The launch event for 'Irish Hands' is part of an open day at the ii in support of 'I Love Inishowen Day' – with multiple other events taking place across the peninsula on the following day (Saturday, 8th June 2024) in conjunction with Go Visit Inishowen.

Anne Marie McLaughlin, Innovation Manager at the ii, said: “We’re delighted to host the launch event for ‘Irish Hands’. This unique e-commerce platform is a fantastic opportunity for local creatives to share their incredible creations – as well as the history and culture of Inishowen - with a global audience. I urge all makers throughout Inishowen and the wider North West region to attend and hear more about this exciting new venture."

Lisa McLaughlin, Programme Manager at Go Visit Inishowen added: "I’ve met Shane Kirby on a number of occasions and have always been blown away by his passion and enthusiasm for the new “Irish Hands” project. Importantly, the platform will shine a light on our stunning peninsula and wider North West, which couldn’t help but inspire local artisans and makers to create wonderfully unique pieces of art, crafts, clothing and homeware - each imbued with the beauty of its surroundings and exclusive to our small part of the world."

Shane Kirby, founder of the new e-commerce platform 'Irish Hands' said: "Irish Hands is all about supporting local makers from Inishowen and the North West – with a focus on selling high quality products and promoting creative makers who are “bridging ancient traditions with contemporary flair! The launch event at the ii will provide an in-depth look at how Irish Hands will operate, the features and benefits for local creatives, and how it will also be “a treasure trove of history and heritage.” Indeed, I’m not only on a mission to highlight the beauty and brilliance of contemporary craftmanship, i.e., the “Best from the North West”, but also to be an advocate for the preservation of age-old techniques and traditions honed and passed down through generations of our local makers. I’d therefore like to take this opportunity to encourage as many makers and creatives as possible to come along to the launch event at the ii– and hopefully consider becoming part of the “Irish Hands” family in the future.”

Register for the Launch of “Irish Hands” during I Love Inishowen Open Day.


Would you like to know more?

Contact: Ianire Renobales

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