The West’s Awake – Thank You!


The West’s Awake – Thank You! }
The West's Awake Community Weekend. Image: Vance Lau for Create

Here at Creative Places Tuam, we are so proud of the West’s Awake Community Weekend. What a couple of days we had, welcoming thousands of people to Tuam to engage with what the town does best – arts, creativity, music, and fun!

We welcomed over 15 musical acts to the West’s Awake Stage, and many more performers and audiences to performances in the Mall, Town Hall, Presentation College grounds, and across the town.

A huge thank you to Mike Connolly, his team and FUSE music for hosting the stage and supporting the show to go on despite the rain! Linda Martyn School of Irish Dancing jigged the house down whilst the music of; Comhaltas, The Tome Chanters, Jamie McIntyre, Siobhan Kelleher, Conor O’Donnell, Alana Mullins and Julie McHugh, Ellen Quinn Keane, Lennan Doyle, Kathleen Keenan, Jack Lee, Reylta, The Bog Project and New Beast.

We were delighted to launch the Patching Tuam exhibition in the library, and to celebrate the work made by the young people of Tuam  with textile artist Kathy Ross. Dozens of children and young people took part in the art workshops of Alanna Mullins and Louise O’Boyle, and hundreds of people used Tuam Herald poster type with Print Van Go to make their own piece of art.

We hosted short film screenings in the Mall Theatre, showing the works of SparkCatchers! and the Creative Youth Committe (CYC), Ruadhan Gormally, young people from Tuam and artists and film makers Jojo Hynes, James Ryan and Sheila Flannagan. The Art Academy at Bru Bhride opened its doors to welcome in the town and showcase an exhibition, printmaking with Martina Passman, traditional griddle cake making with Nora Ward, and music with Ray Hassey. The Synod Hall hosted an exhibition of work by 18 local artists; Sally Kearns, Kathy Ross, Karena Ryan, Louise O’Boyle, Aisling Holian, Miriam Cuddy, Rachel Varden, Jojo Hynes, Jennifer Cunningham, Martina Passman, Fiona Hession, Ann Harkin Peterson, Jen McHugh, Ruth McHugh, Marian Williams, Tim Acheson, Sarah Roarty, Clara Roarty, Nasir Suleman.

Whilst there, guests were welcome to visit St Mary’s Cathedral to appreciate the built heritage – a great opportunity to see the High Cross of Tuam! We also shared walking tours by local artists, writers, and musicians.

The Town Hall acted as a space of welcome, with Pavithra Kannan offering her Sip and Beyond community hosting event and Tuam Embracing Diversity’s Circle of Friends group meeting, as well as a relaxed DJ set from local artist Vicky Lanagan.

Downstairs we had SOUNDBITES share songs and stories and the spoken word of Jimi McDonnell, Kevin O’Dwyer, Louise Connaughton, Majella Kelly, Sally Mc Hugh and John Geraghty enraptured their audience.

Tuam Craft Fair abundant with local artisanal talent also ran all weekend, at the Miller’s House. GOCOM radio launched their Tuam space.

Drumadore brought their beat to the streets and guided people to the SparkCatchers! performance where we were wowed by spectacle & imagination by the CYC and artists Jojo Hynes and Midie Corcoran.

Ten poets led us on a trial through the town where we could read the words of Brian Óg McNamara, Christy Corcoran, Don Kerman, Emma O’Grady, Kevin O’Dwyer, Marian Williams, Midie Corcoran, Padraig Stevens, Sally McHugh and Seamus Ruttledge.

The Wests Awake would like to thank the people and town of Tuam for supporting this event.

To the Wests Awake Community Weekend working group, all the volunteers, local businesses, artists, musicians, makers, doers and supporters who made it happen – A huge and heartfelt thank you to you all!

Thanks to GOCOM Radio for featuring the Community Weekend. Thanks to all the business who provided locations for the poetry collection.

A special thanks must go to Sign Com and Junies, who supported our signage and bunting which you will have seen throughout the town!

This event is supported by Creative Places Tuam, Galway County Council Arts Service and The Saw Doctors.


Check out some photos from the weekend here.


This event is supported by Creative Places Tuam, Galway County Council Arts Service and The Saw Doctors.


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The West’s Awake!