Sabina Higgins officially launches Saolta Arts, a new programme which includes Sligo University Hospital

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Leitrim Observer Reporter

Sabina Higgins officially launches Saolta Arts, a new programme which includes Sligo University Hospital

Marielle MacLeman, Saolta Arts Lead Artist; artist Aoife Barrett; Sabina Higgins and Margaret Flannery, Saolta Arts Director.

Sabina Higgins, wife of President Michael D Higgins, has this week officially launched Saolta Arts, the new name for the arts programme in the Saolta Hospital Group which been extended to include Sligo University Hospital along with the hospitals in Roscommon, Portiuncula, Mayo and Letterkenny.

Mrs Higgins also formally launched Offset, a new exhibition in University Hospital Galway.

Speaking at the launch Mrs Higgins said, “The theme of place, its identity, and the sense of belonging and rootedness with which it provides us is something that the President and I return to frequently at events and in our addresses. It is one of the most fundamental human needs, and something with which we Irish have a deep resonance for a variety of reasons, including cultural and historical.”

“The Offset exhibition being launched today is truly a celebration of some of the insights and contributions that both our youngest and oldest generations make to society. I wish to thank Saolta Arts and Saolta University Hospital Healthcare Group once again for their kind invitation today, and I look forward very much to viewing some of the stimulating, heart-warming and beautiful pieces on show.”

Margaret Flannery, Saolta Arts Director commented, “Saolta Arts aims to deliver a high quality arts programme to enhance the wellbeing and hospital experience for everyone in the Saolta Group of hospitals. Our participative arts programme is facilitated by professional artists who tailor workshops to the individual needs and interests of patients while drawing from their own arts practices. The creative process promotes independence otherwise limited by ill health and the creative achievements of participants can help them to re-evaluate their abilities in the face of change.”

Grainne McCann, General Manager of Sligo University Hospitals added, “The arts agenda fits well with our Green Campus agenda to improve the hospital environment for current users of the hospital and for future generations to come. I look forward to the roll out of further arts projects under Saolta Arts to help us enhance the hospital experience for patients, visitors and staff.”

Ann Cosgrove, Chief Operations Officer with the Saolta Group said, “There is growing recognition of the value and impact of the arts on health and wellbeing. For many years patients and staff at Galway University Hospitals have had access to and benefited from this.  Saolta Arts will now bring the arts programme to all the hospitals in our Group which will enhance the hospital environment for patients, staff and visitors. We are very grateful to Mrs Sabina Higgins for taking the time to join us and officially launch Saolta Arts on the Group’s behalf.”