Spraoi agus Spórt
celebrates 10 year anniversary
SPRAOI agus Spórt in
Inishowen celebrates its’ 10 year anniversary in 2020.
Established during a challenging economic landscape in
2010, resilience has been a founding principle and one
of the many reasons it has become the heartbeat of the
community in Carndonagh. We speak to CEO & Co-founder
Helen Nolan and Manager Eimear McLaughlin to learn more
about the many initiatives currently in progress, how it
all began and future plans.
‘’The advice I have to people thinking of moving to
Carndonagh and Donegal is to go ahead and do it. The
work life balance, activities for children, cost of
living and quality of life is amazing. We have the
physical infrastructure and huge social and support
networks to help with the transition’’ said Helen.
Having made the move back herself from Dublin 13 years
ago with a young family, Helen is well placed to provide
Spraoi agus Spórt started out initially to provide a
permanent home for the Carndonagh Parent and Toddler
group and their motto then, which remains, was to
‘’respond to the needs of the community’’.
Today, as well as providing crucial services to youth
and families and winning multiple awards, Spraoi agus
Spórt has become an important social and enterprise hub
within the community. They have regenerated six vacant
buildings in Carndonagh with two more to come and have
created much needed employment locally.
Spraoi agus Spórt has created Fadó, a charity shop;
FabLab Inishowen, a digital fabrication laboratory and
through partnership with other organisations they
developed a co-working hub for remote workers and
business start-ups in the region.
Pictured left to right, Eimear McLaughlin
and Helen Nolan of Spraoi agus Spórt.
Earlier this year as the
pandemic took root in Ireland, Spraoi agus Spórt
recognising the needs of the community, rolled out
Project Cineál (Kindness) to help people in need across
several areas. As well as providing a helpline, foodbank
and online classes, through FabLab Inishowen visors were
produced for frontline workers in supermarkets, nursing
homes and businesses returning to work across Donegal.
This initiative received national coverage through RTE’s
Ireland on Call programme. Helen stated that the
enterprise ‘’from the beginning has been innovative. We
recognised a very real need for PPE within the community
and through our collaboration with the Nerve Centre in
Derry and our staff’s dedication and talent, we were
able to turn the project around quickly and
At a recent Public Consultation event focusing on
Carndonagh Regeneration, there was strong interest in
co-working spaces among attendees.’’ says Manager Eimear
Like most aspects of life, Covid-19 has made Spraoi agus
Spórt focus on how it will operate in the future.
‘’Developing an online presence for our charity shop
Fadó, the continuation of Inishowen Food Bank and
ongoing online delivery of classes are areas for us to
focus on now that may not have been a priority at the
start of the year’’ stated Eimear. Additionally CEO and
Co-Founder Helen stated ‘’at our core we are about
connecting people and changing lives, so we are also
looking at how we can extend our reach and positively
impact more communities’’. Considering what has been
achieved in the past 10 years this is certainly exciting
news for the current and future service users of Spraoi