Arts award for In Your Space woman Cath

Cath McBride, from In Your Space, with her Ann O'Donoghue Arts Council of Northern Ireland Bursary this week. DER2815MC061
Cath McBride, from In Your Space, with her Ann O'Donoghue Arts Council of Northern Ireland Bursary this week. DER2815MC061

The Arts Council has announced that Cath McBride of In Your Space, is to receive the Anne O’Donoghue Award.

A new funding award unveiled earlier this year, it is part of the Arts Council’s continuing commitment to support artists and a sustainable arts sector, and is in memory of Anne O’Donoghue, Director of Play Resource Warehouse, one of the arts sector’s most important figures. It is worth up to a maximum of £5,000.

Anne O'Donaghue

Anne O'Donaghue

Award recipient, Cath McBride, said she was “absolutely delighted” to have received the award.

“Anne was a fantastic inspiration for all of us working in arts administration and community arts. I aim to use this award to not just enhance my career but to support access to the arts for people across Northern Ireland,” said Cath.

“My plan is to undertake a period of mentoring with a leading figure in the community, voluntary sector and to carry out two study visits to internationally renowned UK arts organisations, Chicken Shed and Seachange. The aim of this will be to develop specific areas of my career around fundraising and organisational Management and to apply this learning to advance the important work of In Your Space Circus.”

Anne O’Donoghue’s legacy is significant joining the Play Resource Warehouse in 1984 where she remained as a committed director for thirty years championing Community Arts practice.

The Anne O’Donoghue Award aims to support training courses, mentoring, coaching supervision, research or national and international cultural exchanges. The award also aims to build the professional capacity of those working in the community arts sector through continuing professional development.

Speaking about the award established in Anne’s memory, her husband, Eamon McMahon, said: “Anne was committed to very high standards, mediated by a caring management approach and a strong faith in the capacity of her team to develop to their fullest potential.

“As a manager she was always guided by the morale of the team, which she believed to be the strongest indicator of the health and overall functioning of the organisation. Anne was very clear in her own mind that she, ultimately, was accountable for this. This helped to create a team ethos and an atmosphere in Play Resource, which mirrored Anne’s own positive and enthusiastic outlook, that was welcomed and constantly remarked upon by its staff and its users.

“Anne was never complacent about the running of the organisation. She was a great believer in development of effective systems, and the continual monitoring and evaluation of these, in that sense she was always restless to improve. But it was her strength of vision, more than anything else, which guided everything she did, she had a real clarity of vision about what it was that Play resource was trying to achieve, and why they were there in the first place.

“Anne certainly delivered on that, and along the way helped Play Resource to become what is in many ways the largest cross community organisation here.”

For further information on funding for artists and organisations visit