Compassionate Culture Networks at Irish Hospice Foundation

How do we build a Republic of Care? 

Since September 2021 we have been developing a Compassionate Culture Network across Ireland where artist-facilitators and support workers invited local communities to explore loss and grief.    

The aim was to explore how creativity helps establish places where people can talk openly about loss.  Each linked to local supporters, such as bereavement networks, HSE, families and friends, with projects building from local circumstances and opportunity.   

With thanks to additional funding from Rethink Ireland’s Impact Fund for Munster, the National Lottery and The Creative Ireland Programme, we were able to develop a second round of networks in Munster and North Dublin that brought learning from the first round and have helped us to understand the value of these programmes and ingredients for their success. 

Visit the region / county / city page to learn more. See “Munster” to access our initial research and independent external evaluation report. 

Networks around Ireland 2023

Dublin (Axis Ballymun)

Axis Ballymun in North Dublin are facilitating an awarding-winning safe space for brave and creative conversations about grief and loss. Aptly entitled ‘Deadly Conversation’ it takes place on the last Wednesday of every month from 1:30pm.


Four safe spaces were facilitated for people to have open and creative chats about loss, gently exploring how compassion connects, and share some 'deadly conversation', were made available in Limerick, Mallow, Bantry and Cahirciveen.

CCN crona gallagher leitrim

Leitrim Part One

Award-winning artist Cróna Gallagher joined forces with The Glens Centre in Manorhamilton to facilitate a series of compassionate creative conversations during March and April.

Leitrim Part Two

Shane Finan led an artist collective exploration of the intersection of grief and climate change using metaphors from the landscape in response to Leitrim’s rural setting.

Networks around Ireland 2021 - 2022

kildare compassionate culture 2021


Musicians Sadhbh O’Sullivan and Sharon Murphy of Embrace Music led a weekly group at the Arts & Culture Centre in McAuley Place, Naas, Co Kildare. Together they gently explored loss through creative journaling, music, movement and conversation.

Cork Compassionate Culture Network


Artist Tess Leak and Printmaker Mary Callaghan collectively explored loss through the creation of haiku-inspired poetry, drawing, and printmaking with groups in Bantry and Clonakilty, Co Cork.

kiluddery wicklow compassionate culture network


Performance maker Andrea Scott invited people to walk, talk, move, and explore what might be created from loss in the magnificent woods of Killruddery House in Bray, Co. Wicklow.


Theatre maker Johanne Webb facilitated a Grief Cafe in Galway City, with a particular focus on families, displacement, and the impact of losses at distance.

donegal compassionate culture


Visual artists Rebecca Strain and Martha McCullogh of ArtLink led a group in Buncrana to quietly explore grief and loss using a variety of slow, paper-based creative processes.


Dublin (Tallaght)

Jenny Macdonald and Jennifer Webster of SoloSIRENS used theatrical techniques to facilitate physical explorations of loss with an intergenerational, intercultural collective of local women at The Civic Theatre in Tallaght, Dublin 24.


Johnny Gogan will be developing the programme around the Glens Centre in Manorhamilton