| 12.7°C Dublin

Lyre basket maker shines at national crafts showcase

A Lyre-based artisan who hand crafts spectacular willow baskets is 'going international' after showcasing her wares to buyers from across the globe at a showcase trade fair event in Dublin's RDS.

Diane Carton of Saille Baskets was highly commended for her creations in the 'Craft Awards' category by judges at the recent Local Enterprise Office (LEO) 2020 'Making It Happen Showcase 2020' event in the capital. 

Diane was one of four artisans from the Cork North & West Cork LEO whose wares were on show at the events, the others being Diane Wisdom of Heirloom Seals, who is reviving the traditional of crafted wax seal stamps; Bert Defour of The Designer of Things with his collection of lighthouse prints and Kata O'Donovan's 'Cotton Caterpillar' collection of designer clothes. 

Dr Orlaigh Quinn, secretary general at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, said trade fairs such as the one at the RDS were "instrumental to sustaining and developing Ireland's innovative design and craft sector." 

"The sector makes an immense contribution to our economy and culture and provides vital sustainable employment and showcase events such as this offer trade buyers a unique opportunity to meet with hundreds of enterprising Irish companies," said Dr Quinn. 

"For exhibitors keen to diversify or extend their market presence internationally, this is where they can connect with buyers from around the world and secure orders, enabling them to build resilience and maximise their potential to scale and grow," she added. 

The head of enterprise with the Cork North & West Cork LEO, Kevin Curran, said the four local businesses in the showcase were prime examples of how his office has helped promote indigenous artisan producers. 

"Our aim is to discover local potential and nurture that talent through financial supports, mentoring, training and networking opportunities," said Mr Curran. 

"It is our intention to continue and support all business the best way we can. If research indicates that specific initiatives will help us to help business grow then we will provide them. We will also continue to run a full range of training programmes and  we believe that we are providing a range of supports that will suit everyone's requirements," he said. 

For more information about the LEO and its various initiatives visit