We Are Hiring a Coordinator for ‘Across the Lines’

The Glens Centre seeks a Coordinator for “Across the Lines”, an ambitious new cross border and cross community programme using cultural activities to promote community development and cohesion in Leitrim and Fermanagh. The project is funded by the International Fund for Ireland.

We are looking for an imaginative, energetic, highly skilled and well organised person with relevant work experience to do this demanding but rewarding job.

The Glens Centre is a small, vibrant arts centre in Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim. Based in the town’s old Methodist church, at the Glens we offer a wide range of artistic and cultural activities including performances of music, theatre and literature. We also provide space for groups to meet, for choirs to practise, and for performers to rehearse. We offer state of the art recording facilities for musicians, as well as music, drama and art classes. We are open to all and provide our services at affordable prices in a community that faces economic challenges. We are funded by the Arts Council and Leitrim County Council. See our website:

Job Description

“Across the Lines” is an exciting new initiative led by the Glens Centre and funded by the International Fund for Ireland through its Peace Impact Programme. The overall aim is to further peace, prosperity and good relationships between communities, groups and individuals in this border region. Led by a Steering Group drawn from local community based groups, “Across the Lines” will deliver a number of innovative projects.

These include:
• “She Can Be Anything” – a development programme for young women, in conjunction with the North Leitrim Women’s Centre

  • “We Are Strong” – a life story telling project for men, in conjunction with the North Leitrim Men’s Group [this project commences mid May 2017]
  • A Creative Industries skills training programme for young people run by the Glens Centre
  • “The Other Side of the Tracks” – a participative theatre project about the Sligo- Enniskillen railway line, with the participation of Kabosh, the Belfast based site specific theatre company and other local theatre groups and historical societies
  • “Songlines Along the Border” – a research and creative project in conjunction with local schools, musicians and others.The Coordinator:
  • will set up an advisory steering group consisting of the Glens Centre and its partnersin the “Across the Lines” programme
  • will organise and facilitate meetings of the steering group
  • will work on behalf of the Glens Centre to plan, set up and oversee the delivery byprogramme partners of a range of cross community and cross border projects
  • will work with a diverse range of groups, trainers, artists, musicians and others andwill have overall responsibility for ensuring the smooth running of all projects and for ensuring that all projects are working on a cross border and cross community basis, promoting diversity and respecting the equality of all participants.
  • will organise marketing and publicity work to ensure that “Across the Lines” gains an appropriate public profile
  • will ensure that all legal requirements are met in both jurisdictions
  • will ensure that all Glens Centre policies, notably those involving Child Protectionand Health and Safety, are adhered to within all projects
  • will run “Across the Lines” in accordance with the good governance principlesrequired by the Board of the Glens Centre, and in keeping with the regulations setdown by the IFI.
  • will undertake training as required to gain new skills
  • will be willing to be flexible, undertaking on occasion other tasks outside of jobdescription if required
  • will be willing to work flexible hours including evenings and weekendsSalary: the coordinator will work for 28 hours a week and the salary is €25,282 gross.A Technical Coordinator will be employed alongside the Coordinator on a part time basis, and a part time Administrator/Finance officer will also be employed. Staff at the Glens Centre will provide back-up support.

    The Coordinator will be required to take initiative and will have a considerable degree of autonomy but will report to the Director of the Glens Centre as overall governance for the project rests with the Board of the Glens Centre.

The candidate we are looking for will have:

  • at least 3 years of relevant work experience at a senior level in the field of community development/peace building/community arts or related areas
  • previous experience of working on a cross community/cross border basis or of work involving the promotion of diversity and equality in community settings
  • third level education would be an advantage
  • excellent communication skills and ability to work with diverse range of people
  • project management skills
  • capacity building skills
  • good report writing skills
  • advanced administrative skills including ability to handle finances and budgets
  • confidence in use of computers and office software
  • driver’s license and own transportThe Coordinator will be based at the Glens Centre in Manorhamilton and will be required to travel, mainly within Leitrim and Fermanagh.Closing date for applications is 12 noon on 11 May 2017. Shortlisted candidates will be notified on or by 16 May. Interviews will be held on 23 May.

    Please supply the names of 2 referees including if possible your present employer. Appointment will be subject to good references and to Garda vetting rules.

    Please send a letter of application along with a copy of your CV by email to with subject IFI Co-ordinator application.


Writer in Residence: Michael P MacDonald

The Glens Centre is delighted to say that in mid May we will welcome the acclaimed Irish American writer and activist Michael P MacDonald as our writer in residence and as the director of the first project within our new “Across the Lines” community programme. Michael’s first book, “All Souls”, was a New York Times bestseller, and was followed by “Easter Rising” – he is currently working on a third volume of his memoir. “Across the Lines” is an exciting programme which will see us work with local community groups in Leitrim and Fermanagh on a range of creative new projects involving diverse communities, and with activities for all, from the very young to the elderly. We will create jobs, we will build relationships,we will make music and theatre, and we will provide training. The programme is funded for two years by the International Fund for Ireland under its Peace Impact Programme. All of the projects will be run on a cross border and cross community basis.

Michael will work with a group of men from Leitrim and Fermanagh, hosted by the North Leitrim Men’s Group in Manorhamilton, with cross border visits. He will deliver a 5 week project called “We Are Strong” after the song by Manorhamilton’s favourite singer songwriter, Damien Dempsey.

Michael has developed a programme called “The Rest of the Story” which has seen him working in a range of communities in the US helping people find their own voice. Here is what he says about this work: “Having grown up in a community with extreme poverty and a gangster-imposed ‘code of silence,’ I was fortunate to find the way forward in the aftermath of multiple family deaths and and the stunned speechlessness of complex PTSD. That way forward began with voice. Whether through community organizing, speaking, or writing, that voice then made my agency in the world not simply possible but inevitable.”

Here is what novelist Colum McCann said about him: MacDonald’s gift is that he guides us with vision, insight, humor, and the clear, chiseled word. His is a rare sleight of hand. But beyond his ability to bring the streets to the printed page, MacDonald breathes added life into those words, assisting others – especially those who come from poverty and trauma – to discover their voices. In this way he is bringing his “ear for dialogue” (The Washington Post) to the service of healthy and compassionate communities.
Brought up in Boston and now living in Brooklyn, Michael’s roots are in Donegal and Kerry. As well as working with the Men’s Group he will be writer in residence at the Glens from mid May to mid June and will take part in events and do a reading from his own work. He will also work on his own writing. “I am excited about anchoring myself in Leitrim in May and June,” he says. “My next book is non fiction set in the traumatized urban world of poverty, violence and substance abuse which I come from in America. But I also “come from” rural Ireland, as my family is from Inishowen Donegal and Cordal, Sliabh Luachra in Kerry. For much of my adult life, the rural landscape, culture and people of Ireland have inspired my bigger-picture perspective and pay-it-forward ethos, which continues to be a source of resilience and healing for me.”

Michael will be keen to meet and talk with local writers – please contact him through the Glens Centre.


Press Release from the Glens Centre

The Glens Centre has won funding for an exciting two year programme called “Across the Lines” which will see it work with community groups in Leitrim and Fermanagh on projects which use creativity and the arts to forge cross community and cross border relationships. As lead partner in a network of arts and community organisations, the Glens Centre will provide high quality training, support the creation of new works for performance, and create jobs and work opportunities. The funding, from the International Fund for Ireland, amounts of €181,000 over two years. “We are thrilled to have been awarded these funds under the IFI’s Peace Impact Programme,” said Glens Centre director, Susan McKay. “We have designed a range of fantastic projects and we are confident that, working with local community groups and arts practitioners, we can contribute to its aim of building sustainable peace and prosperity in this border area with its high level of economic and social deprivation. We are also going to have a lot of fun in the process.”

The Glens Centre is an arts centre with its roots deep in the mountainy soil of North Leitrim. It was set up by local community activists during the hard times of the 1980s and has since then become a well loved venue for music, theatre and literature as well as providing creative facilities for local artists. Since taking over as director last summer, McKay has put an emphasis on upgrading the venue and getting in funds for new projects. The venue already receives generous funds from the Arts Council, Leitrim County Council and Pobal. This new grant follows a grant from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for improvements to the building and purchasing new recording and lighting equipment.

“The Glens is centred around the lovely old Methodist Church in Manorhamilton and is renowned for its acoustics and for the warm welcome our audiences give to performers. We have never been busier. But the building needs a lot of work to make it comfortable and inviting again,” said McKay. “We are also funded to support local artists and we do a lot of work with local schools to encourage children and teenagers to engage with their creativity. So we need to make sure we have state of the art equipment and safe facilities.”

Under the new programme sound manager Ray Duffy will lead a Creative Industries training course for young people while also developing a new recording studio using the old church auditorium as its hub. A new post as Co-Ordinator for Across the Lines is about to be advertised, and there will also be work for artists, musicians, writers and community development workers. Among the local groups involved are the North Leitrim Women’s Centre and the North Leitrim Men’s Group.

In mid May the first project, named after the Damien Dempsey song, “We are Strong” will begin. This will see the well known Irish American writer, Michael Patrick MacDonald, whose family roots are in Donegal and Kerry, work on creativity and life skills with a group of men from Leitrim and Fermanagh. He will also be writer in residence at the Glens Centre during the five week programme.

“North Leitrim has suffered for its proximity to the Border and the economic damage inflicted by the Troubles and the recession have had a lasting impact including the emigration from the area of the young. Now Brexit looms over us. We hope that “Across The Lines” will in its own small but significant way encourage confidence among people of all faiths and none along the border, keep some talented young people from leaving, train people for jobs and creative careers and even bring back some of those who have left,” said McKay. “It is brilliant that the Glens Centre can be at the heart of all of that.”


How Far We Have Travelled

As part of the Irish Literature Festival, Smock Alley Theatre will host panel of women, all of whom make a significant contribution to Ireland’s identity through their work as broadcasters and journalists, including our own Artistic Director Susan McKay! She will be joined by Emily O Reilly, European Ombudsman; Anne Marie Hourihane and Doireann Ni Bhriain; producer Betty Purcell; and in the Chair journalist Kitty Holland.

How Far We Have Travelled is a book of reportage by the late Mary Holland, an outstanding figure in Irish journalism.




Finally We Get To Celebrate!

Finally we get to celebrate!

The last few months have been a time of great change for The Glens Centre. We have welcomed new Artistic Director, Susan Mc Kay along with some other great team members, JoAnne Neary and Treasa Nealon.

We’ve also received funding under the Arts and Culture Scheme 2016-2018 meaning that we will be able to give The Glens the snazzy revamp it so needs and deserves.  We are delighted that the government has invested this money in the Glens Centre. Since Susan started work here last Autumn she has been itching to get this lovely old venue into shape –

It needs a lot of repairs and a lot of refurbishment so that we can lure more people in to enjoy the wonderful range of shows and concerts we put on here in comfort and style.

With all the hard work involved in securing funding and orchestrating a wonderful line-up of theatre and live music, we haven’t had an opportunity to celebrate, until now!

Tonight the Glens team will have a well-deserved celebration as we look forward to some very exciting times ahead for the centre. We look forward to sharing those times with all of you . Watch this space!

Frontpage Article, News

The Glens Centre Seeks an Administrator


The Glens Centre is a busy arts centre in the North Leitrim town of Manorhamilton and having recently appointed a new Artistic Director, it is now seeking an experienced and skilled Administrator.

Set up in the early 1990’s by a group of community activists committed to the arts, the Glens has a reputation for supporting local artists, writers, musicians and other creative people in the region, as well as for putting on a fabulous range of plays, concerts, shows, readings and other events. Our auditorium was in the past the local Methodist church and it is acclaimed for its acoustics. We record albums and make our facilities available to a wide range of groups and individuals.

Supported by the Arts Council, Leitrim County Council and Pobal, the Glens Centre also raises funds for its work from a range of other sources. Fundraising will be an increasingly important activity as we endeavour to meet the challenges of high ambitions for excellence in what we offer and what we do, while public funding is still constrained. We plan to undertake several major projects in the coming two to three years. The Administrator, under the direction of the Artistic Director, will play a central role in enabling us to deliver on our plans. S/he will be assisted by the Receptionist.

We are looking for a highly skilled and well organised person who shares our passion for the arts and culture to join our small, dedicated core of staff.

Job Description

The Administrator will:

  • manage the day to day finances of the Glens Centre
  • ensure that the Glens Centre complies with all relevant legislation and the requirements of our funders and suppliers
  • prepare and monitor budgets and financial reports including preparing for annual audits and preparing reports for the Board
  • establish and maintain sound and appropriate procedures for all financial transactions
  • prepare contracts for artists and performers and ensure that they are paid promptly
  • pay creditors, issue invoices, keep clear and accessible records of all financial transactions
  • deal with revenue returns
  • attend to payroll for all staff and ensure that worksheets are filled out and filed
  • take responsibility for organising and maintaining our filing systems and databases
  • monitor and ensure we are in compliance with our policies in relation to Garda Vetting, Child Protection, Health and Safety, Charities Regulation etc.
  • assist the Director and the Media and Marketing Assistant in keeping our website and social media platforms exciting, up to date, and accurate.
  • oversee use of the Ticketsolve system
  • organise meetings and assist with organising performances and events as required
  • ensure that all office equipment is kept in working order and call in expert assistance when required
  • delegate work to the Receptionist as appropriate
  • undertake any other duties that may reasonably be assigned by the Artistic Director Requirements
  •  a third level qualification and/or significant work experience in a senior administrative role would be an advantage
  • a keen interest in and good awareness of contemporary arts and culture especially in the North West
  • excellent communication skills, oral and written
  • excellent IT and computer skills. Ability to use Apple Mac and Word Press desirable
  • enthusiastic about using social media
  • flexibility – the Administrator will normally work in the Glens Centre during normal office hours spread over 3 to 5 days (negotiable). S/he must be willing to work evenings and at weekends on occasion as required
  • ability to interact with the public in a friendly and helpful fashion
  • willingness to multi-task and step in to help other staff when needed
  • own means of transport

This position is supported by the Department of Social Protection under the Community Services Programme. Applications are welcome from all suitably qualified candidates – they are particularly welcome from people in receipt of a payment from the Department of Social Protection. Please indicate if this is the case.

Salary: €18,000 pa for a 24 hour week.

How to apply

Please email your CV and a letter of application by email to the Director, Susan McKay, on Please provide the names and phone numbers/email addresses of 2 people willing to provide references. Applications must be received by 12 noon on Wednesday 9 November 2016. No late applications will be accepted.
Interviews will be held on Monday 21 November 2016.

Frontpage Article, News

Glens Director and Sound Director both nominated for PPI Awards!

Well done to Glens Centre Director Susan McKay and Sound Director Ray Duffy for their nominations in the PPI Awards.

Rachel & Kelly with their grandmother Mary O’Toole

Susan McKay created the documentary ‘After the Music- The Daughters Story’ for RTE Radio 1. The documentary was about the daughters of Fran O’Toole who was murdered in the Miami Showband Massacre in 1975.

Ray Duffy was sound engineer for the radio play ‘Fred & Alice’ that was produced for Ocean Fm.

Fred & Alice
Fred & Alice


The Glens' new director Susan McKay
Frontpage Article, Homepage Slideshow

Prominent Writer and Journalist Susan McKay appointed as Director

The Glens Centre is delighted to announce the appointment of Susan McKay as their director. Susan McKay is well known in Ireland and abroad as an award-winning journalist and writer, as well as a broadcaster and documentary maker, and brings immense experience and leadership to the centre and to the north west.

Glens Centre
Susan McKay joins the Glens as its new director in August 2016.

“We are proud to welcome a director of the calibre of Susan McKay,” said Chairperson Scott Coombs. “The board were looking for someone who could articulate a vision for the centre that was ambitious as our own, but equally someone who is sensitive to the strengths and challenges in Leitrim and the north west of Ireland. Susan’s appointment delivers on all these aspirations.”

The Glens Centre was established in late 1980s as part of a cross-community project to revitalise north Leitrim. It refurbished Manorhamilton’s historic Methodist church in 1994 and became a full-time arts centre in 2002. Since then it has pioneered the concept of the performance laboratory, in which artists can come to the centre and share the space with the local community as part of developing new work. Several important works and artists have used the centre during that time, including Dermot Healy, Donal O’Kelly, Dee Armstrong, Brian Leyden, Sorcha Fox, Cathy Jordan, Jo Holmwood, and Pat Shortt; and the centre itself has become much loved by the local community and highly respected within the arts world.

“Susan McKay’s appointment opens an exciting new chapter in the centre’s history, at a time of transformation taking place both in the arts and in society,” Coombs said. “We all need places like the Glens Centre to find ways to allow artists to respond to this transformation, and to offer a place for the public to participate in the conversation as well.”

Coombs also paid tribute the past directors of the centre, who have contributed to the growth of the centre over the years and who built its strong reputation.

In accepting her appointment, Susan McKay said “I am thrilled to have been appointed to run the Glens Centre – I want to make sure it maintains its reputation for creative excellence as well as exploring new and imaginative directions and collaborations.  As a Derry woman I am also delighted to return to the north west.  I look forward to working with the board and staff of the centre and with the community around the Glens, including the many artists who are from here or who have been drawn to live and create here.”

McKay will take up her post in August.