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*Fionn Crombie Angus and Jonathan Angus.

A Clare social enterprise has been awarded business supports under Rethink Ireland’s Genesis Programme.

Fionnathan Productions were the successful Clare organisation that will now attend an intensive two day workshop that will focus on building the skills and knowledge needed to develop a sustainable social enterprise and to be successful in future funding opportunities.

Fionn Crombie Angus and his father Jonathan are the brains behind the production company. The Mountshannon duo are master surfers on the wave toward Inclusion. By asking ‘why not’ and rejecting all fear, they have been able to redirect abundant resources toward creating meaningful, self-directed lives for people with the living experience of disability, and for the people and communities who love them.

Between them, they have interviewed over 600 people including Angela Lansbury, Coolio and Brian Eno. To date, they have had 22 films commissioned and have had 17 art exhibitions including one in New York City.

Fionn was one of the first people in Ireland with cognitive impairment (Down syndrome) to create and manage his own supports. With help from family, he explored the programs of traditional service providers, formed a limited company, proposed his own plan, and, in 2015, agreed to start a pilot project for the HSE.

​As a film maker and musician, Fionn has appeared on RTE’s Saturday Night Show, Today with Maura and Daithi, and Nationwide; TG4’s Dúiche; and IrishTV’s Clare Matters and Offaly Matters. He has served as Public Relations Officer on the National Advisory Council of Down Syndrome Ireland and has given presentations to the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) and the Anthropological Association of Ireland.

Through placements as a Heritage in Schools Expert and Slingshot Academy Mentor, Fionn has taught thousands of primary and secondary school students. He has also given dozens of guest lectures and conference presentations in colleges around Ireland and in seven other countries.

His father, Jonathan, has over 20 years’ experience in education with children and adults, through mainstream and learning support, in Ireland and America. He co-authored a government report on the public response to disability service reform initiatives, as well as Good Lives: Perspectives of People with Disabilities and Families published by the Centre for Disability, Law and Policy at NUIG. He is researching a PhD thesis on these themes.

Congratulations to Fionnathan productions were voiced by Chief Executive of Clare County Council, Pat Dowling. “Coming out of an extremely challenging period for Irish society and Irish businesses, we’re delighted with this good news story for Clare. Social enterprises have an important role to play in guiding Ireland to become a more inclusive and equal society. Organisations like Fionnathan Productions, are leading the charge by not only creating jobs but working towards bringing about positive social change.”

The Social Enterprise Development Fund is a €3.2 million Fund being delivered from 2018 – 2022. The fund was created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and funded by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development through the Dormant Accounts Fund.

CEO of Rethink Ireland, Deirdre Mortell stated, “Social enterprises are already living our Manifesto by actively working to tackle the greatest social challenges in Ireland. Whether they are knitting groups working to bring together marginalised members of society, innovative therapy practices using the power and beauty of our coastlines, or innovative ideas to strengthen safety in rural communities, they are the heart of our communities, and we’re delighted to be able to support them”.

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