Vale Orla Kenny

We are sad to announce the death last Friday of our good friend and colleague Orla Kenny. Orla worked with us establishing Kids’ Own Partnership in Ireland and has since remained a passionate advocate of arts for children and families across Ireland.

Orla Kenny (pictured with Simon at the Third International Teaching Artist Conference in Edinburgh in 2016) was a wonderful woman with boundless enthusiasm, energy and optimism. we cannot picture her without a smile, and her smile was huge, warm and life affirming. Her passion for her work will leave a legacy across thousands of children, teachers and artists across Ireland.

We have so many memories of her first coming to work with us at Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership, in Balintogher in the year 2000. We felt instantly that Orla was a strong voice for social justice and believed in the power of the arts to make change. Over the following three years Orla became one of the family in our home/office and, when we were invited to head over to Australia for a new project, there was no doubt that Orla would be the champion to continue the work of Kids’ Own Publishing across Ireland.

Orla was a thoughtful artist and some of her most powerful work was felt by many in the extraordinary Instagram images she produced, the last of which were within days of her death.

Her voice is still in our ears and although it is inconceivable that we won’t hear it again, it will ripple on through the voice she has given to countless children through her work at Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership.

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