Sinéad Mac (Sinéad McCarthy)
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Originally from Bishopstown, Sinéad completed her education with a diploma in Fine Arts from the Crawford College of Art and Design.  Sadly, her mother died suddenly whilst she was in college and, having lost her ambition and putting her dreams on hold, she took off travelling the world before returning to raise her family with her husband, Dave Donovan.  During this time, her work was always in something creative - sign-writing, designing murals, paint effects - but, having moved to Dripsey in 2005, where she concentrated on raising her family of three, Aisling, Conor and Maggie, she began painting again in what little spare time she could find.  Frustrated at not being able to paint full-time, she determined that when her youngest daughter started school, she would make a real commitment.  By sheer coincidence, a friend made her aware of the RTE competition to find contestants for “Painting The Nation” and she was persuaded to give it a try.  After a lengthy series of selection processes she was given the news that she had been selected in the final seven, and filming was to begin immediately. The series “Painting the Nation was screened over a period of five weeks in October 2016. Sinéad reached the final three before missing the final challenge.
The RTE experience was heaven-sent and Sinéad found that the judges, whilst critical on screen, were immensely helpful to all the contestants during group and individual counselling sessions.  Lessons were learnt about how to organise and exhibit their work, which will be of paramount importance in the future.
The seven contestants bonded over this period and Sinéad remarked upon how they worked together and helped each other with tips on matters like style and colour effects.  Since the series ended, they have kept in touch as a group, and have embarked on an Exhibition Tour which has, to date, visited Enniskerry, Portlaoise and Punchestown, with further dates already planned for Cork and Wexford.
In Sinéad's own words, "This period of celebrity, however brief it may be, has given me a great boost.  To be recognised in the street, not only here in Dripsey, but all over the country, is amazing!  An artist can struggle for years to become known, so having your name out there gives an unexpected advantage that I hope will benefit my work."
Sinéad's main focus is her family and, in addition to her painting she enjoys walking and dancing.  She is an enthusiastic member of the Dripsey Community Association Committee and one of a small group who work tirelessly within the community for the benefit of her friends and neighbours, always willing to lend a hand.
Dripsey is proud of her achievements and wishes her well for the future.
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Relaxing with family
Images of some of Sinéad's paintings can be seen in the MacGallery
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The contestants in "Painting the Nation"
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Not so relaxing with the judges