Government launches new annual creativity festival

Taking place on Easter Monday, Cruinniú na Cásca will feature a rich variety of live music, dance, arts and culture

The government has launched a new annual celebration of Ireland’s culture and creativity taking place for the first time this Easter Monday.

Cruinniú na Cásca – which directly translates as “A meeting at Easter” – will celebrate contemporary Ireland through a range of cultural and artistic events, focused on activities for families and children.

The celebration will include a large-scale free public festival across four zones in Dublin city centre – with local events to be held around the country.

Launching the new festival this afternoon, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the ‘RTÉ Reflecting the Rising’ events on Easter Monday last year brought 750,000 people to the streets of Dublin – the largest civic gathering in the history of the state.

“The almost universal reaction was that we should do this more often, not just once in a hundred years,” said Mr Kenny. “That’s what Cruinniú Na Cásca is about. It’s an initiative that is close to my heart.”

He said this year’s inaugural event will be all about diversity and inclusion.

“As a people, as communities, we can only benefit from taking a day every year to think seriously about ourselves, to have important conversations – but also to share our experiences and to come together to enjoy our cultural heritage and the work of our artists and performers,” he said.

“I firmly believe that Cruinniú has the potential to enrich our social and cultural lives long into the future.”

The event is set to include a rich variety of artistic pursuits from live music to dance, theatre, art, literature and screenings.

The celebration will welcome live performances from the Booka Brass Band, the Academic and Crash Ensemble as well as DJ workshops and training in illustration, film, TV and radio.

A Céilí Mór and International Dance Zone is planned for the Customs House.

The Town park in Tralee will be transformed with ‘Beautiful Beats’ an exhibition for children while Athenry in Galway has a full programme of activities including archery, juggling, music and traditional Irish crafts and music.

Arts Minister Heather Humphreys said the event is about encouraging people to get involved in culture in the community.

“We have set ourselves some ambitious targets for year one of Creative Ireland, with Cruinniú na Cásca top of the list,” she said.

“I am delighted that people nationwide will have the opportunity to come together and participate in cultural and creative activity on Easter Monday, driving our collective wellbeing and our sense of community.”

The free public festival in Dublin will take place between 11am and 6pm on Easter Monday 17th April.