19/08/2011 Minister Deenihan Supports Irish Artists showcasing at Edinburgh

International reputation of Irish artists has never been stronger – DEENIHAN

Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, will today (Friday 19th August, 2011) visit the Edinburgh Arts Festival. The Minister will spend Friday and Saturday participating in a series of meetings and attending some of the performances by Irish artists at Edinburgh. Minister Deenihan is in Edinburgh to lead the Culture Ireland annual delegations of artists to the Edinburgh Festivals.

The Minister arrived in Edinburgh for an early morning briefing with Consul General of Ireland to Scotland Ms Susan Conlon, and CEO of Culture Ireland, Eugene Downes. From there Minister Deenihan will meet with Nick Barley –Director of Edinburgh International Book Festival.

“Each summer, Edinburgh plays host to the cultural world as a unique spectrum of festivals brings together artist, audiences and international promoters. I know Edinburgh can be a tough and challenging proposition for any artists or company presenting their works. This year’s Culture Ireland delegation includes some of Ireland’s finest established and emerging performers and writers, and I want to wish them every success in this uniquely competitive and exciting global event.” said Minister Deenihan.

Irish Writer Edna O Brien, famous for her rich prose in short stories and novels will provide a reading in conversation with Andrew O’ Hagan as part of Culture Ireland’s showcase in Edinburgh.

Minister Deenihan also said: “It is a great pleasure for me to attend a book festival of this size coming as I do from a town where there is a renowned writer everywhere I turn on the streets of Listowel in Kerry”.

Minister Deenihan will then have a courtesy call with Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Ms Fiona Hyslop, member of Scottish Parliament.

Minister Deenihan acknowledged that to date, Irish companies have won a total of 8 Fringe First awards including the most recent award for Fishamble: The New Play Company for their production of Silent [written and performed by Pat Kinevane] as part of this year’s showcase. Pat Kinevane was also awarded a Herald Angel for his role in Silent. Minister Deenihan will attend a performance of Silent on Friday night.

“My attendance here today and tomorrow is also an indication to Irish artists of this Government’s commitment to the Arts and a reminder that Culture and Heritage play a key role in the economic recovery of Ireland and also in the repairing of our reputation abroad. We are fortunate that the international reputation of Irish artists has never been stronger.”

This year Culture Ireland’s 2011 Edinburgh showcase includes:

  • Three dance shows at Dance Base, Scotland’s most important professional dance venue and resource organisation. Culture Ireland has been presenting a dance showcase here since 2008 and the programme is co-curated by Morag Deyes, Richard Wakely and Culture Ireland
  • Two theatre productions including Man of Valour by Corn Exchange Theatre Company at the Traverse Theatre and Silent at Dance Base [Man of Valour finished its two week run on Sunday 14 August]. Both venues are highly regarded for their support of emerging voices and pioneering new work, both in Scotland and internationally, and they have consistently supported Irish artists at the Edinburgh Festivals.
  • Fourteen writers will read at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival. This is the second year that Culture Ireland has presented a showcase of Irish authors at the writers Festival.

Culture Ireland also supports Irish artists participating in numerous cultural events and festivals in Scotland throughout the year.


Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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