Get Together and Dance, Eat, Sing, Play this Easter Monday – An Taoiseach and Minister Humphreys joined by Dee Forbes to launch the first national Cruinniú na Cásca

  • An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, and the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, this evening (Thursday) were joined by the Director General of RTÉ, Dee Forbes, to announce details of Cruinniú na Cásca, a new national day of culture and creativity, which will take place on Easter Monday in Dublin and in every county nationwide as part of the Creative Ireland programme.

It follows on from the hugely successful RTÉ Reflecting the Rising which was held in Dublin city centre in 2016 as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. On Easter Monday 2017, RTÉ in partnership with Creative Ireland, will present Cruinniú na Cásca, a large-scale free public festival across four zones in Dublin city centre, north and south, from 11.00am – 6.00pm. Cruinniú na Cásca aims to celebrate culture and creativity in contemporary Irish society through a rich variety of live music and dance, coding, theatre, art and music workshops, talks and tastings, readings and screenings, special events and more.

For the first time this year, special Cruinniú na Cásca will also be held by each of the 31 Local Authorities in every county across the country. Planning for local events is being led by the Culture Teams which have been set up in each Local Authority as part of Creative Ireland. Cruinniú na Cásca, which directly translates as “a meeting at Easter’, will be an annual free festival which celebrates culture and creativity in contemporary Irish society, with a special focus on events for families and children.

Highlights in Dublin and around the country include:

  • Live performances from Crash Ensemble, the Academic, Booka Brass, Slow Moving Clouds and Landless in Dublin City Centre
  • Workshops on DJing, illustration, film, TV and radio production in Smithfield Square
  • A Céilí Mór  and an international Dance Zone at the Custom House
  • Siamsa Tire will take over the town park in Tralee, where visitors will be able to enjoy Beautiful Beasts, an exhibition of sculpture for children, presented by The Ark.
  • Athenry has a full programme of creative fun, with archery, juggling, drums and sambas, traditional crafts as well as Irish music, song and dance at multiple locations in the town.
  • In Abbeyshrule, Co. Longford, a Cruinniú na Cásca event will take place at dusk at the 12th century Cistercian Abbey, and will include an evocative programme of performances by local artists.

Speaking today An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: “On Easter Monday last year we had an event called RTÉ Reflecting the Rising – a partnership between Ireland 2016 and RTÉ which brought 750,000 people on to the streets of Dublin – the largest civic gathering in the history of the State –with hundreds of events ranging from academic discussions to street dances.  It was a massive collaboration between government and RTÉ, but also including multiple government agencies, Dublin City Council, the OPW, an Garda Síochána, and myriad other organisations.  The almost universal reaction was that we should do this more often, not just once in a hundred years.  That’s what Cruinniú Na Cásca is about. It’s an initiative that is close to my heart. The theme for Cruinniú Na Cásca 2017 is 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.  I firmly believe that Cruinniú has the potential to enrich our social and cultural lives long into the future.”

Speaking ahead of the official launch of Cruinniú Na Cásca, Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr said “I welcome this new annual Culture Day. On Easter Monday RTÉ in partnership with Creative Ireland and Dublin City Council will present a large – scale free public festival across Dublin city. I would encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to come into Dublin City Centre to enjoy the exciting programme of cultural events.”

Speaking today Minister Humphreys TD said:

“Creative Ireland is all about putting culture and creativity at the heart of communities nationwide and Cruinniú na Cásca will do just that this Easter Monday. There will be a wide series of family friendly events right across Dublin city centre, curated by RTÉ, with events of a large and small scale also happening in every county nationwide. We want to encourage people to become involved in the cultural life of their own county through a national day of creativity.  We have set ourselves some ambitious targets for year one of Creative Ireland, with Cruinniú na Cásca top of the list. 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. I would like to acknowledge the work of all of the key partners involved in delivering the events in Dublin and the Culture Teams in the 31 Local Authorities who have helped to put together an impressive series of events, with the list still growing.”

RTÉ Director-General, Dee Forbes said:

“Allowing the public come together, celebrate and engage with national events is a key part of RTÉ’s role and public purpose. Building on the public events of last year, through Cruinnúu na Cásca, I am delighted and proud that this Easter RTÉ, in partnership with Creative Ireland, will once again bring contemporary Irish culture and creativity to the streets of Dublin through a rich variety of live music and dance, coding, theatre, art and music workshops, talks and tastings, readings and screenings, special events, and so much more. It promises to be a special and unique day in Dublin and across the country.”


Notes to Editor:

The four Dublin zones are: St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin Castle, Smithfield Square and Custom House Quay. RTÉ will broadcast live from Cruinniú na Cásca zones throughout the day across RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ 2fm and RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.

While all the music, performance and orchestral events are free (see below), the talks, film-screenings, autism-friendly workshops and coding workshops should be pre-booked to secure a place. The fifty-plus talks cover themes ranging from arts and culture to creativity and social inclusion. Free tickets and information are available online at www.rte.ie/cruinniu.

Cruinniú na Cásca, a Creative Ireland initiative, presented by RTÉ is supported by Dublin City Council, the Office of Public Works and Transport for Ireland.

Cruinniú na Cásca, a Creative Ireland initiative, presented by RTÉ is supported by Dublin City Council, the OPW and Transport for Ireland. For more information, visit www.creative.ireland.ie and www.rte.ie/cruinniu or join the conversation by searching for #cruinniu across @rte and @creativeirl on Twitter, as well as @rte on Facebook and @explorerte on Instagram.

***FULL DUBLIN PROGRAMME (Zone by Zone)  For updates, see www.rte.ie/cruinniu  On Air

  • RTÉ 2fm: live from Smithfield – Roadcaster (11am-5pm)
  • RTÉ Radio 1, Arena: live from St. Stephen’s Green (11am-1pm)
  • RTÉ Radio 1, Liveline: live from Custom House Quay (1.30pm-3pm)
  • RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta: live from talks at Generator Hostel (4pm-5pm)

St Stephen’s Green

  • On St Stephen’s Green South there will be an orchestra stage with performances from the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Jerry Fish and Kormac and his Big Band. Arena, RTÉ Radio 1’s daily arts programme, will broadcast live from this stage with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra from 11am-1pm with guests such as Lisa Lambe, The Hot House Flowers, Feather, Discovery Gospel Choir and Sean Keane.
  • In the Green itself, there will be an area dedicated to the National Children’s Museum, Imaginosity, including an interactive playground and storytelling sessions.
  • The National Children’s Theatre, The Ark and Poetry Ireland will provide performances at the Summerhouse.
  • The Bandstand will have a number of choral and dance performances reflecting the diverse communities in Dublin with the Gloria, Dublin’s Lesbian and Gay Choir, Elvé Lithuanian Choir, Masamba Samba Dance and more.


  • Learnit Lego Zone which will be free lego play for people of all ages, all day.
  • Storytelling workshops for a variety of ages from author, Sarah Webb and storyteller, Paul Timoney.
  • Indoor farming workshop from Cre8 Sustainability – a creative agency for environmental education
  • Paperpet workshops – create sculpture animals out of paper.
  • Visual Arts from children’s theatre company, The Ark.
  • Craft Zone with workshops including tinsmithing, puppet making workshops, knitting and sensational painting which encourages families to paint the music of Chopin.
  • Morning – Series of quizzes for all the family
  • Afternoon – Children’s Books Ireland will run their popular doodle doctor and book doctor clinics designed to bring art and literature to children.
  • West African drumming from Afro Éire drum school.
  • ReCreate art workshops- ReCreate is a national social enterprise that takes end-of-line and surplus stock from businesses and reuses them as arts materials.
  • Workshops for autistic children including sensory play and storytelling.

There will also be a food zone, children’s entertainers, a chime cave, a giant drum called Fuinneamh, and lots more on the day.

Dublin Castle

  • Upper Courtyard: Band Stage including acts Landless, Ye Vagabonds, Inni-K, Crash Ensemble, Rue, Dylan Tighe, Slow Moving Clouds
  • Theatre workshops from Theatre Lovett
  • Family entertainment & outdoor games in the Dubh Linn gardens
  • DCCOI live demonstrations of traditional crafts, felt-making, ceramics, and more
  • Lower Courtyard-Dublin Library bus
  • Series of talks with a focus on cultural reflection, including:
    • Women in Irish Society presented by Sinead Gleeson: Four talks, including Forgotten Women in the Arts, New Ireland New Identities, State of the Nation, & Telling Stories in Dark Times. Guests include Lenny Abrahamason, Lynne Ruane, Deirdre Kinahan & Una Mullally;
    • Banter with Jim Carroll: Four talks on themes of sport, criticism, the demon drink and a public interview with Facthna O’Ceallaigh, the legendary music manager;
    • Experiencing Ireland with Fionn Davenport: Experiencing Ireland as a Muslim, an artist, & living with homelessness. There will also be a public interview with author John Boyne. Guests include Fr Peter McVerry, Teresa Buczkowsca of the Immigrant Council & musician Mark Geary.
  • Coding workshops:
    • Scratch Gamescaster: Learning to design and create your own computer game using the Scratch Programming Tool. Experience using a Makey Makey 21st Century Invention kit to create your own game controllers.
    • Scratch Quizmaster: Design, develop and build a Quiz using Scratch Programming tool. Use add-ons such as a 21st century invention kit to enhance your quiz
    • SketchUp and Go: Experience designing a 3D model using Google Sketchup
    • My First App: Develop your very first app using App Inventor (Android phones).

 Smithfield Square

  • Street Feast at Haymarket with a mix of ethnic/artisan fare.
  • RTÉ 2fm Live Stage: Live performances from Soulé, Loah, The Academic, Jack O’Rourke & Booka Brass with more to be announced
  • The 2fm Roadcaster will broadcast live from 11am – 5pm, featuring live music and interviews from these acts.
  • Lighthouse Cinema will feature free screenings of Irish films across the day, including The Secret Scripture, Song of the Sea (with one screening in Irish), Older Than Ireland, The Young Offenders, The Lobster and Room.
  • Graphic art workshops and display from All Out Design
  • Illustration workshops from Laureate na nÓg PJ Lynch and Paper Panther Animation
  • Film/TV/Radio Production including Bowsie Workshop, RTÉ Television & RTÉ Radio Drama, and workshops from Young Irish Filmmakers and Foley artist Caoimhe Doyle in association with Screen Training Ireland
  • Performance and Slam poetry workshops in Irish and English with poets Danielle Gill, Ciara Ni É and Colm Keegan
  • DJ and scratching workshops from RTÉ Pulse
  • Make Create Innovate – Enjoy an opportunity to make, build, create and explore. Each activity is hands-on, helping to solve problems using technology, design and creativity to find solutions. The workstations will allow people to make robots, use LEDs and conductive clay, and create sound using graphite controllers
  • Science Gallery, featuring:
    • The Irish premiére of the greatest hits of Emily Howell, the world-leading algorithmic composer, played live by a human
    • A slam poetry competition and open-mic session of poetry written by computers and improvised duets for human and machine
    • “Bot Or Not” – the table quiz-like competition where teams try to tell if what they see and hear was created by a robot or a human. (It’s harder than you think!)
    • Word Camera – a booth where you can get your photo taken and a computer will compose a poem based on what it sees
    • A ‘feedback wall’ where audiences vote on the likelihood and desirability of everything from self-driving cars to robot partners.
    • Try out Cozmo, the pet mini-robot that looks and acts rather like a tiny Wall.E, and the latest in robotic hoovers from Roomba.

Custom House Quay

    • Céilí Mór, including tutorials and performances from the stage.
    • Traditional music workshops/sessions for people of all abilities from Ceoltóirí Clúain Tarbh.
  • RTÉ Radio 1’s LIVELINE 1917 live from the main stage (1.30 – 3pm): “Hello, good afternoon and you’re very welcome to Easter Monday 1917. After last year’s Sackville St Special, Liveline is going back a century once again. The phone boxes are full; the lines are jammed; and the people of 1917 Ireland are waiting to Talk to Joe. But what’s on their minds?”


  • Carousel and family attraction in garden area.
  • Food village in bridged area & 3d street art on the ground.
  • Picnic area in garden zone with family entertainment all day (Silly Billy Events, including magic shows, puppet shows, art & craft classes).
  • Dance Zone in car park zone: Series of 40 minute workshops from Tango Fiesta, Bollywood Beats, Tribal Bellydancers, West African Dance, Chinese Dance & Waacking
  • Dublin Fire Brigade Pipe Band with a live performance on site
  • Face painting/jugglers/balloon modellers
  • Community art display
  • San Patricio Mariachi Band

Please see below a listed of confirmed events being held nationwide. Please note the list is still growing and events will be held in every county.

LA Name Location Overview
Cavan Safarnama (Amna Kiran) Johnston Central Library Cavan An exhibition of paintings which form a travel log of the artist’s journey from her native Pakistan to her adopted home in Ireland.
Clare Criunniú na Casca Family Day glór, Causeway Link, Cappahard, Ennis, Co. Clare glór has designed a special cultural programme of activities for all the family to partake in to celebrate local creativity.
Cork Crinniú na Cásca throughout County Cork Various locations The County of Cork will be a hive of activity for Crinniú na Cásca. Cork County Council will be supporting a range of activities in each of the eight Municipal Districts of County Cork.
Cork City Elizabeth Fort Barrack Street Elizabeth Fort, which dates to the early seventeenth century, has played a hugely important role in the city. Decorated The with newly installed model soldiers, as well as hosting lots of interesting surprises and a panoramic view of the city, there will also be special guided tours throughout the day.
Special family screenings of Song of the Sea Triskel Christchurch Special family screenings of the acclaimed animated film Song of the Sea.
St Peters, Cork St Peters, Cork, North Main Street Open from 12 until 4, activities include the Visit the City by the Sea exhibition, story-telling, local history and walking tours, music and readings.
Donegal Meet the Ghosts of Glenveagh’s Past Glenveagh National Park, Churchill, Letterkenny, Co Donegal Meet Lady Adair and her house guests, trolling through the castle, while historical characters with tales to tell, recreate the atmosphere of days gone by.
Donegal Easter Eggstravaganza Glebe House and Gallery, Churchill, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal A fun filled family day including an afternoon eggstravaganza, traditional arts and crafts, storytelling, and egg-painting and a special treasure trail for all the little eggsplorers.
South Dublin Crash Ensemble with Adrian Crowley Civic Theatre, Main Auditorium Crash Ensemble team up with singer/songwriter Adrian Crowley as he reads from his dark new fiction writing ‘The Dead Hotel’.
South Dublin Shapeshifters & the Children of Lir Civic Theatre, Main Auditorium A dramatic re-telling of The Children of Lir, a much loved but little known fairy tale of Ireland, followed by an audience discussion.
South Dublin All Our Futures Tallaght Community Arts, Chamber Square, Rua Red, Tallaght D 24 Tallaght Community Arts create a tented temporary photographic studio for families and friends to recreate images from before the digital age.
Dublin Mad Hatters Tea Party Deer Park, Mt Merrion Family fun event celebrating Easter. Meet Alice, the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit in an afternoon of ‘Make and Do’ hats and “Hatwalk” fashion show, as well as lots of special activities, fun and games.
Dublin City Dublin City Library


Dublin Castle Lower Courtyard Dublin City Mobile Library will offer an opportunity for young and old to discover the joy of books, reading and storytelling.
Galway City Breaking Bread  Galway Food Festival Galway Food Festival’s four day extravaganza of events during the Easter Bank Holiday weekend will culminate with the spectacular outdoor community driven event, Breaking Bread, on Easter Monday
Galway County Draíocht Athenry Co Galway (different venues) A free community event from 1pm to 4pm including live performances, readings and talks.
Kerry Lúmina in conjunction with Other Voices Dingle For Lúmina, Áine Ní Chíobháin will curate a light art and music event in conjunction with local schools and performers.
Kildare Nás na Riogh – Naas – Meeting Place of the Kings Naas Town Centre Easter Parade followed by entertainment in the Osprey Hotel A traditional Easter Parade followed by an afternoon fun filled family event.
Leitrim Carrigallen Curiosity Workshops Carrigallen Community Hall and Bredagh Old School, Carrigallen At 2pm in Bredagh Old School artist Kim Doherty will facilitate a curiosity workshop for young artists age 6 – 9 years, while Robbie Perry, facilitator of crazy ideas, explores ‘Electronics Wizardy’ and instrument building with young people aged 9 – 12.
Leitrim Come and Try Theatre The Glens Centre, Manorhamilton The Glens Centre presents a free open workshop for young would-be actors aged 9 to 13 years. The Glens junior youth theatre group will also be showcasing new work with live performances by local musicians.
Longford A ceremony of lights and music Abbeyshrule, County Longford The Criunniú na Cásca event will take place at dusk, and will include a special programme of performances by local artists including the Innyside Singers choral group.
Louth Crinniú na Cásca at Mellifont Abbey – Lá Chéilliúradh Chultúr Lú; Bígí linn Mellifont Abbey, Mellifont, Tullyallen, Co. Louth Performances of music set amidst the ruined Chapter House, poetry readings and children’s activities in a secluded valley beside the Mattock River and colourful banners, specially commissioned for the day, flying all around the ruined monastic site.
Mayo Bee Creative in Ballina Jackie Clarke Collection Ballina Ballina will be buzzing on Easter Saturday and the centre of this hive of activity will be the Jackie Clarke Collection. Bee Creative in Ballina is a fun-filled family day to celebrate our wild bees.
Monaghan Creative Clay Sculpture Workshop Clones Library, Monaghan A Creative Clay Sculpture Workshop suitable for all ages in Clones Branch Library.
Offaly Where Art Meets Nature Lough Boora Discovery Park An ensemble of artists will create a special Easter trail, inspired by the rich natural and industrial legacy of the bog lands, and featuring large-scale sculptures that are now part of the park’s permanent collection.
Roscommon Traditional Music and Dance workshops Castlecoote/Fuerty, County Roscommon Live music, dancing and singing as well as a range of free interactive workshops with renowned traditional musicians who will facilitate master-classes for all ages.
Sligo Criunniú na Casca at Strandhill Peoples Market. Strandhill, County Sligo A day of entertainment, music, children activities and cultural events
Guided tour of Sligo City Heritage Trail. Sligo City Guided tour of Sligo City Heritage sites interspersed with traditional Irish music
Coleman Music Centre : Croí an Traidisiún Beo. Coleman Music Centre, Gurteen, County Sligo A celebration of Sligo’s traditional music set in the heart of Coleman Country in South Sligo.
Wexford Crinniu na Casca Cabaret Wexford Arts Centre Family friendly cabaret with eclectic mix of local music and spoken word talent.
Enniscorthy 1916 Commemoration Day Enniscorthy various outdoor locations Ceremonial parade and wreath laying will be followed by a historical re-enactment of the takeover of buildings in Enniscorthy in 1916 at 11am. This will be followed by a family indoor creative workshop with a heritage theme.
Tipperary A Fairies’ Tail by Fidget Feet Cabragh Wetlands Centre, Cabragh, Thurles, Co. Tipperary A Fairies’ Tail is a promenade theatrical circus performance piece that will take place in the unique environs of the Cabragh Wetlands centre. The audience will follow on a journey through the mystical journey of Fairy Land to discover the story of Buglite, the last fairy.
Laois Cruinniú na Cásca Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, Co Laois A showcase of talent by young people including performances by the Laois Dance Ensemble, Music Generation Laois and children from the Holy Family School and Barnashrone NS.
Limerick Walking Limerick Limerick City and County A special programme of free walking tours across the city and county.

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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