Ireland’s major cultural and heritage sites take part in #ShineYourLight as nation unites in hope amid Covid-19

Ireland’s major cultural and heritage sites take part in #ShineYourLight as nation unites in hope amid Covid-19



Minister Madigan urges public to show solidarity this Saturday



The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, has called on people of all ages and from all parts of Ireland to take part in the #ShineYourLight campaign this Saturday, 11 April.  The  RTÉ initiative which was launched by Minister Madigan in Government Buildings on Friday last, is prompting the nation to unite as one and Shine a Light at 9pm tomorrow evening, in a gesture of hope and solidarity during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Many of Ireland’s main cultural and heritage sites will be lit as part of the campaign. National Cultural Institutions are taking part including The National Gallery of Ireland, The National Museum of Ireland, The National Concert Hall and The National Library of Ireland as well as The Crawford Art Gallery. Many of our country’s National monuments will also be lit especially for the occasion including the Rock of Cashel, Ross Castle, Ormonde Castle, Kilkenny Castle, Casino Marino and Cahir Castle.  Our National Parks throughout the country – including Killarney National Park and Glenveagh National Park – will also be taking part in the campaign with lights shining in Visitor Centres, where possible.


The public is being asked to stay at home and abide by Government guidelines to combat the spread of Covid-19.  Images of the light displays at sites throughout the country will be posted on the Department’s social media platforms (details below).


Minister Madigan said “this is an opportunity,  despite our necessary isolation, to send a collective message that we cherish the ill, our loves ones, our healthcare staff and all our frontline workers in these trying times – that we are united and we will prevail.”


“I am inviting everyone today to join in and to be part of the light, to be the light in the darkness.  It can be the light of the smallest candle or the lighting up of a ten-storey building.   Let’s shine a light together for the people we love, people who we know are now sick or grannies and grandads we can’t see, or our friends we can’t visit these holidays. Shine a light for whoever is in your heart.”


Organisations such as Foras na Gaeilge and the Heritage Council are also supporting the initiative.


Virginia Teehan, Director of The Heritage Council said “Our spoken heritage is sprinkled with rich symbolism. The Irish the word crithir means particle or a spark of a flame, or the tiniest portion of something. It has other meanings that can act as a wedge to prise open perspectives that would otherwise remain hidden. For example, it can refer to the vulnerability and insubstantiality of solid objects; the trembling of the land in an earthquake, or the crumbling surface of ploughed land when dry after rain. Crithir means all these things and symbolises how the lights that glow in our homes and on our historic landscapes and buildings, on this Easter Saturday evening, symbolise both vulnerability and hope.”

Waterways Ireland will also take part in the campaign by lighting up a heart in Grand Canal Dock basin from 8 p.m. on Easter Saturday. The Basin will be lit up with a floating installation of lit candles. The installation will float in the basin for approximately 2 hours.   This Waterways Ireland installation  is being delivered  in collaboration with a number of the creative and artistic consultants the organisation  has worked with over the years whilst strictly observing social distancing measures. The public are asked to abide by Government guidelines to stay at home and not to stay 2 metres from others – images of all the sites taking part will be shared on the Department’s social media platforms.



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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