Minister Humphreys announces special focus on Irish arts in Britain for 2018

Culture Ireland to launch open call for interested artists

 The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (Thursday) announced that Culture Ireland will place a strategic focus on the promotion of Irish arts in Britain during 2018. The year-long programme will aim to showcase Irish artistic excellence in partnership with significant UK institutions, venues and festivals. This will build on the unique cultural relationship between the two countries and expand the reach of Irish culture to new audiences.

This strategic initiative reflects the strategic priority the Government is placing on culture and creativity as the key outward expression of our identity and a critical basis for those wishing to engage with Ireland, through the Creative Ireland Programme. Culture Ireland will now launch an open call for artists interested in participating.

Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:

“It is my hope that Irish artists will benefit as a result of this strategic focus, which will provide them with opportunities to expand their audience base in the UK. Britain is a key market for Ireland in terms of arts and culture, which in turn impacts on tourism, trade and investment promotion. Ireland has a unique cultural relationship with the UK, which was highlighted during 2016. It is important that we sustain this particularly during the Decade of Commemorations.

“Our culture is a unique door-opener for Ireland and Irish business, and an effective means of articulating our values. In my view, it is more important than ever that we strengthen our cultural links as a way of cementing Ireland-UK relations which are undergoing changes on many fronts due to Brexit. Culture provides us with a medium to emphasise our common bonds and interests, rather than those that divide us.

“In developing this year-long programme, Culture Ireland aims to continue to foster strong links with the Irish diaspora as well as expand the reach of Irish culture to new audiences in the UK. Since its establishment in 2005, Culture Ireland has developed projects and relationships with a range of cultural institutions, venues and promoters in Britain, which provide a strong basis on which to build the proposed programme.”

You can find details of the Call for Expressions of Interest here




Media Contacts:

Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs

Press and Information Office

Tel: 087 6737338 / (01) 631 3807 / 3838 / 3848 (direct)



Twitter: @DeptAHG



Notes to Editor:

It is proposed that the programme will commence in Scotland in January 2017 as Ireland has been selected as the focus country for Showcase Scotland as part of Celtic Connections, a three week festival of Celtic music in Glasgow. The programme will involve increased focus around key periods such as St Patricks Day and Bloomsday and will present artists and creative work from the island of Ireland as a whole, building on strong North-South cooperation.


The initiative will also provide a strategic promotional platform to build long-term UK market share and income opportunities for the Irish cultural sector and creative industries, including world-class Irish animation and computer gaming enterprises. An open call for those wishing to participate is being launch by Culture Ireland.

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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