Minister Humphreys highlights the strength of Irish French cultural collaboration at Creative Ireland Programme launch in Paris

The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, is today (Tuesday) joined by Ambassador of Ireland to France Geraldine Byrne Nason and and Ms Doireann Ní Bhriain of the Centre Culturel Irlandais together with representatives from across the arts and cultural sector in France, for a special evening of readings and music to mark the launch of the Creative Ireland Programme in France.

The event also saw the launch of the translation into French of the Ireland.ie international portal website for Ireland, and the accompanying This is Ireland promotional video, which has been shared and viewed over 2 million times since its launch by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD in Washington in March 2017.

Special guests at the event included grandson of Oscar Wilde, Merlin Holland, who read an excerpt from the acclaimed author’s work, as well as Conor Lovett of Gare St Lazare Ireland, who read from Beckett’s Here All Night, and a music performance by acclaimed jazz musician Barry Donohoe, currently Music Network Artist in Residence at the Centre Culturel Irlandais.

Speaking at today’s event, Minister Humphreys said:

I am pleased to take the opportunity to be here today in the historic and beautiful Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris to present Creative Ireland to our friends, partners and colleagues across the arts sector in France and to ask for your support.

“Ireland and France share so much in terms of our cultural values and the weight we place on the role of the artist in society and in helping to enrich all of our lives. Three of our finest writers made Paris their home and I am delighted that over the course of our evening, we will hear some of their work. I am also particularly honoured that we have been joined by Merlin Holland, grandson of Oscar Wilde, who will read for us this evening.

“It is important to me that Irish artists at home and abroad are given the opportunity to participate in the ambitious five-year initiative that is the Creative Ireland Programme, which aims to place culture at the centre of our lives, for the betterment of our people and for the strengthening of our society.

“Creative Ireland sends a very significant message internationally about how Ireland values its culture and how the Government is setting out an ambitious creativity agenda. It is important too for us to learn from international examples, and consider how other countries have prioritised arts and culture at national level. The translation of the Ireland.ie website for Ireland into French is a crucial step in communicating the strength of our culture and creativity to an ever-growing global audience.

“Creativity and collaboration are core values of this programme and I can think of no better place to launch it than here at the Centre Culturel Irlandais. This wonderful centre is a treasured source of inspiration for the many artists who have visited or stayed here over the years. It has also provided a unique opportunity for the creation of a whole range of dynamic and exciting collaborations between Irish artists and a warm and welcoming community of French and Paris-based artists.”

H.E. Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason said: “I am thrilled that Minister Humphreys has come to launch Creative Ireland in Paris. Last year, part of our commemoration of 1916 was to celebrate “Paris, Capital of Irish Culture”! Paris has been a home to Irish cultural icons including Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde, Eileen Gray and James Joyce. The Embassy role now is to support our emerging artists and talents who will become our 21st century icons.”


Notes to Editors:

Creative Ireland Programme is an all of Government five-year initiative, from 2017 to 2022, which places creativity at the centre of public policy. It is built around five pillars: Enabling the Creative Potential of Every Child; Enabling Creativity in Every Community; Investing in our Creative and Cultural Infrastructure; Ireland as a Centre of Excellence in Media Production; Unifying our Global Reputation. Further information on Creative Ireland is available at creative.ireland.ie

The Centre Culturel Irlandais

Located in the historic building of the Irish College, in the heart of the Latin quarter, the Centre Culturel Irlandais is Ireland’s flagship cultural centre in Europe. The Centre presents the work of contemporary Irish artists, reinforces the rich heritage of Franco-Irish relations and fosters a vibrant and creative community. In addition to its diverse cultural programme, the Centre Culturel Irlandais houses France’s primary multi-media library of resources on Ireland as well as significant historic archives and a magnificent Old Library which includes three 15th century illuminated manuscripts. www.centreculturelirlandais.com



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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