Minister of State for Equality, Polish Embassy Deputy Head of Mission and the FAI CEO launch ‘PolskaÉire 2015’, the national Polish-Irish Festival
PolskaÉire 2015, the national Polish-Irish festival being held in the last week of March to coincide with the UEFA Republic of Ireland v. Poland qualifier, was today launched in the Aviva Stadium by Minister of State for New Communities, Culture and Equality, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin T.D., the Deputy Head of Mission of the Polish Embassy in Dublin and the CEO of the Football Association of Ireland.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Ó Ríordáin said:
“I am delighted to have led this project and I look forward to the week-long programme of events in March.
This festival is about celebrating the diversity that Polish people bring to Ireland. With 150,000 Polish people now living here, Polish is now the second most widely spoken language on our island.
I think it is important that we recognise the special role that the Polish community play here in Ireland and that is what this festival is about.
I am extremely grateful for the commitment shown by the organisations who have been involved; in particular my own departments of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Justice and Equality, the Polish Embassy, the FAI, Dublin City Council, and other local authorities, Polish associations, sports clubs and cultural groups across the country. This really is a community-driven festival which everyone living in Ireland is invited to participate in.”
Piotr Rakowski, Deputy Head of Mission of the Polish Embassy in Dublin said: “The Polish Embassy in Dublin feels extremely enthusiastic about the upcoming Polish-Irish Festival, which is the biggest integration initiative in Ireland that we have been involved in. We are proud to be a part of it and we hope that the festival will take place every year.
“The initiative acknowledges the vital importance of integration of our peoples and invites all the Irish and Polish to participate in mutual exchanges to bring together the richness and diversity of our cultures, ethnicities, traditions, sports, cuisines and arts over one week.
Needless to say, Polish migrants actively contribute to the economic, social and cultural development of Ireland and we, as the Polish Embassy, will support this exciting journey of mutual integration in the future.
Finally, I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has been and will be involved in the festival. Without you this amazing nationwide initiative would not be possible.”
John Delaney, FAI CEO said:
“We are delighted to support the PolskaÉire 2015 Festival and congratulate Minister of State for New Communities, Culture and Equality, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, on the initiative.
Polish people make a huge contribution to our society, and this festival which encompasses musical, cultural and sporting connections will provide a platform to showcase the close relationships that have developed between our countries, particularly over the past ten years.”