Newsletter #12: September 2011

Culture Night now a major all-Ireland event

There will be a wide range of cultural events on offer to the public on Culture Night again this year. Culture Night 2011 will take place on Friday, 23 September, in various locations around the country.

Gaelchultúr will run sean-nós singing and dancing workshops again during this year’s event and is anticipating the same level of demand for them as there has been in previous years.

Temple Bar Cultural Trust (TBCT) began Culture Night in Temple Bar in Dublin in 2006 and it is now an all-Ireland event. During this particular night, members of the public are given an opportunity to attend various events free of charge and to visit cultural centres, buildings and spaces. Venues in thirty regions, including 156 venues in Dublin, will be involved in Culture Night 2011.

“Gaelchultúr is delighted to be a part of Culture Night once again,” says Michelle Ryan, the company's administrator, “and we're looking forward to welcoming the public to our headquarters in Temple Bar throughout the evening. To celebrate the occasion, we'll be providing sean-nós singing and dancing workshops free of charge between 6.00–9.00 p.m. Participants will be given information about the origins, history and evolution of the traditions, and they’ll also have an opportunity to learn a few songs and a few dance steps. It should be great fun.”

The singing workshops will be presented by Kildare singer and musician Enda Ó Catháin, and the dancing workshop will be given by Sibéal Davitt, winner of the TG4 talent show Glas Vegas. The sean-nós singing and dancing workshops will take place between 6.00–7.00 p.m., 7.00–8.00 p.m. and again between 8.00–9.00 p.m.

Speaking recently to Nuachtlitir Ghaelchultúir, Gráinne Millar, Head of Cultural Development with TBCT, described Culture Night as “a discovery of Ireland’s culture for people of all ages and from everywhere. It’s about a community of organisations who are all coming together around a real commitment to make a connection to the public and to promote the idea that the cultural attractions of Dublin, or wherever else in the country, are the people’s cultural attractions.”

Again this year there will be events held in the Gaeltacht areas in partnership with Ealaín na Gaeltachta. John Spillane will be in concert in Donegal, Futa Fata will present an evening of storytelling and art illustration for children in An Spidéal Library and the exhibition Ceiliúradh Mháire Mhaith, an insight into the creative life of one of the foremost artists of our time, Maria Simmonds Gooding, will take place in the Blasket Interpretive Centre in Dún Chaoin. And those are just a few of the night’s events.

A unique link will be made between the Gaeltacht and Dublin on Culture Night with art work from artists based in or connected with the Gaeltacht being projected at the same time onto gable walls in Kerry, Conamara, Donegal and Dublin. Crosbhóthar will be curated by Andrew Duggan.

“It’s absolutely essential that the Irish language is celebrated as part of Culture Night,” says Millar, “and is at the heart of it, because that’s what makes us unique as a people.”

For further information about Gaelchultúr’s workshops, call (01) 484 5220 or email As with all the other events on Culture Night, the sean-nós singing and dancing workshops are free of charge, but those who are interested in attending them must book their place in advance.

For more information about all the events taking place on Culture Night, please visit