21/12/15

Minister of State for Equality Ó Ríordáin and Ambassador of the Republic of Poland Sarkowicz invite participation in ‘PolskaÉire 2016’, the national Polish-Irish Festival

The Minister for New Communities, Culture, Equality and Drug Strategy, Mr Aodhán Ó Ríordáin T.D. and the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Dublin, Mr Ryszard Sarkowicz, have today invited organisations to participate in the second national Polish-Irish festival, PolskaÉire 2016.

The inaugural Polish-Irish festival, PolskaÉire 2015 was held in March 2015 to coincide with the UEFA qualifier between the Republic of Ireland and Poland, which was played in Dublin.

Commenting following the invitation for organisations to participate in next year’s festival, Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin T.D. said:

“I am delighted to have led this project with the Embassy of Poland, the FAI and Dublin City Council last year.  This festival is about celebrating the diversity that Polish people bring to Ireland.  With more than 150,000 Polish people now living here, Polish is now the second most widely spoken language on the island of Ireland.  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.  The inaugural PolskaÉire festival held in March of this year was a tremendous success with over 200 events being held across the country.  The enthusiasm for the festival, evident across the country, was brilliant to see. Next year’s festival has the potential to build upon this.  I invite everyone to participate in PolskaÉire 2016.”

Mr Ryszard Sarkowicz, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Dublin said:

“The first edition of the festival PolskaÉire coincided with my arrival to Ireland as a new Ambassador.  I must admit I was touched and positively surprised by the scale of the initiative, number of Irish and Poles involved and overall enthusiasm and once more I thank deeply everyone involved.  There are many links existing between Ireland and Poland in the past.  Personally, I was touched by discovering the details of Polish explorer Edmund Strzelecki and his involvement during the Famine. This was acknowledged by unveiling a plaque commemorating Strzelecki in the centre of Dublin.  Therefore, I see a great potential for the Festival to become an annual celebration of Irish and Polish bilateral relations, the level of integration of Poles in Ireland and a platform to exhibit many areas of common interest i.e. entrepreneurship, culture, sport, science and many more.  There is much to offer by both nationalities.  Thus let us all meet again next May to celebrate PolskaÉire 2016 together.”

ENDS

Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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