Cruinniú na Cásca to host hundreds of events across Ireland

Creative Ireland initiative to follow up last year’s successful Reflecting the Rising

Children at the launch of  Cruinniú na Cásca 2017 which will take place on Easter Monday in Dublin city centre. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Children at the launch of Cruinniú na Cásca 2017 which will take place on Easter Monday in Dublin city centre. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Details have been announced of a major public initiative as a follow up to last year’s successful Reflecting the Rising.

All 31 local authorities will host Cruinniú na Cásca events on Easter Monday which will include four festival zones in Dublin city centre – St Stephen’s Green, Dublin Castle, Smithfield Square and Custom House Quay.

Cruinniú na Cásca is one of the initiatives of Creative Ireland which was set up as a legacy programme arising from the 1916 Rising commemorations.

Reflecting the Rising, which was held on Easter Monday last year, was one of the biggest gatherings ever in Dublin with hundreds of thousands of people attending both outdoor and indoor events.

Launching Cruinniú na Cásca, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that to describe Reflecting the Rising as a “huge success would be an understatement” and he similarly praised the Easter Rising commemorations.

“Last year we found ways to talk about our identity, the meaning of citizenship, the importance of community. It was a year of debate without division and argument without rancour. We all walked a little taller as a consequence.We belonged and we were proud to belong.”

Importance of creativity

The main focus will again be on Dublin. On St Stephen‘s Green South there will be an orchestra stage. St Stephen’s Green itself will be dedicated to children as it was last year with an interactive playground and storytelling sessions.

The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphries said the Government had learned about the importance of creativity from last year’s commemorations.

“We have set ourselves some ambitious targets for year one of Creative Ireland, with Cruinniú na Cásca top of the list,” she said.

Cruinniú na Cásca will be a joint initiative with RTÉ. Its director-general, Dee Forbes said RTÉ had opened a “crucial new phase in the dialogue about why media matters”.

Alluding to the announcement on Wednesday that RTÉ will seek to sell eight acres of land for €75 million, consolidate its operations and look for 200 long-term redundancies, she said the broadcaster had made “important decisions that will safeguard the very future of public media”.

Licence fee

Speaking before the start of the event, Ms Forbes clarified that she never suggested “for one minute” that RTÉ wanted a doubling in the licence fee. “It was a throwaway comment that got completely out of control”.

When asked if she saw any more pay cuts in RTÉ, she responded: “I think RTÉ has taken its fair share of salary cuts. I think our top talent are on the record of having been reduced by more than 40 per cent. Everybody in RTÉ took a pay cut at the start of the recession.

“Obviously that was then. We are in a process right now. Of course everything will be reviewed, but I think RTÉ has had its fair share of pain”.

Easter Monday this year is on April 17th.