An inaugural day of celebration of the lives of women takes place in Dublin on Tuesday, the last St Brigid’s Day ahead of its designation next year as a bank holiday.
Brigit 2022, initiated by Dublin Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland, will include a diverse programme of events including tours, debates, films, podcasts, a concert and exhibitions featuring women.
The line-up includes singer Imelda May, poet Felispeaks, entrepreneur Chupi Sweetman, TCD provost Prof Linda Doyle, director of the UCD gender studies programme Dr Mary McAuliffe and filmmaker Pat Murphy, as well as international contributions from Canada, Palestine, Columbia, Peru and Norway.
Drawing inspiration from the Celtic goddess Brigit, from which the Christian saint originated, Brigit 2022 celebrates the contributions of Irish women through the ages, highlighting their stories and promoting their contribution to society.
All events are taking place on February 1st, with free admission.
Earlier this month, the Government announced that there will be an extra bank holiday on the first Monday of February in future years to mark St Brigid’s Day.
The February festival will commemorate St Brigid and also the ancient Celtic festival Imbolc, which marks the midpoint between the winter solstice and spring equinox, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said.
Of this year’s Dublin event, Ms Gilliland said: “Too often, particularly in the past, the achievements of women have been overshadowed or not fully acknowledged.
“Brigit 2022 seeks to bring women’s history and heritage as well as women’s stories and voices to the fore and showcase them,” the Labour Party councillor added.
There will be a walking tour celebrating women in Irish history and a street art tour looking at the stories behind some of the artwork and murals created by women throughout the city.
Another event is the women of Glasnevin Cemetery tour, focusing on the women buried there who have played pivotal roles in the social, cultural and political life of the country, including Countess Markievicz, Maud Gonne MacBride, Elizabeth O'Farrell, Delia Larkin and Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington.
The Spring Rise Brigit 2022 concert takes place in Round Room of the Mansion House.
Imelda May, who will be performing at the live-streamed event, said Brigit was an “ancient goddess, our matron saint, woman of wisdom, healing and light daughter of Dagda, descendent of Danu, member of magical Tuatha Dé Danann, protector of children, saviour of poor, symbol for smiths, worshipped by poets.
"Inspiring descendants past and to come, her creative flame fires eternal. Adored by Ireland for thousands of years, she awakens Imbolc, the dawning of spring, new birth, fresh starts. It's time to thank her. It's time to heal. It's about time," she added.
Details and bookings for all events are on Dublin.ie/Brigit
Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs has launched its fifth international St Brigid’s Day programme, celebrating the pioneering role of Irish women in various aspects of life.
Over 30 Irish embassies and consulates are organising events this year, including exhibitions and literary showcases. Full programme: tobeirish.ie/