Artists and scholars answer Ireland's call
U2 frontman Bono is helping President Michael D Higgins celebrate Irish culture ahead of St Patrick's Day.
The 'Beautiful Day' singer joined the President by invitation at Aras an Uachtarain last month to film upcoming television special 'Glaoch – The President's Call'.
In partnership with RTE and The Gathering Ireland 2013, the special programme calls out to Irish people around the world to share in the festivities on March 17 and embrace their "Irishness".
Musicians Glen Hansard, Christy Moore, Imelda May, Lisa Hannigan and the Script provide performances throughout the feature, which also includes poetry and drama.
Actress Marie Mullen performs the final scene of Tom Murphy's play 'Famine', while Paula Meehan recites her poem 'Home'; and Joseph O'Connor reflects on the richness and diversity of the Irish experience in 'Airspace'.
'Glaoch – The President's Call' will be broadcast worldwide at 9.30pm on St Patrick's Day, on RTE.ie, RTE News Now and RTE YouTube.
It will then be repeated on RTE One, RTE Two and RTE Radio 1 Extra on March 18.
The programme was recorded over four days last month, taking place around the demands of the President's diary, which included trips to Rome and Paris.
Speaking about the project, President Higgins expressed his gratitude to the artists for participating.
"I am very grateful to all the artists who responded so positively to my invitation to be part of this worldwide call to Irish people to celebrate an Irishness of which we can all be proud," he said.
"Throughout our history, literature, music and art have been a source of great strength, have helped us cope with adversity, have not only soothed the loss which they described so well but also opened the space for new possibilities of renewal and change and created joy.
"I hope the programme will encourage Irish people everywhere to engage with the valuable resource that is our culture, to look to our creative possibilities and to project our Irishness into the world in the positive way that has been the achievement of our artists and cultural workers."