Kenny attacks people who use iPads to photograph everything rather than enjoy the moment
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has hit out at the practice of people photographing everything on iPads rather than actually enjoying the moment.
In his first major speech since being re-elected as Taoiseach Mr Kenny made an impassioned plea for people to enjoy the arts.
He said Ireland's arts and culture scene was "not as an elegant add-on to what the marketers would call our ‘national offering’.
"Rather we wish them to represent us, as the essence of who we are as a still-young Republic an ancient people."
Speaking to a packed Kennedy Centre in Washington where the audience included US Vice-President Joe Biden, Mr Kenny said we live "in a world of spectacle one of instant reaction where our response is published to the world before we have time to absorb never mind reflect".
"In any city, right here in Washington, we see visitors walking around with iPads held up in front of them.
"Instead of living the moment they have outsourced their experience to a piece of technology.
"Instead of seeing with their own eyes, instead of listening with their own ears, they are recording," Mr Kenny said.
"Their action implying that for them the moment precious as it is, already over.
"They are consigning the present to the past, making it something to be revisited at a technological remove before they have lived it in person.
"I believe the arts particularly the Irish arts with their exquisite moments, have the capacity to bring us back inside ourselves," he added.
The Taoiseach said people need to go "back into the dark where we can feel, anguish, grief and joy".
"Where we can regain that sense of self, the self that maybe through the roles we are forced to assume in life, to which we have become a stranger."
His speech at the opening night of the 'Ireland 100: Celebrating a Century f Irish Arts and Culture' was warmly received by the largely Irish-American audience.
It was followed by a 90 minute performance lead by the National Symphony Orchestra and directed by actress Fiona Shaw.