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Tuesday 17 October 2017

Stage is set for country's bumper Easter festival

I’M SO EGG-CITED: Three-year-old Grace Carroll, from Clane, Co Kildare, pictured during the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt in Merrion Square in aid of Barnardo’s. Photo: Frank McGrath
I’M SO EGG-CITED: Three-year-old Grace Carroll, from Clane, Co Kildare, pictured during the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt in Merrion Square in aid of Barnardo’s. Photo: Frank McGrath
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Tens of thousands of people across Ireland will attend Cruinniu na Casca tomorrow, Ireland's first national Easter festival.

Last year's Rising commemorations left a lasting cultural legacy, with the setting up of Creative Ireland and a five-year plan to encourage and support the arts and culture.

The first chief initiative is this year's festival, Cruinniu na Casca, or A Meeting at Easter.

"RTE was asked by Creative Ireland to create a prototype Easter Festival," Lorelei Harris of RTE explained.

"We thought about what it was that brought people together last year. The success of Reflecting the Rising was about inclusion, tolerance and diversity, and a sense of pride that we live in an open society. These are the themes that run throughout Cruinniu na Casca."

While 31 local authorities throughout the country are organising events, the biggest takes place in Dublin tomorrow when the orchestra stage in St Stephen's Green will feature performances by the RTE Concert Orchestra, Lisa Lambe and the Hothouse Flowers.

Cruinniu na Casca highlights, in Dublin and around the country, include live performances from Crash Ensemble, the Academic, Booka Brass, Slow Moving Clouds and Landless in Dublin City Centre. Siamsa Tire will take over the town park in Tralee, where visitors will be able to enjoy Beautiful Beasts, an exhibition of sculpture for children, presented by The Ark.

Athenry has a full programme of creative fun, with archery, juggling, drums and sambas, plus traditional crafts as well as Irish music, song and dance at multiple locations.

In Abbeyshrule, Co Longford, a Cruinniu na Casca event will take place at dusk at the 12th-century Cistercian Abbey, and will include an evocative programme of performances by local artists.

RTE's Liveline will broadcast live from Custom House Quay from 1.30pm, featuring WWI reminiscences and the aftermath of 1916.

Sunday Independent

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