Monday 24 June 2019

Dublin to get 'flagship' Irish language hub to encourage people to speak 'a cúpla focal'

Gaeltacht town of Dingle
Gaeltacht town of Dingle
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

The Dead Zoo (aka The Natural History Museum) and Star Wars Island (aka Skellig Michael) are both to benefit from the Government's 10-year €1.2bn culture plan.

Yesterday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, and Culture Minister Josepha Madigan launched Investing In Our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018-2027 as part of Project 2024.

The Natural History Museum will undergo construction work adding a new wing to ensure the historic 1856 building remains "a museum of a museum".

The building, which houses 10,000 exhibits, will also link-up with the National Museum of Ireland on Kildare Street via a walkway so patrons can wander from one institution to the other.


Skellig Michael is one of several historical sites and monuments which will receive funding for conservation through the 10-year plan.

Other sites include the Rock of Cashel, Valentia Cable Station, Clonmacnoise and the three Neolithic tombs of Knowth, Newgrange and Dowth.

Visitor centres and facilities will be improved and care will be taken to ensure the sites are well preserved and maintained.

The Irish language, the Gaeltacht, and the islands have been labelled as a 'Priority Project' in the Government's culture plan and will receive funding of €178m.

This includes creating 1,000 new jobs annually through Udaras na Gaeltacht and investing €105m in the Gaeltacht.

A new flagship Irish language centre will be established in Dublin to encourage people to speak a cúpla focal. Smaller hubs will be placed in towns and cities around the country.

The National Concert hall auditorium will be revamped, with an increase from 1,200 to 1,350 seats.

The Abbey Theatre has ambitious plans to extend the theatre down to Eden Quay.

Directors of the theatre Neil Murray and Graham McLaren said they want "to build an iconic, welcoming building" stretching from the theatre's present site at the junction of Abbey Street and Marlborough Street down to the River Liffey.

The Irish Film Board is to be renamed Screen Ireland and receive €200m investment as part of Project Ireland 2040.

A total of €15m will go toward supporting Galway European Capital of Culture 2020, the theme of which is Making Waves.

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