New website will sell our country to the world - Taoiseach
Culture is to be placed "at the heart of public policy" for the first time starting with the launch of a new website, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.
The site, Ireland.ie, is to be a 'gateway to discovery' about Ireland and Irish people at home and abroad.
Mr Kenny told an audience in Washington that the Government is to put a new focus on the Arts as a result of the success of the 1916 commemorations.
He said that following the centenary "came a realisation that in communities all around the country there was so much creative, imaginative leadership".
"It's very important not to let that slip," Mr Kenny said, adding that Ireland could be "the Republic of Creativity".
Ireland.ie is being marketed as a central hub which unifies our global reputation and draws on the wealth of our knowledge, talent, innovation and imagination to promote Ireland as a great place, to live, to visit, to study and to invest.
Arts Minister Heather Humphreys said: "Now more than ever, it is important that we use every opportunity to reinforce the message that Ireland is a home of possibility."
John Concannon, director of Creative Ireland, said the plans for the programme over the next year will focus largely on children
"It's a focus on Ireland, on the special piece of Ireland which is our culture and creativity and enable that as best we can, starting with our children and making a big difference. And this is really going for it," he said.
"What we are trying to do is put creativity and culture at the centre of public policy, which means looking at the role culture plays in the wellbeing of our citizens.
"Ireland first and foremost is a great place to live. It's not perfect, it has it's faults... but if we invest in our culture, in our community, in our systems it's a great place to live which then makes it a great place to invest in, and to study, and to visit and so on," said Mr Concannon, who was previously tasked with running Ireland's offical 1916 commemorations.