Tuesday 21 May 2019

Thousands throng to Culture Night

Concerts, horror films, puppet shows and more see huge crowds enjoy free events across the country

Colourful: Paul Ryder performing at Culture Night in Collins Barracks in Dublin. Photo: Kyran O’Brien
Colourful: Paul Ryder performing at Culture Night in Collins Barracks in Dublin. Photo: Kyran O’Brien
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

It started off as a mere idea but Culture Night is firmly wedged into the social calendar as thousands of people thronged to events around the country.

Celebrating its 13th year, Culture Night 2018 offered something for everyone with hundreds of events taking place. There were aerial displays in Dublin, a free open air concert in Collins Barracks, puppet shows in Cork and scary movies in Kerry.

Free buses were also provided in some towns to help people attend events.

In Limerick, large crowds flocked to Bedford Row to enjoy hip-hop performances, dance classes and songs by Limerick Music Generation and the Mary Immaculate Community Choir.

The city's Garda HQ was also opened to the public, giving law-abiding citizens an exclusive tour of its premises. Meanwhile, King John's Castle in the city hosted a display of archery and ancient weaponry.

The Dowtcha Puppets troupe in Co Cork enthralled children and adults alike with a tale of faeries, talking animals and a sleeping lighthouse keeper who must be stirred before a ship crashes against the rocks.

In Galway, the City Museum offered a tour around many of the hidden parts of the town where noise is "screened" by buildings or "masked" by natural sounds.

Horror movie fans spilled into Killorglin, Co Kerry, to take in locally made films, while in Tralee music lovers enjoyed trad tunes at Baile Mhuire Day Care Centre.

The capital was also full of colour and excitement, with hundreds of events taking place throughout the night.

The National Museum at Collins Barracks once again saw a huge crowd to hear the likes of the Villagers, Mick Flannery and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.

Mary Kennedy, from Dundalk, brought her two children to the nursery rhymes and story telling show outside the Smock Alley Theatre.

She told the Irish Independent: "It's a really great initiative and I'm just sorry I've never experienced Culture Night before.

"I think it's very important that we embrace our culture and heritage because it's something that we often take for granted.

"In other European countries they do these sort of events all the time so it would be nice to expand Culture Night into an entire month of cultural events."

Jason Shields (30) and girlfriend Jane Kelly (27), from Castleknock, north Dublin, chose to visit the Freemasons Grand Lodge on Molesworth Street.

"It's something that I mean to go to every year and I'm always kicking myself that I never went," said Mr Shields.

"They're apparently only open to the public once a year so I'll be really eager to see what the big fuss is about."

Irish Independent

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