An Taoiseach Enda Kenny today launched the new Ireland.ie portal, as part of his St. Patrick’s Day visit to the United States. The new site is an initiative of the new five-year Creative Ireland Programme which aims to firmly place culture and creativity at the centre of Irish public policy.
Created by Dublin-based design house Zero-G, the impressive new site is intended as a gateway to discovery about Ireland and Irish people at home and abroad.
A special video created to accompany the launch, entitled This Is Ireland, features contributions from a number of key Irish cultural figures, including Oscar-nominated filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson and the Laureate for Irish Fiction Anne Enright, plus visual artist Clare Langan, musician Caomhín Ó Raghallaigh, playwright Enda Walsh and Riverdance co-creator Bill Whelan.
"Ireland.ie is a gateway to discovery of who we are, what we believe and what we do," said The Taoiseach at a special event in Washington launching the new site in the US. “Our culture speaks to the essence of who we are, a culture of storytelling and learning, of artistic endeavour, pride in heritage, and a never satisfied curiosity about the world around us. We are peacekeepers and peace-makers. We believe in culture as a basis for personal and collective wellbeing. We are now a global nation, ever alert to the challenges that confront us all. All of this marks out a distinct contribution we can make to the world.
Speaking today, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys said: “While our primary focus with Creative Ireland is facilitating greater cultural participation at home, the global element of the programme is also very important. The launch of the new ireland.ie portal is a cornerstone of Pillar 5: Unifying our Global Reputation. Ireland is uniquely positioned to promote and showcase the unique and exceptional creative talent of our people and communities, and the expert skills and enthusiasm which have become the calling card of Irish people, at home and abroad."
Highlights of the Creative Ireland programme include a new annual Culture Day, to be known as Cruinniú na Cásca, to be held nationwide on Easter Monday every year.