Frankfurt Book Fair, the most important platform for writers and publishers celebrates Ireland.

The Frankfurt Book Fair is the world's most important marketplace for writers and publishers. This year’s festival has Ireland and its diaspora as its central theme.

It’s the biggest ever international showcase for Ireland, its writers and publishers.

47 Irish writers and 26 publishing houses are represented among the twenty thousand publishers who take part in the annual selling spree.

Festival Director Lar Cassidy describes the event as

The Olympics of World Publishing

The event will provide Irish writers and publishers with a platform in front of 300,000 visitors, 20,000 publishers and 9,500 journalists. Around the Frankfurt Book Fair, a further festival is being built to promote Ireland and its diaspora throughout Germany.

It will mean certainly an enhancement of our image in Germany and a big increase in the market in Germany for Irish writers and Irish publishers and Irish arts.

The festival will also include music, art exhibitions, screenings and cultural debates. The official opening in Frankfurt will be attended by President Mary Robinson and poet laureate Seamus Heaney.

Minister for the Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht Michael D Higgins says the event is of immense significance and describes it as a powerful statement about the strength of the Irish imagination abroad.

An RTÉ News reports broadcast on 10 September 1996. The reporter is Colm Connolly.