An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, and Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys were joined by RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes today to announce Cruinniú na Cásca, a new national day of culture and creativity, to take place on Easter Monday in every county nationwide, as part of the Creative Ireland programme.

Following on from last year's popular RTÉ Reflecting the Rising event in Dublin's city centre as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, Easter Monday 2017 will see RTÉ partner with Creative Ireland to present Cruinniú na Cásca, a large-scale free public festival across four zones in Dublin city centre, north and south, from 11.00am - 6.00pm. Cruinniú na Cásca aims to celebrate culture and creativity in contemporary Irish society through a variety of live music and dance, coding, theatre, art and music workshops, talks and tastings, readings and screenings, special events and more.

"It’s an initiative that is close to my heart," said An Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the Cruinniú na Cásca event today. "The theme for Cruinniú Na Cásca 2017 is diversity and inclusion. As a people, as communities, we can only benefit from taking a day every year to think seriously about ourselves, to have important conversations – but also to share our experiences and to come together to enjoy our cultural heritage and the work of our artists and performers.  I firmly believe that Cruinniú has the potential to  enrich our social and cultural lives long into the future.”

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys T.D., joined Miriam O'Callaghan, Joe Duffy, Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh, Bláthnaid Treacy, Ray D'Arcy, Keith Walsh and Sean Rocks today to announce details of Cruinniú na Cásca.

Cruinniú na Cásca, which directly translates as “a meeting at Easter’, will be an annual free festival which aims to celebrate culture and creativity in contemporary Irish society, with a special focus on events for families and children. Special Cruinniú na Cásca events will also be held by each of the 31 Local Authorities in every county across the country; planning for local events is being led by the Culture Teams which have been set up in each Local Authority as part of Creative Ireland.

"Allowing the public come together, celebrate and engage with national events is a key part of RTÉ's role and public purpose," says RTÉ Director-General, Dee Forbes. "Building on the public events of last year, through Cruinniu na Casca, I am delighted and proud that this Easter RTÉ, in partnership with Creative Ireland, will once again bring contemporary Irish culture and creativity to the streets of Dublin. It promises to be a special and unique day in Dublin - and across the country."

Cruinniú na Cásca highlights in Dublin and around the country include:

Live performances from Crash Ensemble, the Academic, Booka Brass, Slow Moving Clouds and Landless in Dublin City Centre

Workshops on DJing, illustration, film, TV and radio production in Smithfield Square

A Céilí Mór and an international Dance Zone at the Custom House

Siamsa Tire will take over the town park in Tralee, where visitors will be able to enjoy Beautiful Beasts, an exhibition of sculpture for children, presented by The Ark.

Athenry has a full programme of creative fun, with archery, juggling, drums and sambas, plus traditional crafts as well as Irish music, song and dance at multiple locations in the town.

In Abbeyshrule, Co. Longford, a Cruinniú na Cásca event will take place at dusk at the 12th century Cistercian Abbey, and will include an evocative programme of performances by local artists.

For further details on events, go to the Cruinniú na Cásca website.