Ulrike Gasser, Director of the Goethe-Institut Irland, celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Irish branch of the organization which promotes intercultural cooperation between Ireland and Germany with German courses and cultural events.


The Goethe-Institut first opened its doors on Dublin's Merrion Square 60 years ago, in October 1961, during the same year in which Ireland submitted its first application to join the European Economic Community, the predecessor institution to the EU.

Since then, the institute has played an important role in sharing a contemporary image of Germany in Ireland, fostering cultural cooperation and exchange, and promoting the knowledge of the German language.

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Over the last six decades, more than 50,000 language students have passed through our doors, and the institute has hosted more than 5,000 events and projects, including exhibitions and concerts, film screenings and readings, artistic performances, artists' residencies and more. The number of books, magazines, films, music and games in our library has also steadily grown, and – between our global online library service Onleihe and our library on Merrion Square – almost 30,000 titles can now be accessed by anyone, free of charge.

(Front) Gerard Byrne, Professor of Film at Städelschule,
Ulrike Gasser, Director of the Goethe Institut and Benedikt Ackermann, student at Städelschule,
(Back) Louis Hay, student at Städelschule and Bernhard Schreiner, faculty member Städelschule.

To mark these achievements and to celebrate the longstanding, close relationship between Ireland and Germany, we are hosting a month-long anniversary programme of events this October, both at the Goethe-Institut and online, and also at the Hugh Lane Gallery, one of our fantastic partners.

Working in collaboration with partners has always been a hallmark of the activities at the Goethe-Institut. We have been fortunate to build many long-lasting relationships with partners in Ireland and beyond, and we ourselves are committed partners for all who actively engage with Germany and its culture.

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We were therefore keen to involve a variety of partners in our 60th anniversary programme, and we are very happy to be collaborating with a fantastic group of musicians, artists, students and other friends and partners of the Goethe-Institut to offer a month-long programme of musical performances, film screenings, panel discussions, free online taster courses, a visual arts programme, a series of exhibitions, and more.

The programme includes a series of exhibitions in our Georgian building by students of the film class of the renowned German academy of fine arts, the Städelschule; as well as an exhibition and supporting film screenings, talks and lectures focused on German artist, Joseph Beuys, which we are hosting together with the Hugh Lane Gallery.

There will also be several public discussions focused on German-Irish cultural relations with speakers from Ireland and Germany; and we are really looking forward to 'Zehr Gut', a collaboration with Homebeat, which will feature performances by renowned pianist Lambert, Irish-born DJ and producer based in Berlin, Sara Miller, and Irish/Persian musicians, Navá.

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The Goethe-Institut's 60th anniversary marks a hugely exciting time for German-Irish relations. Ireland's increased orientation towards the European continent in the wake of Brexit has opened a new window of opportunity between Germany and Ireland to get to know each other better and to build new cultural bridges.

We hope that many people will celebrate our anniversary with us, and we look forward to working with our partners to further expand the cultural exchange between Germany and Ireland as the two countries are growing closer together.

Details of the Goethe-Institut Irland’s 60th anniversary programme are available here - all events are free to attend, however booking is necessary.