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ireland 100

Concert to mark 100 years of Irish State to be held next month (and tickets are free)

Ireland 100: An Old Song Re-Sung is being presented by RTÉ in association with the South Wind Blows production company.

A LIVE CONCERT to mark one hundred years of the Irish State and featuring some of Ireland’s top performers and musicians will be held next month.

Ireland 100: An Old Song Re-Sung is being presented by RTÉ in association with the South Wind Blows production company and will be held on Saturday 7 October at the RDS.

According to the organisers, the concert “commemorates, in performance, song, music, dance, and spoken word, the hundred years from 1923 – 2023 through the lens of Irish culture”.

“Woven into the show are key themes of our 100-year story of achievements, failures, challenges, and changes. Human experience and identity and the cultural and artistic response to these events are at the heart of the show.”

The first official day of the Irish Free State was 6 December 1922. Ireland had previously declared a 32-country republic in 1919, which led to the War of Independence.

The title of the concert takes its name from WB Yeats poem Down by the Sally Gardens. Organisers highlight 1923 as the year “that Ireland joined the newly-established League of Nations, thus marking formal recognition and the country’s entry into the international community”.

“This moment marks the end of a uniquely transformative period in our history which saw huge social and political change as the developing new State navigated an uncertain future, filled with possibilities,” organisers said.

The event will feature performances from a wide range of singers, artists, musicians, dancers and broadcasters, as well as archive film footage and projections.

Featured artists and contributors include will include Damien Dempsey, Aiden Gillen, Tolü Makay, Colm Mac Con Iomaire and Síle Denvir with Bláth na hÓige and Liam Ó Maonlaí, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Loah, Donal Lunny, Martin Hayes, FeliSpeaks, Diarmaid Ferriter, Sally Mulready OBE, the London Irish Pensioners Choir and more.

The event is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries Programme, 2012-2023.

Commenting in a statement, Culture Minister Catherine Martin said the event  “highlights the important role artists and cultural organisations have played throughout the Decade of Centenaries and I have every expectation that it will be an exceptional cultural event that appropriately reflects on the historic period and its legacy”.

“Using Ireland’s entry into the League of Nations as a launch point, the production aims to use music and performance to help us understand our past, make sense of our present while all the while looking to the future we will create for generations to come after us.

I would like to thank RTÉ and the many artists and arts organisations for their contribution to the Decade of Centenaries over the last 10 years with ambitious and quality productions and programming.

RTÉ Director-General Kevin Bakhurst said the broadcaster was proud to participate in the concernt.

“We look forward to bringing contributions and performances from some of Ireland’s outstanding artists, singers, musicians, dancers and broadcasters to audiences and to playing our part in sharing such a historic occasion across our services,” he said.

Tickets to the event are free, with limited applications being taken on rte.ie/culture. The concert will be broadcast on RTÉ One, RTÉ Player and RTÉ Radio 1 on Monday 30 October. 

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