Aslan’s Christy Dignam, Culture Minister Josepha Madigan
and RTE performer Celine Byrne at the concert in Collins Barracks

Tens of thousands of culture vultures from around the country embraced everything that their town, city and village had to offer as the sun went down last night.

Celebrating its 14th year, Culture Night has grown to become an essential day in the Irish social calendar, with 4,000 events across the country.

Free buses in Dublin and Cork ferried people to events, exhibitions and screenings.


At Central Plaza on Dame Street visitors were in for a treat when Ireland’s leading “aerialists” Aerial Cirque put on a gravity-defying show with music by composer Peter Power.

Across the river, at the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks, RTE hosted an open-air event, with acts including Aslan, Wallis Bird, the Kilfenora Ceili Band and the Dublin Gospel Choir.

The Freemasons HQ in Dublin was among the most popular establishments to open its doors to the public last night.

While the organisation has been in Ireland for 300 years, with about 800 Irish lodges across the country, few have seen inside their halls.

Denise Mahon (42) from Stoneybatter said she was amazed such an ornate building was on her doorstep.

“I’ve always wanted to come here because the lodge is one of the hidden gems in Dublin that many don’t even know about.”

Dubliner Amy Forsyth (31) said: “This place has been part of the city for generations so it’s really good that they open their doors to non-members.”

Temple Bar had a plethora of family-friendly activities and events, from outdoor dance sessions, face-painting classes and art exhibitions.

World-famous photographer Martin Parr was one of the many visitors to Temple Bar Gallery and Studios.

He said that Culture Night was an ideal time to find inspiration for his new project.


“It’s great that the cities around the country are embracing their culture and traditions.

“There is a lot going on tonight, which is ideal because I’m writing a new photography book on Ireland,” he said.

For schoolteacher Kate Beglan, the night was a fantastic chance to keep her daughter and friends from Canal Way Education, Dublin 8, occupied.

“There’s always so much stuff going on tonight which is great when you’re looking after so many kids,” she said.