RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster, plans to air “We Need To Talk About Ireland,” a 90-minute creative celebration of Ireland’s past, present and future on the St. Patrick’s Day evening (Monday, March 17, at 9pm Irish time/5pm EDT), online internationally on the RTÉ Player.

The event is the brainchild of independent Irish collective, The Trailblazery, and will take place in front of a live audience from The Round Room, at Dublin’s Mansion House.

This innovative cultural event challenges some of Ireland’s brightest innovators, thinkers, artists, and creative entrepreneurs to explore what it means to be Irish in 2014.

Featuring inspiring TED-style talks, interspersed with music, comedy, poetry, film, and a large-scale choral spectacle, “We Need To Talk About Ireland” is produced by The Trailblazery in association with RTÉ Arts and will be streamed internationally on RTÉ Player from 9pm.

Over the 90 minutes of the event, the speakers and performers will tell the story of Ireland, from our ancient past to our potential future. The vision of the project is to evoke a new cultural storyline about our social, political, cultural and spiritual evolution on this island and beyond, and aims to re-imagine the kind of Ireland we want to fully participate in.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan T.D. said “Now is the time of year when we celebrate Irishness, and this event allows for a discussion about what that means in the 21st century. St. Patrick’s Day puts Irish culture on the world stage, and focuses global attention on the Irish at home and across the globe. This event brings cultural voices and performers together in what promises to be a thought-provoking and entertaining evening.”

Participants include:

Colm O’ Gorman (Director Amnesty International Ireland), Martin Hayes (traditional musician), Noeline Kavanagh (Artistic Director Macnas), Justine McCarthy (journalist, author) Manchán Magan (author, broadcaster), Eleanor Tiernan (comedian), Ruairí McKiernan (presidential appointee to Ireland’s Council of State, Hitching For Hope), Grace Dyas (theatre maker / THEATREclub), Dylan Haskins (broadcaster, DIY Activist), Bryan Delaney (playwright, screenwriter), Pat Collins (filmmaker), Patrick McCormack (rural philosopher) Crash Ensemble, Nina Hynes (singer/ musician) Iarla O’ Lionáird (singer/ musician), Daithí O’Drónai (musician/ loopstation tweaker) St. Brigid’s Children’s Choir (NS Cabinteely),  The Discovery Gospel Choir with other special guests to be announced.

As well as being streamed internationally and available on demand for 21 days on the RTÉ Player (www.rte.ie/player), “We Need to Talk About Ireland” will also be streamed on TheWashingtonPost.com. The event is open to the public and a very limited number of special tickets will go on sale on Entertainment.ie.

Partners & Sponsors include: RTÉ, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Fáilte Ireland, Dublin City Council, and The Washington Post.
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