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Minister Deenihan attends An Chúirt Chruitireachta - International Irish Harp Festival

Sunday 30th June 2013: Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, will this evening (8pm) attend the Opening Concert for An Chúirt Chruitireachta - International Irish Harp Festival in the Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda, Co Louth.

An Chúirt Chruitireachta is one of over 90 projects which has been co-ordinated by the Arts Council as part the Culture Connects programme. In the last six months during Ireland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Irish and European artists took part in a wide range of events at home and abroad. This gala concert is being dedicated to Gráinne Yeats and will mark the end of the Irish Presidency of the European Union 2013.

Under the Culture Connects programme Irish audiences had the chance to experience European culture here at home through the welcome inclusion of many European artists. Up to 400 events have taken place in Ireland and across the European Union during the last six months.

Speaking in advance of the opening concert Minister Deenihan said: "Irish harpers were internationally celebrated for the excellence and exuberance of their tradition and musicality. The organisation of Cairde na Cruite was a part of this and has played a central role in the revival and development of interest in the Irish harp. The arts inspire us and that’s why festivals like this mean so much. I wish to thank and congratulate all the committee members who together have ensured An Chúirt Chruitireachta 2013 will be a festival to remember."

"The Harp has, for so many centuries, been the symbol of Ireland and the Irish nation and now as we conclude our Presidency of the European Union how appropriate it is to do so with a Harp Festival – Chúirt na Chruitireachta" Minister Deenihan concluded.