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British Embassy Celebrates Culture Ireland GB18 in Dublin

GB18 Year-long focus of Irish arts in Britain sees 100+ Irish artists tour England, Scotland and Wales

The British Ambassador in Dublin today hosted a celebration of cultural connections between Ireland and Britain with Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan T.D.

Culture Ireland GB18, supported by Culture Ireland, part of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, will see more than 100 artists and projects tour England, Scotland and Wales in a vibrant, contemporary and high quality programme of events across all artistic disciplines throughout the year.

Following successful GB18 events held in Glasgow and London over the past two months, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan T.D. announced more details of the programme saying,

“Culture Ireland GB18 is planned both to celebrate and renew the unique cultural relationship which exists between Ireland and Britain. The GB18 programme aims to build on existing relationships in Britain as well as forge new connections, which it is hoped will be further developed in future years, ensuring our close cultural bonds for the future.”

The British Ambassador Robin Barnett said “Our bilateral relationship with Ireland is an extraordinarily close one, reflected in the breadth of our people to people links. It is great to be able to celebrate the vibrancy, creativity and passion of the arts and cultural ties across our two islands as well as the economic benefits from our strong creative industries. I am delighted that Culture Ireland chose Britain for its flagship overseas programme in 2018.”:

At the launch event guests enjoyed a performance by the Irish/Sierra-Leonean singer Loah (who just performed at London’s Barbican Centre as part of a GB18 Imagining Ireland concert) and the Manchester-based poet John McAuliffe who will be appearing as part of the Poets in the Cities tour of Britain presented by Poetry Ireland later in 2018.


Highlights of the GB18 programme in April include:

  •        The Abbey Theatre production of The Plough and the Stars runs at London’s Lyric Hammersmith until 7 April
  •        To commemorate the 20th anniversary of The Good Friday Agreement, Poetry Ireland presents The Further Shore: The Journey to Good Friday, 1998 at London’s Barbican Centre (5 April)
  •        Visual artist Sean Lynch’s exhibition Bandits Live Comfortably in the Ruins tours to Cornwall and Southhampton
  •        Irish harpists perform at Wales International Harp Festival (1-7 April)
  •        Finbar Furey tours to Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, London and Liverpool (4-9 April)
  •        An increased presence of Irish authors and writers at the London Book Fair – an increased presence at the annual event (10 – 12 April)
  •        Malaprop Theatre presents LOVE+ and BlackCatfishMusketeer  at London’s Omnibus Theatre (10 - 29 April)
  •        And in the year that Ireland is the feature country at Vence CREATE presents Engaging Places: Collaborative Praxis in Art and Architecture at Heart of Glass, St Helen's, Merseyside and Tate Exchange, Liverpool (16 - 21 April)

Later in the year audiences can enjoy Druid Theatre’s acclaimed production of Waiting for Godot at the Edinburgh International Festival, ANU and CoisCéim’s production of These Rooms also supported as part of the British Government’s 1418 Now Commemorations, Fishamble Theatre Company’s The Humors of Bandon at the Brighton Festival and Pan Pan’s double bill of Beckett’s All That Fall and Cascando on tour around Britain.

Other highlights of Culture Ireland GB18 include the recently launched Irish National Opera touring its acclaimed co-production with Landmark Productions of The Second Violinist by Enda Walsh and Donnacha Dennehy to London’s Barbican Centre and a range of Irish visual artists at exhibitions around the island. Kíla,  the Martin Hayes Quartet and Slow Moving Clouds will all tour widely too.

The full programme of 100+ events can be found here.


More information



Loah is Sallay Matu Garnett, a singer songwriter of Sierra Leonean / Irish origin who grew up between Maynooth and West Africa. While in college she collaborated with future members of Little Green Cars and Kíla. She also contributed to Hozier’s platinum selling debut album, co-writing the song Someone New, for which they won a BMI songwriting award. Loah performed at the recent Barbican concert produced by the National Concert Hall – Imagining Ireland – 21st Century Song.


John McAuliffe

John McAuliffe is a Poet based in Manchester. He grew up in Listowel, studied English and Law at NUI Galway and in addition to his writing, now teaches poetry at the University of Manchester's Centre for New Writing, which he founded and co-directs. His books are published by The Gallery Press and include A Better Life (2002) which was shortlisted for a Forward Prize, Next Door (2007) and Of All Places (2011) which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. In 2013, a selection of his work was published in the US as part of Wake Forest UP’s Introductions to Irish Poetry series. He is appearing as part of the Poets in the Cities tour of GB presented by Poetry Ireland later in 2018.


About Culture Ireland GB 18: Promoting Irish Artists in Britain

Culture Ireland’s special focus of Irish artistic activity in Britain in 2018. GB18 is a vibrant, contemporary and high quality programme that includes a range of work from all artistic disciplines including architecture, dance, film, literature, music, theatre, opera and visual arts in high-profile venues, institutions and festivals in Britain. Culture Ireland GB18 builds on Ireland's special history and relationship with its nearest neighbour and follows the successes of previous programme strands (Imagine Ireland in 2011, Culture Connects across the EU in 2013, I Am Ireland as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme). This new initiative will create unique opportunities for artists and companies in all artforms to perform across Britain and develop new audiences and their networks of contacts. Culture Ireland GB18 works will be seen in more than two dozen cities around Britain including, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, , Cheltenham, Chester, Dundee, Edinburgh, Fishguard, Glasgow, St. Helen’s, Ipswich, Liverpool, London, Ludlow, Manchester, Paisley, Southampton, Reading, Rye, St. Andrews and Warwick.


About Culture Ireland

Founded in 2005, Culture Ireland - part of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht - works to generate international opportunities for Irish artists and supports Irish artists as they gain global contracts and develop their careers. In 2017, Culture Ireland reached 3.5 million live audience members and 7 million online viewers through the 450 Culture Ireland supported events presented in over 50 countries by Irish artists.