Ardmheara Micheal Mac Donncha and friends help launch St Patrick's Festival, which this year has the theme of 'Home'. Picture: Robbie Reynolds
Ardmheara Micheal Mac Donncha and friends help launch St Patrick's Festival, which this year has the theme of 'Home'. Picture: Robbie Reynolds

‘HOME’ has been announced as this year’s theme for the St Patrick’s Festival.

Taking place from March 15-19, the five-day festival will see thousands of home-grown and international musicians, dancers and storytellers perform.

The artistic programme also includes a unique film commission project, street-theatre, talks, walks, spoken word, literature, music, Irish language, visual art and more.

The vibrant and colourful programme of more than 30 events will create a world class cultural celebration of Ireland, its people and our national holiday.

The festival is expected to bring in more than €70 million for the Irish economy which Minister for Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Shane Ross told Dublin Gazette is “phenomenally good for tourism – it’s the most celebrated national day in the world”.

He added: “It is so professional, it’s so well organised, it’s such a tremendous spectacle for the world to see.

“It attracts tourism and it shows that Ireland is a really modern, vibrant, energetic, peaceful state.”

Speaking at the launch of the festival on Tuesday, Ardmheara Micheal Mac Donncha said: “It is a great honour for me to launch the 2018 national St Patrick’s Festival programme.

“Celebrating Ireland’s national holiday, our capital city is set for five wonderful days of fun and activities for all ages and interests.

“I invite Dubliners and people from across the country to enjoy the events on offer, and for those who will be visiting from overseas, I extend a cead mile failte.

“You’re sure to have a fantastic time at this year’s festival and leave with lasting memories.”

The Lord Mayor told Dublin Gazette he also thinks the Home theme is great: “Dublin is our home, Ireland is our home, and it’s home not only to people born here, but to many new communities who have made their homes here in recent years.”

Cllr Mac Donncha added the theme has significance to the housing crisis: “It also echoes that we have our major problems – not least, housing. Everyone deserves a home and has a right to a home, so I would see that as important as well.”

Susan Kirby, chief executive St Patrick’s Festival, said this year they want to explore and celebrate what Home means to all of us.

She said: “It is the inspiration for our artistic programme of more than 30 events from talks, walks and literature to street theatre, spoken word and a unique film commission project.

“Together, these reflect the talents and achievements of Irish people on national and world stages, showcasing the skills of every age and social background.”

More than 100,000 overseas visitors are expected to come to Dublin to watch the festival parade waltz and whirl through the streets of Dublin from noon on March 17th.
To find out more, see www.stpatricksfestival.ie.