from Leinster Rugby…
Polish and Irish rugby teams will meet for the first time in history for a friendly match on May 21st, as part of this year's PolskaÉire Festival. Arka Gdynia, Poland's champions, will face a Leinster Representative Side in this historic encounter.
At the launch in Donnybrook, Polish Ambassador to Ireland, Ryszard Sarkowicz, said: "We are proud to present the second PolskaÉire Festival, with rugby taking centre stage, just as soccer did last year. 2016 is special to us as, apart from the Irish Centenary, we are also celebrating 40 years of diplomatic relations between Poland and Ireland. I especially cherish the way the Festival manages to engage with local communities around the country – alongside large scale events in cities from Dublin to Cork, there are also events in smaller towns such as Balbriggan, Gorey and Arklow. PolskaÉire really gets people to go out there and celebrate Irish-Polish friendship. As we say at PolskaÉire: the craic will be dobry!”
Leinster Rugby President, Robert McDermott, said: "This is a wonderful and unique sporting fixture and I know all the lads involved with the Leinster team are looking forward to the fixture. It is great to be involved in the PolskaÉire Festival 2016 and I am delighted to support the festival. I'd ask Leinster supporters to come out and support our boys in blue in Donnybrook and to keep an eye out for other great events all over the province.”
Speaking at the launch, Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, who was involved in setting up the first PolskaÉire Festival said: "I am delighted to see the return of the PolskaÉire Festival this year, after a hugely successful debut in 2015, where initial plans for 10 events become a whole Festival with over 100 events across the country. The programme this year promises to be even bigger and more diverse, building on the great work started last year and continuing to showcase the strength of the Polish-Irish relationship to help it flourish. I cannot wait to see what the Poles are worth on the rugby pitch, and I'm looking forward to the fantastic concert Kíla will perform with the Polish star Kayah in Vicar Street.”
The 2nd PolskaÉire Festival will take place from 16th-22nd May, featuring over 70 events across Ireland in Arklow, Balbriggan, Carlow, Cork, Dublin, Ennis, Galway, Gorey, Kilkenny, Limerick, Swords, Wexford, to name just a few. This year, three cities from Poland will also take part in the Festival: Gdynia, Kielce and Rzeszów.
Other festival highlights include:
- Kayah & Kíla in concert - a unique collaboration between a cult Polish singer (Kayah) and a leading Irish folk band (Kíla), who will present an exclusive programme in Vicar Street (May 22nd)
- A Taste of Poland – a Polish food & produce fair in Liberty Hall (May 21st)
- Solidarity According to Women – a screening of this renowned film, followed by a discussion of the role of women at crucial moments in Polish and Irish history. Held in Trinity College Dublin (May 19th)