Clare to host first Polish celebration of culture

The Clare Champion,
Friday, September 6th, 2013




The first ever celebration of Polish heritage, history and culture in County Clare will be held later in this month. The three-week long Polish Festival will take place at Clare Museum in Ennis from September 20 to October 12 and is being targeted at the region’s significant Polish population.

There are more that 2,500 Polish people living in County Clare with an estimated 19,000 other Poles living in the surrounding counties of Galway, Limerick and Tipperary.

Amongst the free public events being hosted at Clare Museum will be lectures on Poland’s World War Two experience, Polish film screenings, an exhibition of Polish modern art, and a lecture by a Polish descendent of two Clare men who were shipwrecked in the Baltic Sea coast during the 17th century. The festival is being supported by Clare Local Authorities and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Jakub Kacprzak, organiser of the Polish festival, said, ‘We are very excited about hosting the upcoming festival, the first of its kind ever to be held in Clare, a County that has been home to hundreds of Polish people for a number of years during which time they have become active and valued members of the members of the local community. The upcoming series of events will not only celebrate Poland’s rich culture and heritage but also will showcase some of the many connections and similarities between the people of Ireland and Poland. We look forward to welcoming all members of the local community to Clare Museum during the festival’.

John Rattigan, Museum Curator, added, ‘Clare Museum is delighted to be able to facilitate Jakub and the festival organising committee in hosting a series of events that will provide a wonderful focal point for the large Polish community throughout the West of Ireland. This festival is testament to Clare’s vibrant multicultural community.’

The Clare Museum’s Polish Festival gets underway on Friday September 20th at 8pm with an exhibition of Polish modern art that will be launched by the Mayor of Clare Joe Arkins and His Excellency Patrick O’Sullivan, Honorary Consul of Poland. Polish pianist Marcin Dominik Gluch will perform in concert at 4 pm the following day.

On Thursday September 26 at 1pm, Mietek Odya will present a lecture focussing on his County Clare descendants who got shipwrecked near Gdansk while en route to enlist with the Russian Navy during the 17th century.

On Saturday September 28 at 11am, archaeologist Jakub Kacprazk will present a talk entitled, Megalithic Idea in Poland and Ireland. Roman Polanski’s holocaust film The Pianist will be subject of a special screening at 2.30pm.

On October 3 at 1pm a lecture on the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi occupiers in 1944 will be hosted by Jakub Kacprzak, a grandson of one of the Polish insurgents.

On October 5 at 11am, Folkowisko Association members Marcin and Marina Piotrowski will present a talk titled Multicultural Poland – Journey Through Centuries. At 3pm there will be a screening of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Short Film About Killing. On October 12 at 11am, Polish World War II historian Bartosz Wrobel will present Project Riese – History of mysterious German structures from WWII. At 2pm, another Kieslowski film – The Double Life of Veronique – will be screened.

Further information on the Clare Museum Polish Festival is available from Clare Museum on (065) – 6823382.


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