On Culture Night, the Department of Enterprise Trade & Employment and the Department of
Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media are opening the Government Offices at 23
Kildare Street from 6.30 pm for a programme of readings and music as well as tours of this historic
Culture Ireland in partnership with First Music Contact will host performances by two of our most
exciting young artists
Maija Sofia whose debut album Bath Time was released in 2019, and
Aaron Smyth who released his debut acclaimed album Last Animals in 2021.
There will also be traditional music and dance by performers from Cultúrlann, Monkstown
arranged with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. Each presentation will involve Comhaltas artists
who are part of Cultúrlann na hÉireann’s Summer Seisiún programme. The artists will illustrate
the breadth of the Irish traditional music and song repertoire and look forward to encouraging the
audience to join in for a song.
23 Kildare Street is a rare example of brutalist art deco architecture, a style rarely seen in Dublin.
This, the first bespoke Government Headquarters to be commissioned by the Irish Free State, was
designed by architect J.R. Boyd Barrett, following a competition held in 1935.
Construction of the six-storey building took almost four years and was completed in October 1942.
The building contractors were John Sisk & Son and this was their first building in Dublin.
The two, massive panelled outer doors are made of bronze plate cast in the Dublin Foundry. They
are the only bronze doors of their type in Ireland.
If you cross to the other side of Kildare Street you can see the sculptural reliefs carved into the
stone façade by Irish artist Gabriel Hayes. The panel over the main entrance represents Lugh, the
God of Light releases a flight of aeroplanes to symbolise Aviation. Panels on the first-floor balcony
at the front represent the Shannon Scheme, the cement industry, spinning, pottery, shoemaking
and the tobacco industry.
The performance programme begins at 6.30 pm and the tours of the building, on the
quarter-hour will be hosted available from 7 pm, last tour from 8:45 pm
18:30 -19:00 Performance by Maija Sofia
19:10 – 19:40 Traditional music and dance arranged in partnership with Comhaltas
19:40 -19:50 Interval
19:50 – 20:20 Traditional music and dance arranged in partnership with Comhaltas
CCÉ’s culture night performance incorporates authentic Irish traditional music, song and perhaps a dance. The 30
minute show will involve Comhaltas artists who are part of Cultúrlann na hÉireann’s Summer Seisiún programme.
The artists will illustrate the breath of the Irish traditional music and song repertoire and look forward to
encouraging the audience to join in for a song.
20:30 – 21:00 Aaron Smyth