Press Release

The first ever rugby encounter between Poland and Ireland,

 at the heart of the PolskaÉire Festival 2016



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. Witness history in the making and join us on May 21st at Donnybrook Stadium!


“We are proud to present the second PolskaÉire Festival, with rugby taking centre stage, just as soccer did last year,” said Polish Ambassador to Ireland, Ryszard Sarkowicz, “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!


The 2nd PolskaÉire Festival will take place all over the island of Ireland from May 16-22, featuring over 70 events across Ireland including 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)

“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,” said President of Leinster Rugby Robert McDermott at the launch of the 2016 Festival Programme. “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.”


PolskaEire Festival is an annual nationwide celebration of Irish-Polish friendship, co-organised by approximately 30 different partners in Poland and Ireland, under the auspices of the Department of Justice and the Polish Embassy in Dublin. The Festival was established in 2015 under the auspices of Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin and the Polish Embassy in Dublin with the aim of further strengthening mutual relations between Polish and Irish communities by means of various cultural, sports, business, academic and community events.


Let’s celebrate Irish-Polish friendship – the craic will be dobry!


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.”

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