Press Release

Minister Hoctor launches the 14th Bealtaine Festival

Máire Hoctor, TD, Minister for Older People, today (Tuesday 21st April 2009) officially launched the 14th Bealtaine Festival in the National Library, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

The Bealtaine Festival began in 1996 and is a national arts festival celebrating creativity in older age. It takes place each May and involves thousands of participants countrywide. Bealtaine, the Irish word for May, is also the name of the ancient Celtic festival celebrating springtime. The Bealtaine Festival celebrates older age as a time for renewal, creativity and growth. It offers opportunities to participate in the arts at every level and to celebrate the work of older artists.

The Festival is part-funded by the Arts Council, Dublin City Council and RTÉ and is coordinated by Age & Opportunity in a steering group that includes the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), the Irish Film Institute and representatives of public libraries, local authorities and the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Speaking at the launch, Minister Hoctor said “This year’s Bealtaine theme is ‘Go and Open the Door’ – a theme inspired by Miroslav Holub’s poem ‘The Door’. It is an invitation to each of us to take that first step and explore our creativity through our medium of choice. Whether it is through art, music or dance, Bealtaine invites us to communicate and celebrate the richness of our lives to others, through the arts”.

“As we get older we continue to learn and grow and older people have much to contribute to our society. Bealtaine provides opportunities for greater participation by older people in the arts and communicates a powerful message that old age can be a time of renewal, creativity and empowerment”.

Visit the Bealtaine Festival website for more information