Damien Dempsey with the statue of the ‘King of New York’ Brendan Behan, launching the I.NY event Picture: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland
A FESTIVAL celebrating the deep Irish connection with the ‘Big Apple’ is to be held in Limerick later this year, featuring an array of literary, film, theatre and musical talent.
The I.NY festival, taking place in Limerick from October 5 - 15, features - among others - Oscar-winning musician Glen Hansard, David Bowie’s musical director Gerry Leonard, director of The New Yorker Festival Rhonda Sherman and designer Orla Kiely.
The brainchild of Limerick and Dublin-based promoters David O’Donovan and Aoife Flynn, I.NY will “explore and celebrate the relationship between Ireland and New York” and was supported by Fáilte Ireland, receiving the largest investment given to an event in Limerick since the body’s National Festivals and Events scheme began.
This year’s event is intended to be the first of a three-year development plan and the organisers - who also have the support of Limerick City and County Council and the JP McManus Fund - say it developed over two years “from a fascination with and love for both the history and modernity of the Ireland-New York relationship”.
“The intention is to uncover the stories that are the fabric of that relationship, to tell them to a wide audience, encourage that audience to share their own, and once a year, through these stories, bring that relationship to life in an Irish city.
“I.NY creates opportunities for an audience to explore what it means to be local and global, Irish and American, emigrant and native, and to share and experience these stories.”
I.NY is intended to be a national and international festival based out of Limerick and Marion Leydon of Fáilte Ireland said it was “delighted to support the I.NY festival in its inaugural year.
“Fáilte Ireland welcomes the event to Limerick's calendar of festivals and events, and particularly the fact that the event will bring visitors, both domestic and international, to Limerick out of season.”
Other confirmed artists and participants include Kathryn Lloyd, Director of Programs at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Tim O'Connor, former New York Consul General, musician Damien Dempsey, Chris Byrne of Black 47, Dermott Rowan, MD of Kiely Rowan, Qool DJ Marv, producer and DJ for HBO and Soho House New York, Dara O'Cinneide, All-Ireland winning footballer and broadcaster and Diarmuid Lyng, former All-Star hurler and broadcaster, Mary Leonard, graphic designer, Aidan Kelly, photographer and club nights Sunday Times and Mother.
Launching the festival, musician Damien Dempsey said: "The link between Ireland and New York has been hugely important in the history of both places and should be recognised, talked and thought about, and celebrated. The I.NY project is way overdue."
I.NY takes place at a number of venues across Limerick City in October. Tickets for all announced shows go on sale from this Friday, see www.thisisiny.com for more.