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Department of Foreign Affairs launches its sixth global St Brigid’s Day programme of events

The Department of Foreign Affairs is today launching its sixth annual global St Brigid’s Day programme of events.

Since 2018, Ireland’s diplomatic network, in partnership with local communities from Mumbai to Madrid, Sydney to Santiago and London to Lilongwe, have organised St Brigid’s Day events to celebrate the achievements of trailblazing, inspirational women all over the world.

This year is a special year as, for the first time, Ireland will also honour St Brigid with a public holiday, the first Irish public holiday to be dedicated to a female figure.

St Brigid’s Day itself, 1 February, traditionally marks the beginning of Spring in Ireland and has long symbolised hope, renewal and the feminine. It is the perfect day on which to celebrate the achievements of Irish women and of women everywhere.

Ahead of the various events, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin TD said:

“This is a very special year as, for the first time, we mark St Brigid’s day and celebrate the achievements of Irish women with a public holiday. Ireland has marked this day internationally for a number of years now. This will be the sixth year that the Department of Foreign Affairs, through its global network of diplomatic missions has organised a global celebration of Lá Fhéile Bríde and of Irish women.

"It is a day on which to reflect on and take pride in in the achievements of Irish women.

"It is also a day on which to re-assert our commitment to and our determination to achieve absolute gender equality across the board, whether in politics, business, sport, or in any other walk of life.

"In sport, in particular, 2023 will be a very special year for Irish women as, for the first time ever, Ireland will participate in a FIFA Women’s World Cup finals, a truly magnificent achievement that is an inspiration for Irish women and girls, on St Brigid’s Day and every other day.” will be host to a St Brigid’s Day hub, which will showcase the programme of events taking place internationally. Link here:

On 1 February, the Department of Foreign Affairs will mark St Brigid’s Day with a special EU50 Lecture at Iveagh House, delivered by Justice Síofra O’Leary on her first official visit to Ireland since being elected President of the European Court of Human Rights.

Following her lecture, President O’Leary will be joined by Senator Fiona O’Loughlin, Chair of the Oireachtas Women’s Caucus, and Professor Aoife Nolan, recently elected President of the European Committee of Social Rights, to reflect on how membership of the Council of Europe and the European Union has changed Ireland, including by advancing equality.

Minister of State for European Affairs and Defence Peter Burke TD will host the lecture.

An exciting programme of cultural events has also been organised by Ireland’s National Cultural Institutions, with further details available on individual institutions’ websites.

Exhibitions at IMMA and the National Museum will celebrate the work of seminal Irish women artists and political pioneers; while the National Concert Hall will present Rebel Irishwomen; and the Crawford Art Gallery will present a special St Brigid’s Day tour of the collection. There will be a range of community-based events organised by the local authorities. Kildare County Council, in particular, has planned a programme of events celebrating its unique links with St Brigid.

Notes to Editors

Some highlights from the global programme of events include the following: 


Common Threads Exhibition


The Department’s Common Threads project invited textile artists from around the world to contribute unique individual artworks, which were then assembled by the Irish Patchwork Society. The final artwork is on display at EPIC, The Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin. Brigid’s legendary cloak is often depicted as a patchwork of colours and materials, reflecting the diversity and inclusivity of Brigid’s values and work. Forty artworks were received in Dublin from a range of locations including Abuja, Budapest, Cairo, Kyiv, and Shanghai, symbolically reflecting the spread of Ireland’s diplomatic network, while illustrating the power of creative expression to form connections.

Australia – Canberra & Sydney

Lá Fhéile Bríde 2023

St Brigid’s day celebrations in Australia will be taking place across four States and Territories and in seven cities throughout the country, in partnership with the following organisations: Torc Céilí Club, SW Irish Community Group, Comhaltas Melbourne, Friends of Ireland, SBD Brisbane, IASAQ, Darling Downs Irish Club, and Canberra Irish Club.



Brigidsfest – The Authors Are Present

This three-day festival (1 –3 February) will consist of workshops in poetry, short stories, flash fiction, non-fiction, and fiction, and panels on the theme of universality and exploring identity. The final evening will consist of a song and poetry session on the theme of the female protagonist.


Brigid in Brussels 2023 – Irish Women’s Networking Event

The Embassy and Permanent Representation are hosting a lunchtime networking event for Irish women to mark St Brigid’s Day on Wednesday 1 February 2023.


St. Brigid’s Day Contemporary Art Exhibition

Embassy Budapest have organised a Contemporary Art Exhibition which will celebrate the creativity of women, marking St Brigid’s Day in Hungary. The exhibition will feature three female contemporary artists; Judit Horvath, Szilvia Fekete and Natalie Forrester.The exhibition will be open to the public from 1-12 February.


St. Brigid’s Day Women’s Bazaar

A Women’s Bazaar in honour of St. Brigid will be held on 11 February.


Gender Equality in the European Union: Irish and German experiences 

The Consulate General of Ireland, Frankfurt, will host an event focused on the topic of Gender Equality in the EU: Irish and German experiences.


Women Peace and Security in the 25th year of the Good Friday Agreement

On 2 February, Embassy Helsinki is holding an interactive workshop with Shona Bell, Programme Manager, focused on Sectarianism with Corrymeela in Northern Ireland.

Holy See

On 30 January, Embassy Holy See’s event will welcome Caoimhe De Barra from Trócaire to speak about Irish women and their role on the world stage in areas of shared priority for Ireland and the Holy See; International Development, Climate Change, Peace and global citizenship education.


St Brigid’s Day 2023

Embassy London will celebrate the talent and creativity of Irish women across many spheres of life, which will be part of a wider St Brigid’s Festival in Britain that will include events from their Consulate network, and external organisations including the Irish Cultural Centre Hammersmith, London Irish Centre, and Irish Film London.


Bajo la Capa de Santa Brígida (Under St Brigid´s cloak)

Embassy Madrid are running two events on 1 February – an event in a Madrid-based school with the theatre group Connected Learning and an event featuring the Spanish based all-female Irish Dancing Group ‘Irish Treble’.


Irish-Mexican women’s rights movements exchange

Embassy Mexico is marking St Brigid’s Day 2023 with an outreach event to women’s rights and feminist groups in Mexico City.

New Delhi & CG Mumbai

St Brigid’s Day film - Margaret Cousins

Embassy New Delhi & CG Mumbai are working with the Commemorations Unit in the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media on a project to feature Irishwoman Margaret Cousins in the Mná100 project in February 2023.

New York

‘Women of Extraordinary Ability’

This event will highlight women breaking stereotypes in traditionally gendered roles.


UN Event and Back for Business event with Enterprise Greece

Embassy Nicosia together with UN Cyprus and Cyprus Airports Duty Free is hosting two events for women entrepreneurs seeking to expand and develop their business.


Czech Republic &Ireland in the EU Single Market – Outlook for 2023

The European Commission announced at the EC Summit in December 2022 that two talented and inspiring Irish women entrepreneurs are winners of the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2022. Dr Ciara Clancy, founder and CEO of Beats Medical, and Ms. Niamh Donnelly, co-founder and CRO of Akara Robotics, will be keynote speakers at the Embassy’s event. 


St Brigid’s Day Bookclub

Embassy Riga is working with its lead partner, the National Library of Latvia, for a series of literature-focused events in 2023, looking at the theme “let words create images in your mind” - journals, short stories, and poetry.  For St Brigid’s Day, their focus is on short stories and celebrating Irish women in literature.


St Brigid's Day: Celebrating Irish women's achievements and creativity

For the past 3 years, for St Brigid’s Day, Embassy Santiago has been organising a series of pre-recorded interviews with successful Irish women in different fields, highlighting their talent and creativity. This year, for the first on-site edition, with interviews in-person, they have focused on Irish women living in Chile and Chilean women with Irish roots.


Brigid Festival 2023

Brigid Festival Vancouver is back! Running from 1-4 February, this is an annual festival celebrating the importance of women in Irish society, history and culture.


Launch of the ‘Peace Heroines’ Exhibition in Washington DC:  a celebration of women’s contributions to peace in Northern Ireland in the spirit of St Brigid

This event will launch Herstory’s ‘Peace Heroines’ exhibition in the US Congress on 8 February.


“Agents of Change” St Brigid’s Day 2023

To coincide with St Brigid’s Day, and the 180th year since women were granted the vote in New Zealand, Embassy Wellington will highlight stories of women who played influential roles in history, but were often forgotten in history books.



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