Friday, 13th March 2015:

St. Patrick’s Festival celebrations started in style this evening when, for the first time ever, iconic landmark the Spire of Dublin was lit green in collaboration with the UNESCO International Year of Light Ireland 2015. Tonight marks the official opening the four-day St. Patrick’s Festival which begins tomorrow, March 14th.

This evening’s proceedings were overseen by Grand Marshal of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Festival Parade, Brendan O’Carroll who pushed the button to light the Spire of Dublin green at 7:15pm. Brendan was joined Susan Kirby, CEO of St. Patrick’s Festival, Professor Martin Leahy NUIG, and Professor John Sheridan UCD, of the National Committee for IYL in Ireland.

Presented by St. Patrick’s Festival in partnership with UNESCO International Year of Light 2015 Ireland (IYL), the 398ft (121.2m) monument was illuminated in spectacular style, using the latest in light technology, causing a sensation in the heart of Dublin City on O’Connell Street.

The Spire will also stream a twitter feed displaying tweets with the dedicated #LightIRL over the course of the four-day Festival.

Initially entitled ‘The Monument of Light’ by Ian Ritchie Architects, the Spire is a landmark which has become synonymous with Dublin, situated in one of the Capital’s most historic locations.

Also this evening, landmark buildings across the capital including the Christchurch Cathedral and Trinity College Dublin are being lit up green embracing the start of our national celebrations.

Susan Kirby, CEO of St. Patrick’s Festival commented, “On the eve of our national celebrations, the atmosphere and energy around the city is palpable. We are delighted to partner with UNESCO International Year of Light and tonight’s illumination of such an iconic landmark is a fitting way to begin our four-day Festival of unmissable events and extraordinary experiences. I would encourage everyone to check out the series of events, many of them free to attend, and to experience the best of Irish culture this St. Patrick’s Festival.”

Professor Martin Leahy, NUIG, Chair of the Irish National Committee for IYL in Ireland commented, “This global project seeks to raise awareness of how optical technologies can promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health. It is gratifying to see one of Ireland’s best loved landmarks lit up in celebration of such an important initiative. I would like to commend those involved and to thank our supporters Philips Worldwide and Dublin City Council.”

The International Year of Light in Ireland will consist of coordinated activities on national, regional and international levels. Activities will be planned so that people of all ages and all backgrounds can gain an
appreciation for the central role of light in science and culture, and as a cross-cutting scientific discipline that can advance sustainable development. More information on the initiative is available here