Josepha Madigan TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has opened the new Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre at Parliament Buildings, College Green. The opening of the centre was followed by the launch of the first exhibition, by President Michael D Higgins, of 'Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again' dedicated to the life and works of the late Séamus Heaney, Nobel prize winner for Literature.
Bank of Ireland has generously made the space available for this centre to the State for a ten year period. The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will manage and animate the space for this period. Listen, Now, Again – the first exhibition, is being run and curated by the National Library of Ireland.
The new Cultural and Heritage Centre is open to the public and can be accessed by the public via the Gandon-designed entrance to the College Green buildings on Westmoreland Street. This is the first time in ten years that these doors will have been open to the public.
Minister Madigan commented: "I am delighted today to open this wonderful new Cultural and Heritage Centre. College Green is a nationally and internationally important heritage building, which have played a significant role in Irish history."
"I want to thank Bank of Ireland for making this space available and for strongly supporting this initiative. The Bank has worked in partnership with my Department and this unique collaboration between the public and private sectors has delivered a truly exceptional new public cultural space - right in the heart of Dublin city."
"I wish to congratulate the National Library, the Heaney family and curator Professor Geraldine Higgins, for creating a remarkable exhibition focusing on the life and works of a greatly missed Irishman, the late Séamus Heaney. I was delighted that my Department could support the exhibition, called "Listen, Now, Again" both through funding for the exhibition build and through the provision of space in the new Cultural Centre to exhibit. I am very proud to been part of building an enduring legacy to Séamus Heaney a true son of Ireland and someone whose work resonated with everyone".
“Listen Now Again will complement the fantastic Home Place visitor centre in Seamus’s beloved Co. Derry – which the President visited a few short weeks ago. It’s such a symbol of how Seamus Heaney united, in affection and pride, all the people of this island North and South. I hope this Cultural and Heritage Centre will be enjoyed by as many people as possible and that the centre will be an integral part of Dublin City in the years ahead."