Sarajevo Irish Festival proudly supported by Oggi Tomic for second year running will take place in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina from March 16th to March 18th 2017. Don’t they say that the second album, or the second pint of Guinness, is never as good as the first one? But that is surely not the case for the second Sarajevo Irish Festival, because this year we have almost the entire Irish Bosnian community, as well as some fellow Celts, all working on pulling off another long weekend of culture, ceol, craic agus caint (music, chat and fun) with more guests, more sponsors and more locations. It’s gonna be a blast. We kick off with an award-winning documentary “The Queen of Ireland”, which tells the incredible personal story of Rory O’Neil, aka Panti Bliss, and of Ireland becoming a more tolerant place. We have the pleasure of welcoming to Sarajevo the director Conor Horgan and producers Katie Holly and Ailish Bracken, for a master class on film and activism at the Academy of performing arts. This will be followed on Saint Patrick’s day by a Gala event, which will be hosted by the Irish Ambassador Sean O’Regan, at the Museum of History, especially greened in honour of Ireland National Day. It will include a regional premier of the acclaimed composer and director Ailis Ni Riain’s Sklonište – performed with accordionist Dermot Dunne – which has just finished a tour of the UK, topped off with a packed performance in Paris. Appropriately the son et lumière piece is inspired by Jim Marshall’s – another Sarajevo domiciled Celt – photographic exhibition, which is part of the permanent collection of the Bosnian Museum of the Revolution. And finally, we wrap up the festival at Kino Meeting Point with a true story – which may seem familiar to Bosnians – of Irish UN peacekeepers, who were hung out to dry by the UN at the siege of Jadotville. Led by Commandant Quinlan the Irish battalion bravely fought off mercenaries and local warlords in Katanga, a breakaway region of the newly independent Congo, in 1961. It is our tremendous pleasure to have with us Commandant Quinlan’s son Leo who will give a presentation about the siege his father “travails” We are also delighted to be joined by his grandson Conor, who features in a film of the Siege of Jadotville and a mystery screening! We may even get in a spot of rugby as the 6 Nations Ireland England match is on that afternoon! Needless to say an Irish festival would not be complete without a “Taste of Ireland” reception, with Irish food provided by an Bord Bia. The second Sarajevo Irish Festival has been made possible by the entirely voluntary work of Fergal Joyce, Niamh Mercer, Nerma Sofic, Sarah Aherne and Amela O’Rielly and the key sponsorship of Culture Ireland, Embassy of Ireland, Hotel Central, Comtrade, Jameson, Guinness and many others. Looking forward to seeing you! Garret Kelly, festival director. Festival Programme The Queen of Ireland Date: Mar 16 / 19:30 / Open Stage Obala, Sarajevo / Documentary Master Class Date: Mar 16 / 21:00 / Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo, Sarajevo / Conference Irish Drinks Reception Date: Mar 16 / 22:00 / Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo, Sarajevo / Event Reception With Broken House Band Date: Mar 17 / 21:00 / Historical Museum Of BiH, Sarajevo / Live Music Photo Exhibition: Shelter by Jim Marshall Date: until Mar 31 10:00 / Historical Museum Of BiH, Sarajevo / Exhibition Homage to the Siege of Jadotville Date: Mar 18 / 13:30 / Meeting Point Cinema (Kino Meeting Point), Sarajevo / Movie You can find a full program of events with locations and times by visiting SIF website. SIF will run from March 16th to March 18th 2017.