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Minister Joe McHugh Welcomes Free Africa Day 2016 Event at Farmleigh


Minister Joe McHugh Welcomes Free Africa Day 2016 Event at Farmleigh 

Thousands Expected to Attend Celebration of Ireland-Africa Links 

The Minister of State for the Diaspora and Overseas Development Aid, Joe McHugh T.D., has welcomed Africa Day 2016 celebrations taking place tomorrow (29.05.16) at Farmleigh Estate in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.

More than 20,000 people are expected at this free family-friendly event. Supported by Irish Aid, it will see a jam-packed schedule of live music, as well as children’s entertainment, food, dance, drumming and sports.

Speaking ahead of the event, Minister McHugh said:

“I hope as many people as possible will join us for this year’s Africa Day celebration at Farmleigh.

Ireland’s connections with Africa have developed in many exciting ways over recent years. Africa Day gives us the opportunity to highlight these connections, as well as the vibrant African diaspora here in Ireland and the contribution that they make to Irish society.

It promises to be a great day out for everyone.”

Three music stages will feature international and home-grown acts, includinginternationally renowned Irish folk / world music group Kíla, who will headline the event; afro-futuristic multicultural group Ájo Arkestra; eight-piece Afro-soul band Feather; soul singer-songwriter NC Grey; and Sidiki Dembélé Sextet, a collaboration between Griot Master drummer Sidiki Dembélé from Côte d’Ivoire and some of Ireland’s best African and jazz instrumentalists. There will also be a dedicated rap and hip-hop stage and a third music stage, featuring a range of exciting emerging artists.

One of the focal points of the Africa Day Dublin event will be the outdoor African bazaar, called ‘Marrakech’. It will feature stalls from different African countries, offering food, drumming, dance, hair-braiding, henna hand-painting, traditional fashion designs, and lots more. In addition to African community groups, a range of development NGOs will be present in the bazaar, offering fun activities, while the African embassies in Ireland will also be represented at the event. 

A special children’s area, called ‘Mount Kiddimanjaro’, will include fun fair rides, drumming workshops, zorbing and face-painting. This area is sponsored by Ethiopian Airlines.

Brand new additions to this year’s programme include African turban and head wrap workshops; creative writing workshops for children; Irish and African storytellers and spoken word performances; and a number of special ‘pop-up’ performances, which will take place throughout the day.

The festival will run from 11am to 6pm and all are welcome to attend. Dublin Bus will provide a free shuttle-bus service from the Heuston Bridge / Parkgate Street bus stop into the Phoenix Park.

Africa Day events in Ireland are supported by Irish Aid at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  For further information on Africa Day, visit:


Press Office

28 May 2016

Note for Editors:

  • Africa Day,which falls on 25th May annually, is the official day of the African Union and marks African unity.  In Ireland, events to mark Africa Day celebrate African diversity and the cultural and economic potential of the continent, in addition to raising awareness of the development challenges that remain and the progress that is being achieved. 
  • Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for overseas development.  It is managed by the Development Co-operation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  Further information is available at
  • Further details on the full schedule of Africa Day activities are set out below and are also available via the newAfrica Day website at The website includes an interactive map of the Dublin event and a full schedule of all activities taking place in Dublin and around the country.
  • Africa Day is also on Twitter @AfricaDay, on Facebook at and on Instagram @africadayireland - Hashtag: #africaday2016.