Polish Arts Festival

15th - 31st October 2015, Limerick

Showcasing the diversity of the Polish community in Ireland the 9th annual Polish Arts Festival (PAF) celebrates the many facets of Polish/Slavic heritage. We invite you to take part in the journey of transgressing dimensions and explore the tradition of lullabies and keening.

The Vision

Enjoy traditional and modern music, theatre and fine arts of Polish/ Slavic influence in a friendly, innovative and collaborative atmosphere


Immerse yourself in vibrant Polish culture and meet Polish artists at our colourful interactive 2015 art exhibition.


Experience a variety of fun, original and show-stopping performances at this year's Polish Arts Festival events for children, teenagers and adults.


These are our guest speakers


  • Transgressing Dimensions: Lullabies and Keening

    Transgressing Dimensions

    The Hunt Museum

    In this exhibition we explore the woman and her current and historic role in the society. The voice of women in all respects was suppressed in the past. In Ireland, the Celtic women have great social function. There were singers, chanters, who circled round the deceased person and performed lamentations called “keening”. Through their singing they were carrying the soul into another dimension. Women were perceived as shamans, who had access to the sacred passage. With the advent of the Catholic Church in Ireland that function has been taken from women since it was perceived and giving them an immense social power. Therefore, women were barred from singing; however, they never remained silent and cultivated the tradition of singing in their homes when putting their children to sleep. When you singing a lullaby to a baby you help him transgress dimension, step from the realm of reality into the realm of dreams. Women and their vocals are therefore medium through which it is possible to pass through the border into another dimension, whether it is a journey of the soul in the afterlife or passing dimension of your consciousness in sleep. During the festival we are exploring the forgotten voice of women and the great value of having a song. We will share songs and lullabies Polish and Irish, trying to restore this beautiful custom of singing to sleep. The theme of the Festival "Transgressing Dimensions" is an invitation to explore the theme of the border, its ethereal and very private nature and the great strength that comes with it. For each of us crossing the border means something else. Therefore, we cordially invite you to journey into yourself and into another dimension.

    Lullabies & Keening – Polish artists were invited to take part in the journey into the dimension where lullabies and keening songs meet. We are happy to present their works and invite you to come along and share their sense of truth that evokes from it.

  • Faces of the Milk Market

    Faces of the Milk Market

    Milk Market

    Janusz Biarda is a photographer of Polish origin who came to Limerick in 2005. The simplest description of his photographic interests is a passion for photographing people. We can name here different types of photography such as documentary photography, pure street, portrait and sport. In his work Janusz emphasizes the importance of showing human emotions, characters, beauty, catching important but very much elusive moments. You may also see his landscape photography by visiting www.januszbiarda.com.

    Janusz Biarda’s photographic career is closely linked with Limerick where he found a support for his photographic investigations and research. When studying at LCFE in 2012/2013 he was awarded two awards - Students Sports Photographer of 2012 Award and Smedias 2013 News Photographer of the Year. Over the past few years his photographs have been published in the Limerick Chronicle and Limerick Leader. Milk Market, from the very beginning, played an important role of a meeting place for the city. You could buy local produce there and meet wonderful, open minded people who make up the history of the place. Therefore, Milk Market turned out to be a natural and friendly space to catch moments in time when shopping or enjoying a cup of coffee. Hence the title of the exhibition “Faces of the Milk Market”.

    Photos presented in the exhibition are works created between the years 2010-2015.

  • Wonderland Room

    Sensory Room

    The Hunt Museum

    Woodland Room, The Hunt Museum, Education Wing, open daily - Designed by Julie Ann O’Connor & Avia Gurman in a Waldorf Steiner’s style a room for thinking nurtures the children’s power of imagination taking them to the fantasy play land and on a sensory journey. Children explore the space in a freeway and listen to the sounds of the lullabies & stories from Polish & Irish tradition.


  • Opening of 9th Annual Polish Arts Festival

     Opening of 9th Annual Polish Arts Festival

    It’s time to celebrate with Polish and Irish artists the launch of the Festival. See the exhibition and take your children to explore the Sensory Room of Alice in the Wonderland in the Education Wing of The Hunt Museum and sooth yourself listening to some Polish lullabies and keening songs performed by the Cantate Deo Choir from Limerick.

  • Polish Arts & Crafts & Food Fair

     Polish Arts & Crafts & Food Fair

    This family event is a perfect place to meet your neighbours and try some of the delicacies of Polish cuisine and produce, purchase some unique craft before Christmas in the friendly environment of The Hunt Museum.

  • Faces of the Milk Market

    Faces of the Milk Market
  • Polish Transformation. Economic, Political & Social Perspective.

    Jakub Kacprzak, MA

    Polish Transformation

    Talk will be about social and economic changes faced by Polish society during the transformation period and how they impacted other countries in Europe.

  • Gender in Social and Cultural practices. Feminism and its complex pathways

    Aleksandra Derra, Phd

    Gender in Social and Cultural practices

    Aleksandra Derra is a philosopher, philologist, translator. A Supervisor of Postgraduate Studies in Gender and associate professor at the University of Nicolaus Copernicus in Toruń. She also works as a research visiting fellow at the Centre for Gender and Women's Studies at Trinity College in Dublin.

    Her work centers on: gender problem in science and culture, phenomenon of the body in contemporary philosophy, contemporary philosophy of language, feminist philosophy of science, and science and technology studies. Her recently published books include Odsłonić tajemnicę znaczenia. Eseje z filozofii języka (Toruń, 2011) and Kobiety (w) nauce. Problem płci we współczesnej Filozofii nauki i w praktyce badawczej (Warszawa, 2013).

  • Art & Crafts Workshop

    Art & Crafts Workshop

    Come and bring your off-springs to enjoy the beauty of creating art together on stones. We will be referring to Irish and Polish tradition and sharing the joy of creative play with the art of decoupage.

  • Polish Women Network

    Central Buildings, 51 O'Connell Street, (Doras Luimni)

    Polish Women Network

    Meeting and workshop with dr hab. Aleksandra Derra, from Nicolas Copernicus University in Torun, Trinity College Dublin “Gender in Social and Cultural Practices. Stereotypes: Theories & Practice”

  • Singing Circle – Theme: Songs from Home

    Dolan's Pub

    Singing Circle

    Songs help us to journey with a person when words or reason can do no more. Lullabies and keening songs in our traditions have passed through families and communities, putting sound to sweet and difficult moments that are beyond words. The singing circle is an opportunity for singers and collectors in the Irish, English and Polish language traditions to share songs from home, from tradition, from community. The evening will be hosted by Noirin Lynch, with guest singers: Tim Dennehy, Paula Carroll and Ania Banko.

    Enquiries: Noirin Lynch 0879068576

  • SPECIAL CONCERT – “Sing Me to Sleep in the Temple"

    St. Michael’s Church, Denmark Street


    A very special concert, a highlight of the Festival, celebrating the old and sacred traditions of lullabies and keening songs from the Irish and Polish communities in Limerick presented in the ambient surroundings of St. Michael's Church. Featuring : Nóirín Ní Riain, Avia Gurman,, Noirin Lynch, Alisha McMahon (harp), Ania Banko (vocal, violin, piano), Brian Ó Huiginn (Irish pipes), Ewa Żak- Dyndal, Izabela Maria Młynarz, Justyna Cwojdzińska, Lihi Shivak (dance) and Cantate Deo Choir.

    Tickets:E10 at the door

  • Sacred Lullabies and Keening Songs Workshop

    The Hunt Museum

    Sacred Lullabies and Keening Songs Workshop

    Step into the unknown.
    Into the ciycle of death and life.
    Into the great land of remembrance.
    Into where stories and songs of our mothers and fathers, dwell.

    A workshop exploring the sacred ritual of lullaby and keening songs within the Irish and Polish communities. We will create a place where the participants would be able to share their voice, their memories and songs and find healing and empowerment for themsleves and their loved ones. It will be truly a special and enriching day to remember. Our special guest, Noirin Ni Riain. will take us to the land of keening where songs have the space when the words can do no more.

    No previous experience in singing required.
    Nóirín Ní Riain is an internationally acclaimed spiritual singer who has performed several times in Poland and is very honoured to be invited to participate. She collaborated on several occasions with the European Centre for Theatre Practices, Gardienice and has sung to audiences in Krakow, Wroclaw, Lublin and at the Benedictine monastery Arts Centre at Tyniec. Also a theologian, having been awarded the first ever doctrate in Theology from MIC, University of Limerick, she has recorded extensively and is author of five books.

    Tickets: E35, To book your ticket click here for EventBrite website

  • Flying Seniors Workshop

    Flying Seniors Workshop

    31.10.15 @ 11.00 -15.30 Pastoral Centre, Denmark Street, Limerick

    This project is designed to encourage Polish seniors to come together and become an activate support group. Following example of active seniors from Cork who participated in the program of civic education under the "Flying Seniors' organized by the Centre Together-Razem, we encourage citizens to register to vote in Ireland and learn about the importance of civic participation in the life of the city. Workshop is a platform for communication for those who had to leave out the comfort of their country and follow their families and grandchildren to Ireland.


The Polish Arts Festival takes place in

Limerick, Ireland

Limerick is a city in the south west of Ireland, in the province of Munster.

Ireland's first National City of Culture in 2014, beautiful and historic Limerick is built on the Shannon, Ireland's longest river. Recognised for its sporting excellence, Limerick is also home to a variety of world-class educational institutions, musicians, comedians, authors and artists.

Getting Here

Air Travel

There are a number of regional and international airports in the Republic of Ireland within easy driving distance of Limerick.

By Car

Click any link below to find the best route.

Travel Notes

Limerick is delighted to have an Honorary Polish Consulate. You can find out more at www.polishconsulatelimerick.ie

Hotels Nearby

The George Boutique Hotel

O'Connell Street, Limerick City
Phone: +353 (0) 61 460400

The Savoy Hotel

Henry Street, Limerick City
Phone: +353 (0)61 448700

The Strand Hotel

Ennis Road, Limerick City
Phone: +353 (0) 61 421800


Sponsorship plays a major role in the success of our event.

The Polish Arts Festival would not be celebrating its 8th year without the continued generosity, trust and loyalty of our many supporters. We are very thankful to you all!








Get in touch

Have a query or comment? Please send us a message - we'd love to hear from you!


Contact info

You can also get in touch via our phone numbers and email address below. The Polish Arts Festival is always interested in new ideas, so we really welcome your feedback.

Artistic Director

Justyna Cwojdzinska

+353 (0)86 392 4644

Co-artistic Director

Avia Gurman

+353 (0)83 346 1932

Singing Circle hostess


+353 (0)879068576