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Irish dignitaries to discuss language, culture, history Thursday

Two Irish dignitaries will speak from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Buffalo Irish Center in a late addition to the continuing series of Irish events in Western New York.

Caoimhin Mac Giolla Mhin of Belfast, director of Ciste, an Irish language capital investment fund, will speak about the work his organization is doing to preserve and promote Irish language and culture in the north of Ireland.

Robert Ballagh of Dublin, a well known artist and designer and supporter of the Ciste initiative, will speak on how the vision of the leaders of 1916 is being interpreted today. Ballagh is president of the “Reclaim the Vision of 1916” parade and pageant on April 24, the anniversary date of start of the 1916 Rising, which will include an inclusive parade on the streets of Dublin, followed by a pageant that will include music, poetry, song, dance and drama.

A set of Ballagh’s prints of the 1916 leaders, which will be raffled off on April 24 to support Ciste, is expected to be on display at the event. Tickets are $100 each and will go toward a $1 million fundraising challenge being run by Ciste.

The program, which is free and open to all in the Irish Center, 245 Abbott Road, is being hosted by Irish Network Buffalo and State Sen. Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo.