Hungary’s Cultural relations with Ireland
Ireland and Hungary have many similarities and undoubtedly, the rich cultural heritage is one of the national strengths of both of our countries. There is a strong level of mutual interest in the field of culture, whether it be music, literature, history or poetry, resulting in festivals, concerts and related events both in Ireland and in Hungary.
Our Embassy works in Ireland to highlight Hungary's rich cultural heritage, cooperating with Hungarian societies, associations and groups in Ireland. Hungarian Culture Days (HCD) is an annual, vibrant cultural festival in Dublin, showcasing the very best in Hungarian culture, art and heritage and connecting with the Hungarian community in Ireland, while building valuable new connections with Irish people and communities.
Many Irish poets, authors and novelists – among them James Joyce – are well recognised in Hungary. A unique connection between our countries is James Joyce’s novel, Ulysses, as the father of Leopold Bloom, the hero of Joyce's famous book was born in Szombathely. This special bond makes a wonderful occasion for our citizens to celebrate Bloomsday together each year.
Going back in history, the Catholic Bishop Walter Lynch from Galway fled from Cromwell’s troops and reached the shores of Flandria in 1653. From there he travelled on to Salzburg and Vienna, where he met his fellow bishop, János Püsky from Hungary. In 1655, Bishop Püsky invited the Irishman to his diocese in Győr. He welcomed him into safety with brotherly love an appointed him canon and assistant bishop. Eventually Lynch saved a picture of the Virgin Mary and the Child and brought that along his journey to Győr. After Bishop Lynch’s death, the picture was placed upon a pillar within the Cathedral of Győr and in the year 1697, on March 17 (St. Patrick Day), the painting of the Holy Virgin Mother Mary shed tears of blood. The picture has made the Cathedral in Győr a pilgrimage station, representing a unique link of culture and religion between Hungary and Ireland.
2017 is the memorial year of the great Hungarian Kinght-King Ladislaus (László) in Hungary. To mark the year of Saint Ladislaus the Diocese of Győr - with the cooperation of our embassy - presented an exhibition and a documentary on the Holy Artefacts of Saint Ladislaus at Donnycarney Church in Dublin, highlighting the heritage of the knight-king.
Significant numbers of Irish third-level students pursue their studies in Hungary, principally in veterinary science and medicine. Their experience really assists in cultivating closer links between our two countries.