RTÉ is calling on the Irish public to come together to shine a light this Saturday, April 11 at 9pm to create a moment of solidarity in our battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina are set to shine their light from the Áras. Government buildings will light up with a host of national and local public buildings across the island shining their beacon lights, along with Irish embassies and missions around the world.
#SHINEYOURLIGHT #LONRAIGHDOSHOLAS is calling on people of all ages, to be as creative as they wish to either power their phone torches, flash house lights, leave a candle safely in the window or even put up Christmas lights, to participate in the initiative from wherever they are.
The campaign has already secured widespread support from the creative and cultural community with Gabriel Byrne, Sinéad O’Connor, Glen Hansard, Saoirse Ronan, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Paula Meehan and Marie Mullen all joining with RTÉ in the call for this public moment of solidarity as we join together to shine a light through the darkness.
RTÉ will be creating special content on TV, radio and online to mark this coming together and share our moment of light during what is a dark time for many.
RTÉ Director-General Dee Forbes said: “This global pandemic is affecting each and every person in our society so let's come together for this moment where we can express solidarity with each other while we remain separated from friends and family. Let's light up our homes or light a candle to remember all of those who have lost their lives to Covid-19 and their loved ones. Let's also remember and thank our key frontline staff for their ongoing heroic work throughout this crisis. Light reaches across all boundaries and as we watch the light flicker, perhaps we will see a glimmer of hope, in this time of fear and distancing."
Coverage begins on RTÉ Radio 1 at 8:30pm with Shine Your Light with John Creedon featuring music from some of our finest artists including Martin Hayes and Glen Hansard, and poetry from Moya Cannon.
At 9pm, RTÉ will broadcast #ShineYourLight, a short live special on RTÉ One television, RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ Player and RTE.ie/culture to share this moment. It will feature music performances and spoken word from artists including Sinead O'Connor, Paula Meehan and Colm Mac Con Iomaire. It will also broadcast images from around the country as families, individuals and workers shine their light, along with local and national public buildings and embassies around the world, joining in solidarity with their communities and loved ones near and far.
RTÉ.ie will also shine a light on this special occasion with a homepage takeover and live gallery of images from around the country.
Sinéad O’Connor who will perform during the special five-minute broadcast has spoken about her involvement and who she will shine her light for.
Sinead said: “I'm really honoured to be taking part in this very moving event and am so inspired by the love we are all showing for each other by staying home. It's not easy. Especially for teenagers. But it’s really working. So let's keep it going. I'm shining my light with love for all the kids and teenagers who are currently in care and haven't been able to visit their families.”
RTÉ has also announced that Shine Your Light will continue beyond Saturday with a wider arts initiative which will see it commission cultural works beginning this Saturday and continuing right up to the Summer Solstice on 21st June. Further details are to be announced next week.