4th Sarajevo Irish Festival


Ceithre, an uimhir an draíochta!

The four leaf shamrock is a rare variation of the more common three leaf shamrock. It is considered to be lucky though nobody can explain quite why! This year we celebrate the fourth Sarajevo Irish Festival  and we too expect the luck of the Irish to be overflowing, even if nobody can quite explain why!

Sarajevo Irish Festival 2019 represents a broadening in the profile of our guests and new cooperation with the Embassy of Canada. We will present a compact quatro-location festival with a melting pot of live music, film and new addition of a Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) Family Fun Day – focusing on work that links the home country to Sarajevo through artistic and sporting cooperation, shared insight and celebration.

The Festival will kick off with Gala Night at Klub 1 on Friday 15th of March, hosted by SIF with the support of the Embassy of Ireland and in the presence of representation on behalf of the Embassy accredited to Bosnia and Herzegovina and supported by our many sponsors. Expect a surprise happening as the night gets into swing!

The evening will include a performance by NOTIFY described by the New York Echo as “Forward looking, stylistically adventuresome and musically well executed, it challenges received notions of Irish traditional music purity…”. Of course there will be craic, caint, bia agus deoch provided by Jameson, Guinness and finger food with a traditional Irish twist.

Saturday 16th of March will start bright and early at Kino Meeting Point with a regional premier screening of the award winning The Breadwinner, executive produced by Angelina Jolie.  The film is set in 2001, Afghanistan is under the control of the Taliban. When her father is captured, a determined young girl disguises herself as a boy in order to provide for her family. This will be followed by a discussion co-hosted with our partner The Embassy of Canada wand featuring our guests of honour the young star of The Breadwinner Saara Chaudry and screenwriter Anita Doron.

No Sarajevo Irish Festival would be complete without the rapidly-becoming-traditional live showing from the 6 Nations Rugby Championship – sponsored by Guinness. This years’ screening will be the Ireland vs Wales rugby match, where refreshments with an Irish flavour will be provided and traditional Irish music with a contemporary twist provided by Broken House Band.

Meanwhile, over at location number 4 – Imperial, on the evening of the 16th of March, the Broken House Band will be whooping it up at an Irish American Patrick’s Day Party and all are welcome!

Last but not least, and new addition to the themes of our programme, we look forward in cooperation with the Irish Defence Forces to hosting a skills session introducing families to basic skills of both gaelic football and hurling & camogie and, of course, in a fun way explain the rules and the idea of both the ladies and men’s disciplines.  Finishing up with a reception for everyone to include Irish food, drinks and music in the Irish House in Camp Butmir.

The fourth Sarajevo Irish Festival has been made possible by the entirely voluntary work Niamh Mercer, Liam Alford, Sean Tankosić-Kelly, Oggi Tomic and supported by Nerma Sofić, Vesna Kenjić, Ahmed Ananda and Lisa Stewart with the key sponsorship of Culture Ireland, Embassy of Canada, Comtrade, Embassy of Ireland, Courtyard by Marriott, Raiffeisen Bank, Hotel Central, Irish Film Institute, Defence Forces Ireland, Resalta, Porsche, GAA, Securitas, Karanovic & Partners, Jameson (Pernod Ricard), Guinness (Carlsberg) and many others.

Go n-éirí an bóthar libh!

Garret Kelly, festival director


The Festival promoted on this website and advertised in media is organised by a group of volunteers for the purpose of promoting and celebrating Irish culture and heritage. The events are supported by Culture Ireland, Embassies and businesses who want to be part of the festival and part of promoting the shared history between Ireland and Bosnia and Herzegovina. All funds raised are used to pay for the services provided in organising the events and are not for profit for any or all persons volunteering with the festival committee.