Concert for Ukraine - An Amazing Evening of Words, Songs and Hope

Inner Light All Performers
All the performers onstage at The Concert for Ukraine, 24 April 2023 (photo credit MJ Smyth)

Concert for Ukraine: A Night of Music, Words and Hope

Artists from Ireland and Ukraine Came Together for an Event of Cultural Solidarity in Dublin

What a night. What a tremendous, beautiful night.

The Concert for Ukraine at Vicar Street on Monday, 24 April 2023 was an evening full of love, hope and cultural solidarity. The event was the culmination of a year-long project between Fighting Words, Ukrainian Action in Ireland and the Irish Red Cross to provide creative opportunities for Ukrainian people in Ireland, starting with summer camps for children in 2022 and continuing with writing workshops for adults that produced an anthology of stories and poems entitled Inner Light: Stories by Ukrainian Writers in Ireland.

The Concert for Ukraine was both a reflection and celebration of words and song that inspired everyone who was there.

“The Inner Light Concert for Ukraine at Vicar St. in Dublin was a wonderful expression of cultural solidarity and our common humanity by the people of Ireland.”
H.E. Larysa Gerasko, Ambassador of Ukraine to Ireland

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Olha Khoroshevska

Hosted by Dearbhail McDonald,the first part of the show was reflective - a mix of words and soft music. Many of the authors with pieces included in Inner Light: Stories by Ukrainian Writers in Ireland shared their powerful work of lives left behind and new lives begun.

One of the many highlights was when Olesya Zdorovetska was joined spontaneously by the Ukrainian members of the audience as she performed a well-known Ukrainian song.

The second half of the show was a celebration, a series of joyous and hopeful performers in word, music and dance. Glen Hansard closed the show by bringing all the performers on stage and leading a rousing version of Aslan's "Crazy World" and the sold-out venue erupted in song and solidarity.

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Richie Buckley, Anna Carey, Lia Mills, Mariia Yaremak and Dearbhail McDonald
Chiamaka Inner Light
Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi (photo credit MJ Smyth)
Victoria Amelina
Victoria Amelina (photo credit MJ Smyth)
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Paul Muldoon
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Vivienne Mort
Colm Mac Con Iomaire
Colm Mac Con Iomaire
Olesya Zdorovetska
Olesya Zdorovetska (photo credit MJ Smyth)
Glen Hansard
Glen Hansard (photo credit MJ Smyth)
Frankham and Love
Frankham and Love
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Colm Quearney with members of the house band

Huge Thanks

So many came together to make the Concert for Ukraine possible

A million thanks to event organisers Catherine Nunes, Colm Quearney, Seán Love, Oleksandra Pishcheiko, Olha Khoroshevska, Alan Gilsenan for stage direction as well as Eileen Timmons and Bjorn Mac Giolla of Bear Print Media for visual displays and filming,  the support of Aiken Promotions and media support of The Irish Times.

We are forever grateful to the incredible group of artists who came together to perform: Roddy Doyle, Victoria Amelina, Glen Hansard, Olesya Zdorovetska, Cathy Davey, Shpylyasti Kobzari, Flo McSweeney, Paul Muldoon, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Lia Mills, Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi, Mariia Yaremak, Hazel Hogan, Vivienne Mort, Patrick Freyne, Frankham & Love and the amazing house band.

And we celebrate the authors of Inner Light: Olha Khoroshevska, Ilona Kulbako, Olha SoIntseva, Antonia Gunko Karelina, Katya van Huystee, Zlata Kulbako, Nataliia Dragunova, Anna Krys, Nataliia Miniailo, Svitlana Bezsmertna, Julia Buyskykh, Oleana Didyk, Katie Tarasenko, Nika Khomenko, Olha Matso, Iryna Buchuchanu and Anastasiia Kovalenko.

Our gratitude to Alan Compton, whose marvellous portraits and images are in the book and were seen from the stage.

The Concert for Ukraine featured so many beautiful performances - tears were flowing freely in the audience from start.

Fighting Words team with Inner Light editor Michelle Walshe (centre) - photo credit MJ Smyth
Fighting Words staff and interns with Inner Light editor Michelle Walshe (photo credit MJ Smyth)

Get Your Copy

Inner LightStories by Ukrainian Writers in Ireland is available for €15 from our website - click below for more information and to purchase your copy!