Why Paris? The Centre Culturel Irlandais is a superb venue in the heart of the 5th arrondissement where many of the universities and institutions of higher education are situated. It has a large lecture hall – Salle Michel Guillaume, a library, a chapel, an exhibition space, a leafy courtyard and some accommodation at comparatively good rates for participants on-site. The centre was gifted to the people of Ireland by the government of France in recognition of their long and positive historical connections. The Irish government have invested €14.5 million since 2000 in the restoration of this building so that it can serve as a major cultural and educational centre, effectively “a flagship building in the heart of Europe, providing a vision and profile of the personality of Ireland”.