The Dublin Festival of History is kicking off today and will see 140 free events taking place across the city over the coming two weeks.

We’ve been working on the PR campaign for the Festival for the past couple of months and – as history-lovers – we’ve been thoroughly enjoying it.  (The Festival was featured on ‘Morning Ireland’ on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning.  If you missed it, you can listen back here.)

The Festival is backed by Dublin City Council and organised by Dublin City Public Libraries.  That means you can expect lots of interesting talks in your local library over the next couple of weeks, as well as exhibitions, tours and events in venues ranging from Dublin Castle and Dublin City Hall to Reads Cutlers, one of Ireland’s oldest shops.


Festival Highlights

Whether you’re a gamer, a politics nerd, a music-lover or an avid shopper, there’s something on the line-up to suit all tastes.

We’re particularly pleased to see a strong focus on women’s history, very apt given we’re celebrating 100 years of women’s suffrage this year.  There are also incredible women speaking at the Festival, such as Pulitzer Prize-winner Anne Applebaum and bestselling historian Helen Rappaport.

The Festival culminates with a ‘Big Weekend’ series of talks at Dublin City Hall and The Printworks, Dublin Castle (Friday, 5th to Sunday, 7th October).  One of the sessions we’re most looking forward to that weekend will feature Irish-Canadian author and journalist Ed O’Loughlin interviewing Michael Palin – ‘Monty Python’ star, broadcaster and accomplished travel writer – about his new book, ‘Erebus: The Story of a Ship’.

Some other highlights we’ve selected from the packed programme include:

  • A ‘Mythical Creatures’ exhibition at the Edward Worth Library at Dr. Steevens’ Hospital in Dublin 8 (tours at 11am and 2pm on 25th and 27th September and 2nd and 4th October).
  • A talk on ‘The Historical Impact of Gaming: from BC to PC’ at Ballyfermot Library (tomorrow, Tuesday, 25th September; 6.30pm).
  • ‘Shopping for Luxury Goods in Georgian Dublin’: a once-in-a-lifetime chance to cross the threshold of Ireland’s oldest shop, Reads Cutlers, and enter into the newly-restored 18th Century interior to hear all about the world of elite shopping in Georgian Dublin (Reads Cutlers, 4 Parliament Street, Dublin 2; Tuesday, 25th September, 6.30pm).
  • A series of talks at Swords Castle, including: ‘The Hammer and the Pen: the First Wave Irish feminism’ and ‘Ireland and India: the infection of example’ (Saturday, 29th September; 10am to 4.30pm).
  • ‘Johnny Cash and the Politics of Country Music’: a discussion by Daniel Geary of Cash’s legendary live album, ‘At Folsom Prison’, in the context of challenging the notion that country music is inherently conservative (Monday, 1st October, Central Library, ILAC Centre, 1pm).
  • ‘The Lemass Tapes’. Although widely regarded as Ireland’s greatest Taoiseach, Seán Lemass left no papers and no autobiography.  However, after 50 years, tapes have emerged which were intended to form his authorised biography.  At this event, Natasha Ryan and journalist Ronan McGreevy will discuss the tapes and play extracts from them.  (Irish Times Building, Tara Street, Dublin 2; Tuesday, 2nd October, 1pm).
  • ‘The Race to Save the Romanovs’ with the Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling historian Helen Rappaport (Dublin Castle; Sunday, 7th October, 5pm).

Free Events

One of the best things about Dublin Festival of History is that all of the events are free – huge kudos to Dublin City Council and Dublin City Public Libraries for making it so accessible and easy to attend!

Advance registration is required, however, for some events.

You can peruse the full programme, reserve places at the various talks, and get a better feel for the Festival overall at:  Enjoy!

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