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“Awaken your inner giant” at the Jonathan Swift Festival

Irish poet, Jessica Traynor (pictured) was joined in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral (Monday, November 5th) by school children from St. Brigid's Primary School, The Coombe, for the programme launch of the Jonathan Swift Festival 2018. The festival will run from Thursday, 29th November to Sunday, 2nd December and celebrates the life and legacy of Ireland’s most famous satirist and humanitarian Jonathan Swift. This year's programme will include talks, performances and exhibitions in venues across Dublin City.

Amongst the programme highlights announced, legendary author and filmmaker Roddy Doyle will be in conversation with top comedian Tommy Tiernan in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on Thursday, 29 November. Comic Dave McSavage will host a comedy event “Swift Laughs” in Dublin’s Smock Alley Theatre on Friday, 30th November. Children’s author Dave Rudden has collaborated with musician Jerry Fish to present a retelling of Gulliver's Travels in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on Saturday 1st December. That evening, classical music lovers can enjoy the “sounds from Swift’s era” with a performance by the New Dublin Voices choir in the stunning surrounds of the 13th Century Cathedral.

Among the festival’s satellite events, there will be a discussion in the National Gallery of Ireland entitled ‘Writing of(f) Class”. The panel for the event will include author June Caldwell, poet Stephen James Smith and writer Frankie Gaffney. For art enthusiasts, Irish Times cartoonist Martyn Turner will be exhibiting in EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, meanwhile, Sweetman’s Brewery will be opening its doors for an 18th Century beer tasting event.

The festival will culminate in a family fun day and market in St. Patrick's Park on Sunday, 2nd December.

Speaking at the programme launch, poet Jessica Traynor said: "Honouring one of Ireland’s greatest writers and social advocates, the festival continues to celebrate Swift’s legacy in the 21st Century through a multitude of events incorporating spoken word, poetry, debate, art and song, concluding with an open-air fair, -ripe with family favourites.”

Commenting on the festival the Very Revd Dr William Morton, Dean of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral remarked: "We're delighted to be hosting The Jonathan Swift Festival. As a past Dean of Saint Patrick’s, Swift’s place in both the history of this Cathedral and as a dynamic force within literature, the arts and social politics is one which we are proud to recognise and celebrate in 2018.”

The Jonathan Swift Festival will run in Dublin from Thursday, 29th November to Sunday, 2nd December. Many of the events are free.

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