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Culture Date With Dublin 8 Festival Celebrates its 6th Year with over 80 Events Announced

Cali-Jai Johnston (age 8) pictured in Marsh’s Library at the launch of the 'Culture Date with Dublin 8' festival 2024. Image Leon Farrell

Dublin 8 steps back into the spotlight with the 6th annual 'Culture Date with Dublin 8' festival.  From Wednesday, May 8th to Sunday, May 12th, the Dublin 8 area will come to life with over 80 specially curated events including talks, walks, tours, markets, and concerts. This diverse array of activities will appeal to both locals and tourists alike, offering an opportunity to explore the area's rich history, including local landmarks, heritage sites, museums, iconic breweries, churches, and hidden treasures. 

As part of this year’s festival a landmark exhibition entitled “Humans of the Liberties'' will take place in The Bank on James’ Street. The photo exhibition, in association with the popular “Humans of Dublin'' project, will feature local residents, highlighting their tales of survival, personal triumphs, and community bonds.

The programme for the festival was officially unveiled at a ceremony in Marsh’s Library. Speaking at the launch Lord Mayor of Dublin Daithí de Róiste invited members of the public to come be inspired:

“It is my honour to present the programme for this year's Culture Date with Dublin 8 festival, which celebrates the Dublin 8 area as one of Ireland’s leading cultural destinations. I love to attend this every year and this year's lineup offers a remarkable opportunity for visitors to rediscover their connection with the capital's magnificent cultural offerings, while giving local communities the chance to uncover hidden treasures in their own neighbourhood. From ancient history to modern art, Dublin 8 is home to some of Ireland's most culturally significant and diverse heritage sites and museums. I would encourage audiences to come and be inspired.”

A snapshot of what to expect across this year’s programme includes:

Heritage Sites & Museums

As part of this year's programme, Dublin 8's major heritage and cultural sites will offer specially curated tours and events free of charge. Visitors can explore the mummified cat and rat during a special tour of Christchurch Cathedral or get a behind the scenes tour of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. The historic Masonry building, now home to Iconic Offices, will offer a unique tour of the building and its impressive Irish art collection. Visitors to the Edward Worth Library will enjoy a tour of the current exhibition exploring Early Medieval Ireland from the Vikings to the Battle of Clontarf.  Farmleigh House will host speciality tours and will highlight the estate's sculptures, with a focus on the statues in the conservatory.

Walking Tours

Discover the captivating history of Dublin 8 through a series of engaging walking tours during the festival. Embark on the "Richmond Barracks to Kilmainham Gaol" walking tour, delving into the rich historical and political tapestry of the area. Explore the intriguing "Goldenbridge Cemetery Tour," where you can learn about the cemetery's historic vaults, armed guards, and Cuban Bloodhounds. Uncover hidden gems and local secrets with experienced guides on the "In Our Shoes Walking Tours" and with Aaran Henderson of“Dublin Decoded”. Journey through the thousand-year history of textiles in the liberties on the "Walking Tour with The Liberty Weavers."

Live Performance

London Concertante is set to make a return to Saint Patrick's Cathedral with their acclaimed performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by Candlelight. Additionally, Arthurs pub on Thomas Street will be presenting live music with a special performance from “Irish Women in Jazz”, while St George's Brass Band will delight audiences at St Audoen's Park with a selection of music from the movies and popular favourites. The Edward Worth Library will be hosting “If Ever You Go: Poems of Dublin 8,” featuring readings of poetry inspired by the area, and comedian and Irish language activist Áine Gallagher will be wandering the streets of Dublin 8 with her “cup of focals,” offering fun and surprising ways to use the Irish language.  At Tailors’ Hall, spoken word poet Philip Kenny will present the premiere of his latest video work “Myriad” followed by live spoken word performances.

World Famous Breweries

Dublin 8 hosts some of the world's most renowned breweries, all of which will open their doors to host specially curated events during the festival. Teeling Whiskey Distillery will offer guided tours and tastings. The Guinness Storehouse will be giving a special tour of their underground tunnels and a look inside their working brewery which is not normally accessible to the public. Still Garden Distillery will teach modern distillation techniques with live entertainment, including open mic comedians and DJ sets. At Dublin Liberties Distillery, their exceptional barista Daire will demonstrate how to craft the perfect Irish coffee. Pearse Lyons Distilleryinvites visitors to explore the rich history and heritage surrounding the former St. James Church, and how it transformed into Pearse Lyons Distillery. ROE & CO have enlisted esteemed local guide Karl Deery to provide tours of the Liberties, which conclude with whiskey tasting in the distillery. Rascals Brewery will host a storytelling night in association with Alternative Dublin, offering an open mic-style event where visitors can share stories and meet new people.

Milan Griffin (age 9) and Comedian & Irish Language Activist Aine Gallagher shushing Lord Mayor of Dublin Daithí de Róiste in Marsh’s Library, at the launch of the 'Culture Date with Dublin 8' festival. Image Leon Farrell

Visual Art Events

The Dublin 8 area boasts many of the capital's top galleries and is also home to the National College of Art and Design who will be hosting an exhibition by Rosemary Costello, in collaboration with the Liberties Weavers, featuring a collaborative woven sculptural artwork. 

Meanwhile, at the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, visual artist Sonia Shiel will present an exhibition of paintings that delve into our relationship with the darker aspects of life. La Catedral Studios will host an open studio night, providing a rare and unique opportunity to meet the artists. Pallas Projects will feature an exhibition called NAMACO, which delves into the topic of land ownership in Ireland. Lastly, an exhibition titled "Age is a Privilege, Unless you forget" by artist Debbie Castro will be on display at St Patrick’s Hospital, focusing on the theme of memory loss. The Irish Museum of Modern Art will be hosting a gallery tour exploring the work of the Derry Video & Film Workshop (DFVW), the radical film collective established in Derry in 1983.

Kids Events

Younger festival attendees can enjoy a kids tour at Kilmainham Gaol, where they will learn about some of the jail's most famous prisoners. Dublinia will offer special interactive family tours featuring viking shields and swords on display. Marsh’s Library will host their well-known Irish Writers-themed Lego Hunt. Richmond Barracks is organising a teddy bears picnic, and the explorer family workshop at the Irish Museum of Modern Art will feature sessions for creating your own artwork. 

Other Events

A diverse range of unique and unexpected talks, tours, and activities are set to take place throughout the Dublin 8 area as part of the festival. This year's program will feature guided boat trips, in partnership with Dublin Inland Waterways Association (IWAI)providing the opportunity for participants to take guided boat tours from Griffith Bridge to Portobello Harbour aboard the iconic Old Liffey Ferry. Additionally, the staff at renowned Adonis Flower Designers, housed within the historic Iveagh Trust Buildings on Patrick Street, will be on hand to tell local tales, as well as hosting a workshop on creating "Dried Floral Crowns." At the Kevin Street Library, a talk will be held on the stained glass pioneer and former Dublin 8 native Michael Healy. The documentary 'Fairbrother’s Fields The Tenters' will be screened at the Hyatt Centric Hotel, with a brief introduction from The Tenters Heritage Group. Dublin 8 resident and local author Estelle Birdy will be launching her book 'Ravelling,' which explores the lives of five friends attending a school in Dublin 8. Finally, the popular "We Love Markets" event will be hosted at the Digital Hub, showcasing homemade food, clothing, and vintage goods, with impromptu performances by the remarkable Liberties Majorettes.

The Culture Date with Dublin 8 Festival will take place from Wednesday 8th to Sunday 12th May. Many of the events are free but booking is required. 

Culture Date with Dublin 8 is an initiative led by the Dublin City Council South Central Area in collaboration with our programme partners.

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