A smorgasbord of delights awaits you in Dublin 8 as cultural institutions and attractions throw open their doors for a weekend in May
The ‘Culture Date with Dublin 8’ weekender returns on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th of May. The event now in its fourth year celebrates the postal district of D8 as one of Ireland’s top cultural destinations. Recently described by Time Out magazine as one of “the coolest neighbourhoods in the world” many of the area’s top historical landmarks including Kilmainham Gaol, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and IMMA – Irish Museum of Modern Art, will come alive with specially curated, free events, workshops, family activities and walking tours. The programme was launched on Monday 25th April by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland with a ceremony at Goldenbridge Cemetery.
Amongst the programme of events, on Saturday, May 14th, at 1 pm, the festival will pay special tribute to the recently deceased Dublin 8 native and Irish poet Thomas Kinsella with a free concert celebrating his work in Goldenbridge Cemetery. The event will feature readings by actors Mary Murray, Una Crawford O’Brien and the spoken word poet Emmet Kirwan followed by a performance by harpist Valerie Armstrong. That evening, The Guinness Choir will be hosting a special ticketed performance of their “Sing Again” concert in St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 7 pm.
Many of the key heritage sites in the area will provide free access at various times throughout the weekend with opportunities to explore places that would not otherwise be open to visitors. The Irish National War Memorial Gardens will be providing tours of their grounds and bookrooms, home to Harry Clarke’s illustrated manuscripts. Phoenix Park will be providing a tour of their new biodiversity centre and St. Mary’s Hospital. The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), will be hosting a biodiversity tour, exploring the museum’s extensive gardens and meadows and Christ Church Cathedral will provide free entry and an opportunity for visitors to try their new audio guide.
Family-Friendly Activities & Twilight Market
Kilmainham Gaol will be hosting free tours for kids, aged 8 -12 years old, where they will hear stories of the historic crimes committed by children and learn about some of the gaol’s most famous prisoners. The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) will be hosting an “Explorer” themed family workshop where children and grown-ups will explore selected artworks in the museum and make artworks together. Richmond Barracks will be hosting an interactive children’s history workshop with Dublin’s Historian-in-residence for Children Dervilla Roche. Marsh’s Library, known as Ireland’s hidden gem, will be hosting a LEGO treasure hunt featuring significant Irish figures from the library’s past as well as providing free tours of their important collection of late Renaissance and early Enlightenment books. On Saturday, May 14th, from 2 pm-8 pm, there will be a “Twilight Market” at The Digital Hub Thomas Street, showcasing a mixture of local design and locally made artisan food and homemade crafts.
A number of walking tours will take place throughout the weekend. Dublinia will be hosting a guided walking tour exploring the Viking and Medieval parts of Dublin 8. The “In Our Shoes Walking Tour” will see local guides bring visitors on an “off the beaten track” tour of The Liberties, revealing the local history and folklore that makes up the heart of Dublin. The “Guinness Legacy in the Liberties” is the name of a tour led by Kieran Doyle O’Brien, in association with the Liberties Cultural Association, that will explore the early twentieth-century programme of urban renewal that was largely funded by Ireland’s best-known brewing family.
Speaking at the launch of the programme the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Alison Gilliland, encouraged visitors to come and be inspired.
“From Viking and medieval history to modern art, the Dublin 8 area is home to some of Ireland’s richest and most diverse cultural and heritage sites. I’m deeply honoured to launch the programme for this year’s Culture Date with Dublin 8 festival, which celebrates the area as one of Ireland’s top cultural destinations. This year’s programme provides a fantastic opportunity for visitors to reconnect with the capital city’s magnificent cultural resources and for local communities to discover the hidden gem that may be right on their doorstep. I would encourage audiences to come and be inspired.”
Culture Date with Dublin 8 will run from Saturday, 14th – Sunday 15th of May. Many of the events are free but have limited capacity so early booking is advised. To help visitors navigate their way around Dublin 8, the first-ever cultural attractions map for Dublin 8 is now available which highlights some of the key attractions in the area. Visitors can also stamp their way across Dublin 8’s top cultural attractions by picking up the new “D8 Attractions Passport” at participating locations.
For the full schedule of events and to book tickets visit: www.culturedatewithdublin8.ie