Explore Dublin’s rich history at an exciting festival next month

by Padraig Conlon
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The best-selling author of Wild Swans, Jung Chang; radio presenter, Joe Duffy; and popular historian and TV presenter Dan Jones are among the must-see guests at next month’s Dublin Festival of History.

Taking place from October 1-20, this year’s festival will see more than 150 walks, tours, exhibitions and talks take place across the city.

An annual free festival, brought to you by Dublin City Council, and organised by Dublin City Libraries, it has a well-earned reputation for attracting best-selling Irish and international historians to Dublin for high-profile history talks and debate.

This year’s festival promises to be very interesting with talks on many diverse subjects such as the relationship between fashion and the city; a look at the history of housing prices in Dublin; the 50th anniversary of The Moon Landing; the premiere of a documentary on the famous Alcock and Brown 1919 flight across the Atlantic; and an in-depth look at the partition of Ireland, 100 years on from the War of Independence.

These are just a small sample of the programme of events taking place over the three weeks.

The festival will culminate with a ‘Big Weekend’ of talks at the Printworks, Dublin Castle, taking place from Friday, October 18 to Sunday, October 20.

Speaking at the recent launch of the festival, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Paul McAuliffe, said: “Since it began in 2013, the festival has gained a reputation for attracting world-class, best-selling historians of national and international significance, and 2019 is no different.

“We look forward to welcoming speakers such as best-selling authors Jung Chang, Tom Holland, Dan Jones and more to Dublin to share their knowledge and join us in a celebration of history, how it has shaped who we are, and its significance in shaping who we become.

“As Ireland’s largest free history festival, with more than 150 events taking place across 65 venues on a diverse range of topics, there’ll be something for everyone this October.”

Dublin City Librarian, Mairead Owens told Dublin Gazette: “History is all around us – in our built environment as we walk through the streets, in the stories we tell, and in the particular phrases we say.

“This year’s festival will bring alive the multi-faceted nature of history, from the impact of political decisions such as the partition of Ireland, or the building of the Berlin Wall, to the story of Lemon’s sweets, the Periodic Table, and even how Constance Wilde helped women to start wearing trousers.”

All events are free and the full programme is available from libraries or at the Dublin Festival of History website.

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