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Liberties Festival launch event The Liberties documentary 15th anniversary screening Tailors Hall 22 07

Liberties Festival Programme Announcement

The Liberties Festival returns from 22nd to 28th July 2024 with a packed programme of events across the neighbourhood. It's the 54th year of the Festival, which was established in 1970, making it the city’s longest running city arts festival. This year’s programme showcases the breadth of arts, music, history, talent and community life in the area; combining some Festival stalwarts such as the Blue Rinse Ball, Garda vs Traders Football, the Family Fun Day and Bingo in St Catherine’s Church, with walks and talks, performances, health and wellbeing events, a special We Love Markets flea, Liberties X Talent Competition, garden tours of Taplin’s Field and much more.

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One of the oldest community festivals in Ireland returns this July with a jam-packed programme of events for all ages

Highlights include a special 15th anniversary screening of the acclaimed Liberties documentary in Tailor’s Hall (launch night, Monday July 22, 7.30pm), which features personal vignettes of characters in the area.

With thanks to the likes of Fighting Words and Foróige, there will be workshops for teenagers in the area to undertake, as well as a pop-up library in the surrounds of St Catherine’s Park.

St Audeon’s will play host to a special evening of organ music where three esteemed organists will take turns playing Erik Satie’s acclaimed ‘Vexations.’

Newly appointed director, Michael McDermott, said: “This year The Liberties Festival promises to mix the old stalwarts with new perspectives, whilst remaining rooted in its surroundings. We’re incredibly grateful to our core funders for their ongoing support and looking forward to bringing this historical Festival back to Dublin 8.”

Community member and head of the local After Schools Programme Liz Duffy said: “The Festival is such a buzz for the local community, and I am very happy to see both young and old people being given events and platforms to learn and connect. It is also exciting to see events, which honour and respect the roots of the locality, as well as appreciate the changes in a smart and sensitive way.”

Shane Kelly, Corporate Relations Director, Diageo Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting The Liberties Festival this year, as it returns to our doorstep in Dublin 8. The community spirit of the area comes alive for the festival, and we’re glad to be part of it, in hosting a morning of sunrise yoga in the Gravity Bar – a great way to kick off proceedings! A must-attend event!”

A Paint by the Pints event will take place in the newly renovated Guinness Open Gate Brewery at St James's Gate whilst all the glitz and glam of the Blue Rinse Ball sashays to the Guinness Storehouse this year, where seniors of the community will get a chance to party the evening away.

Other highlights include Liberties X - Community Got Talent (Saturday July 27, 2pm) on show at the Jesus Statue on Reginald and Gary Street. Whether it is samba dancers, emerging young bands, a local Ukrainian singing group, or the St. James Street Brass Band - they will all be there to entertain you.

Photographer Eimear Lynch will create a pop-up version of her Girls Night project, helping style and photograph local teens who wish to get ready for the disco and big night out.

Meanwhile there’s the famous Gardaí vs Traders match (Monday), Family Fun Days (Saturday/Sunday), The Liberties Trad Night in The Liberty Belle (Tuesday) and Liberties Quiz (Wednesday) and much more to enjoy.

Most events are free, but some are ticketed with charity donations and suggested donations for those who can help the support the festival evolve and expand.

The Liberties Festival is proudly supported by its core funders - Dublin City Council and Diageo Ireland. Additional supporters include the Staycity Group, Donore Credit Union, HSSCU (Health Services Staffs Credit Union) and Goosebump.

The Liberties Festival is produced by SICCDA (South Inner City Community Development Association) and the RECDP (Robert Emmet Community Development Project), which will merge this summer to form The Liberties Communities Project.

The Liberties Fun Run is a 4-mile timed road race that takes in some of the most famous sites throughout the Liberties including St James’s Gate, Francis Street, The Coombe and Fatima. This year's event promises to be especially memorable with a new route that includes the historic St. James’s Gate for the first time! All proceeds go to St James’s Hospital Foundation to improve patient care at the hospital.

Says She (Kevin Street Library, Tuesday July 23, 6pm) is an evening of poetry and spoken word performed by three Dublin women. Anna Doran (current reigning champion of the All-Ireland Poetry Slam), Jan Brierton (mam, fashion stylist and poet) and Martina Keegan (a mother and poet whose roots in The Liberties bleed into her work with vibrant energy) are contemporary voices of the city and modern life.

Cardboard Cities is an exhibition by local children which captures their perspectives on the world around them, and challenges ideas around who has the right to design the city.

The Story of Hospitality (In the Fields, NCAD, Sunday July 28, 2.30pm) rounds off the week with is an invitation to see hospitality, not as an industry, but as a gut instinct that we humans have for generosity and coexistence. Story of Hospitality is written by Jennie Moran/Luncheonette and animated by dance artist Aoibhinn O’Dea.

  • An exhibition of portraits of stallholders in the Liberty Market by Pablo Marin Garcia.
  • A three hour performance of Erik Satie’s ‘Vexations’ on the organ in St Audeon’s.
  • Liberties X - A Community Talent afternoon around the Jesus Statue on Reginald/Gray Street.
  • 15th anniversary screening of The Liberties documentary.
  • The Blue Rinse Ball in the Guinness Storehouse.
  • Sunrise Yoga in the Gravity Bar of the Guinness Storehouse
  • The Liberties Fun Run returning to the festival.
  • A pop-up photo shoot with photographer Eimear Lynch (Girls Night).
  • The Story of Hospitality in the Fields in NCAD with Jennie Moran.
  • The classic Gardai vs Traders match in Oliver Bonds.
  • Paint by the Pints at the newly revamped Open Gate Brewery.
  • Says She, an evening of spoken word and poetry.
  • Pop-up mobile library in St Catherine’s Park.
  • Family fun days in Bridgefoot Park & St Audeon’s.
  • The SICCDA Archive explored at id8 Studio in the Digital Hub.
  • Free workshops for teenagers by Fighting Words & Foróige.
  • Bell-ringing in Christchurch Cathedral.
  • Tours in association with In Our Shoes, Irish Architecture Foundation, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Warrenmount House & Liberty Weavers
Building John Rooney