Whether you’re into music, theatre, art, literature, history and heritage or comedy, you’ll find some cultural happening to suit your taste.

Where the Arts are now

Three feelings sum up the Arts Sector’s response to COVID–19. Firstly, a feeling of doom and nothing seeming to work. Secondly, a sense of paralysis, coupled with a curiosity about what might work. Thirdly, there’s an optimism about the future, and a fierce determination to survive and thrive in this trying time. I don’t think these feelings are confined to the Arts Sector, of course, and these feelings alternate with each other even over a single day. Arts organisations are faring better than individual artists. Jobs have some protection, but freelance work sadly does not. Individual artists that have very low incomes, in any case, have lost al

Read More

Stay entertained during lockdown

Stay entertained at home with top Dublin artistry. From films and gigs to publications and podcasts, our creatives have you covered. Online Museums, Activities & Events: Abbey Theatre: Ireland’s National Theatre has a variety of online resources to keep you entertained at home. With online Screenings and Talks & Podcasts, you’re sure to find something to sink your virtual teeth into. Chester Beatty: Take a virtual tour in 3D, visit the Digital Collections or explore the Learning Resource

Read More

Number 14 Henrietta Street

No street in Dublin illuminates the history of the city quite like Henrietta Street. The vast houses on this cobblestone street have run the gamut from Georgian grandeur to tenement squalor within the three hundred years of their existence. Now, Number 14 Henrietta Street has been restored as a museum, telling the story of the house’s journey from being the grand residence of a family of four in the 1720s, to a home to over one hundred people by 1911. All the big events of Irish history buffeted the residents here. The Act of Union of 1801 moved aristocracy away, and the Famine moved the poor here in droves, “Dublin’s broken union men” died

Read More

Wood Quay Summer Sessions

The Wood Quay Summer Sessions, run by Dublin City Council, are a series of free lunchtime gigs that take place every Thursday in July from 1-2pm in association with First Music Contact (FMC), Improvised Music Company (IMC), Music Network and Contemporary Music Centre (CMC). “When Dublin City Council came to us and asked ‘Do you want to programme some music for Thursdays during the summer?’ we said, ‘Why don’t we show all of Dublin’s music?'” said Angela Dorgan, CEO of First Music Contact. “Events like the Wood Quay Summer Sessions can help to bring artist

Read More

Dublin’s Top Ten Works of Art

The Book of Kells in Trinity is arguably Dublin’s most famous work of art but what of all the internationally renowned masterpieces housed in the Dublin galleries? Here are ten of the major artworks waiting to be discovered behind doors you walk past every day. In the National Gallery: 1. Caravaggio – The Taking of Christ Caravaggio painted this dramatic scene of the arresting of Jesus in 1602 for the Roman Marquis Ciriaco Mattei. We see Judas identifying Christ with a kiss and the guards moving in for the arrest. The darkness of the painting is lit from within by a lantern held by St Peter, although this is considered to be a self-p

Read More

The Ark: Engaging kids’ creativity

For 23 years The Ark in Temple Bar has provided the children of Dublin, and of Ireland, with the opportunity to experience and participate in art and culture. We visited The Ark to learn about what’s on offer for children and families today. The Ark is a dedicated cultural centre for children. It was the first of its kind in Europe, quite a forward-thinking facility for this little island. It was founded after the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of The Child, which safeguards children’s right to access culture and art. The Ark “believes in every child’s right to discover and love art in a society where creativity and culture are valued a

Read More

Vampire jets and vases at Collins Barracks

The National Museum of Ireland… No, wait a second: ‘the National Museums of Ireland’. That’s right, there’s actually four of them – at four different sites. Three of them are purpose-built; the buildings have always been museums: that’s the Natural History Museum on Merrion Street, the Archaeology Museum on Kildare Street and the Museum of Country Life in Castlebar, Co Mayo. The fourth site, Collins Barracks – which accommodates the Museum of Decorative Arts and History ̵

Read More

Dublin Treasures – Sunlight Chambers

‘Sunlight Chambers’, it says over the door of the office building on the corner of Parliament Street and Essex Quay. What a lovely name! But why is the building called that? Facing north across the Liffey, it certainly wasn’t catching many rays when Dublin.ie visited on a day in December. With its arched windows and overhanging eaves, it looks like an Italian palace, built perhaps for a cadet branch of the Medici family c1500. But hang on a second, what’s with the strange 3D decorations stuck on the walls of the first and second storeys? There’s nude babies, a donkey, a man building a boat, two men constructing an arch, a bunch of Renaissance-styl

Read More

Language Dublin: Istituto Italiano

Renata Sperandio is the director of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Dublino, the Dublin branch of the Italian cultural institute. Renata, from Belluno in the Veneto region of Italy, has been in Dublin for three years. She has another three to go before her next posting. And, God bless her, she’s learning Irish – with the help of Duolingo, the well-known Irish language learning app. ‘Duolingo’s on my phone too’, says Dublin.ie. ‘It’s terrific.’ ‘Is it?’, asks Renata. ‘Well, yes it is’, I explain. Duolingo does an excellent job indeed. But it’s got its work cut out for it – because, make no mistake

Read More

Dublin Treasures – Temple Bar Icon Walk

Pitching itself as “the greatest story ever strolled”, the Icon Walk cracks the heart of the Irish people wide open and tie-dyes the backstreets of Temple Bar with its vibrant colours. Like spokes from a hub, the walk’s rainbow-painted laneways radiate outwards from The Icon Factory, a gallery and shop at the corner of Aston Place and Bedford Lane. Founded in 2009 by Barney Phair, this not-for-profit artists’ co-operative is run for the benefit of the many creatives that ply their wares here. These streets are an unexpected treasure trove of culture and colour, splashed across spray-p

Read More

Creative Dublin: Galia Arad, Singer-songwriter

Galia (pronounced Ga-lee-ah) Arad is just back from playing support on Marc Almond’s UK tour. Last year, she toured Ireland with Jack L. She regularly tours Europe with Jools Holland, most recently playing support for him at the 3Arena in Dublin. And she owes it all to Shane McGowan and his manager Joey Cashman, who in a strange, unexpected way set Galia’s music career in train and took her from small-time gigging in New York to centre stage at the Royal Albert Hall. Coming from a classically trained background, Galia moved to New York from her Indiana home in her early twenties to pursue a singer-songwriter career with a musical style that she calls “Bob Dylan meets

Read More

A City of Words: Jonathan Swift

2017. The 350th anniversary of Jonathan Swift’s birth. Word of the year according to Collins Dictionary: ‘fake news’. But, says Swift expert Brendan Twomey, there was plenty of that about in Dublin back in the early eighteenth century. To keep Swift’s name in the papers, his printer frequently made up stories about him, his celebrity friends and their amusing escapades. Gulliver’s Travels itself is a sort of fake news; the book purports to be an account of the actual travels of an actual voyager. Also according to Collins, usage of the word ‘Swiftian’ peaked back in 1959. But don’t get the idea that Swift’s legacy is on the wan

Read More