The Liberties Festival: exciting events in the historical area of Dublin

From Monday 24 to Sunday 30 July, The Liberties Festival will return to Dublin with a vast offer of cultural, musical and environmental events.

The Liberties Festival is one of Ireland’s oldest festivals. From its modest beginnings in 1970, it has grown to become a highlight of the summer in Dublin with a series of family-friendly, sporting and community events, and an exciting multi-cultural and arts programme. 

Health and Well-Being Events

Health and wellbeing events will take place in Bridgefoot Street and will not require having a ticket. However, Sauna in the City will be at The Mindful Yard Sauna, Crosstick Alley, Dublin 8.

Musician Tom Quinn will facilitate a drumming circle in a workshop that will accommodate up to twenty five people. A drum circle is any group of people playing hand-drums and percussion in a circle. Drumming in a circle helps building teamwork and brings people together.  A drum circle brings a sense of power of community in action from the very first drum call. Drumming is a fun activity, as it reduces stress levels and is a great tool to improve your mental health. 

Deborah Kinsella will teach Hatha Yoga and offer a Sound Bath workshop. This qualified yoga instructor in the style of Hatha Yoga mainly focuses on mindful movement, so it is suitable for everyone from complete beginner to advanced.

Matt Burke will give mindfulness classes. This Liberties native and founder of the Magic Minds Podcast and Magic Minds Foundation will open with a workshop named Everyone can meditate. He will finish  with a workshop on the 3M’s Magic Minds Foundation; Mind Movement & Mindfulness. Mindfulness is a type of meditation that focuses on being aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgement. 

As The Liberties Festival wants to create a sense of community, participants can hop on an open top tour bus with a variety of performers leading attendees in playing and singing along. Bus departs Bull Alley Street every hour for a 45 minute sing along / play along session.

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Attendees can bring their own towel, water and swim gear at The Mindful Yard Sauna to relax. Image via the_mindful_yard_sauna.

The liberties festival gives you an insight of the neighbourhood

In Our Shoes Walking tours will welcome the public to discover The Liberties, Dublin. They will have the chance to roam in this village in the City Centre while being given information by local guides. Some of Dublin’s best-known sights and attractions are located in The Liberties like the iconic Guinness Storehouse. The Liberties is also the right place to try uisce beatha or ‘water of life’ – Irish whiskey – in one of the four craft distilleries on Newmarket and James’ Street.

It is home to two cathedrals – Christ Church and St Patrick’s – and Dublinia, a museum that gives an immersion into Viking and mediaeval Dublin.

On Thomas Street, the Humans of The Liberties Photography collection will display hand picked portraits and stories developed from the young people of The Liberties Training Centre. This photo journalistic project features ten portraits of people living or working in The Liberties who are making this neighbourhood the way it is.

Master bellringer Ray Creggan and his team will give a free introduction to the craft of “Full Circle” bell ringing with Christchurch. They will demonstrate to visitors all aspects of what goes on when the bells ring.

On July 27 at 7:30pm, thanks to a partnership between Guinness and Seanchoíche, attendees will experience an enactment of magical storytelling. They will hear from some of the most prolific storytellers like Mikey Cullen, who’s performance at Seanchoíche in Dublin amassed over 1 million views online. Stories from the archives at the Guinness Storehouse will be resurfaced and told along the evening as well.

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Attendees will have the chance to learn about the rich history of the area. Image via In Our Shoes Walking Tour.

A family friendly festival

Attendees of SICCDA (South Inner City Community Development Association) and Robert Emmet CDP Afterschool Projects will showcase their talent in front of family and friends or classmates from 12pm to 2pm. Whether it is a dance routine, musical performance, or something else completely, every talent can be appreciated.

A family day will take place in St. Audeons Park from 2pm – 6pm on Sunday 30 July. The event will include a vast array of performers like magicians, comedians, and musicians.

Steffi Otto is an enthusiast for the use of traditional craft skills of Ireland. She shares her passion and knowledge through workshops and games which reinforces children’s learning experiences. They use natural materials, traditional tools and techniques to make simple traditional items such as rush rattles, rushlights, harvest knots, wooden spinning tops, Christmas decorations, and hemp skipping ropes. Dale Treadwell of Naturally Wild will talk about biodiversity and the bugs and beasties that can be found in your gardens.

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Image via Inner City Beekeeping Project – Bee8.

Adults and children will also have the opportunity to dive into the world of urban beekeeping and learn about the native Irish honey bee. Attendees will have an instructional talk from a tutor for Robert Emmet CDP’s Bee8 project.

Finally, a plant propagation workshop with Joan Mallon, gardener and designer, will give tips about the best times for taking cuttings, tips for doing it effectively and how to do so without damaging the plants. 

Marylou Prevost
Marylou Prevost

After a Master's degree in journalism and one year as a journalist in France, I landed in Dublin to write for Babylon Radio. I mostly love writing about cultural events in Ireland.

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