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

The James Joyce Centre

Have we had enough of Joyce? Never! All is quiet on a sunny morning on Dublin’s North Great George’s Street when I make my way to Number 35. The Georgian building has housed the James Joyce Centre since 1996 when the building was valiantly saved from demolition through the efforts of Senator David Norris, also a resident of the street. The house was once the location of a dance academy run by Professor Denis J Maginni, a colourful Dublin character who appears often in Ulysses, described as wearing a “silk hat, slate frockcoat with silk facings, white kerchief tie, tight lavender trousers, canary g

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Dublin Treasures – The Gravediggers

Jim, a Fine Gael figure formerly of the Dept. of Justice, is discussing politics with the barman. The thrust and parry of their conversation is momentarily interrupted by the arrival of a group of tourists from the Ghost Bus which tours haunted Dublin.

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The Antique Street

Francis Street is going through some big changes these days, subtle and quiet as they might be. The area is providing a home to new bars, restaurants, and shops. But mostly it’s filled with antique shops, and antiques have been the main business round here for quite a while now. “I opened about 16 years ago,” said Patrick Howard, of Patrick Howard Antiques, “though Francis Street itself has been filled with antique shops for almost 30 years.” Patrick was a fashion designer before he got into the antiques game. “I did that for most of my life, and when I got tired of it I

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Lansdowne Road: From old to new

There’s a lot of history at Lansdowne Road. Including the fact that 73,000 pints were sold on a single day match day recently. Dublin.ie stopped over for a visit to learn more. Ireland versus England at Lansdowne Road. One of the great sporting occasions at one of the great sporting arenas. But when these sides first met here, in 1876, it wasn’t rugby they were competing at. It was athletics. We won four events to their nine victories, one of which was the tug of war. The Lansdowne grounds, established by Henry Wallace Dunlop, opened in 1873 and soon provided a home for a brand new rugby club, Lansdowne, of which Dunlop was the founder. But the place als

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Dublin Treasures – Áras an Uachtaráin

The people, places and things that make Dublin special. It is a cold sunny Saturday morning in late spring, and we’re having a coffee in the courtyard of the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, which is a find in itself. It is tucked away beyond the Walled Garden, which is getting geared up for the Bloom Flower Festival, which runs from late May. The rhubarb that grows there ends up in the tarts you can eat in the café next door. The fashion around us tends towards running gear. Babies who’ve been whisked out of the house early in the mornin

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The Iveagh Trust Museum Flat

It’s hard to imagine this little three-room flat was once home to a family of eight. Flat 3B, Bull Alley Estate on Patrick Street, is a cosy flat comprising of a living room and two bedrooms. It was home to the Molloy family and built by The Iveagh Trust. In 1890, Edward Cecil Guinness, the First Earl of Iveagh and grandson of the original Arthur Guinness, provided houses and amenities for working-class people with low incomes in Dublin. The Iveagh Building replaced some of the worst slum dwellings in Europe. At the time, these new flats were state of the art.

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A Literary Tour of Dublin

Joyce, O’Casey, Beckett – you can’t even cross the Liffey without acknowledging Dublin’s literary heritage in the names of its bridges. The ubiquitous blue plaques marking writers’ birthplaces and residences are in such abundance, we can lose sight of how spoiled we are for old haunts of the literary greats: Wittgenstein on Parkgate Street, Bernard Shaw on Synge Street, Bram Stoker on Marino Crescent – even the Irish Writers’ Centre on Parnell Square. So yes, for a thorough literary tour, there is the option to get out the map and go wandering. Make a Yeatsian pilgrimage to Sandymount Avenue to

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A City of Words: Stephen James Smith

On St. Patrick’s Day 2017, Stephen James Smith sat a few rows back from Michael D Higgins in the presidential stand outside the GPO. Sitting beside his father, he watched as the parade passed by on O’Connell Street. He thought about how bizarre the whole situation was. He felt humbled by the experience. Aware of the risk of getting a swelled head, he knew he had to stay focussed on the next project. Stephen had been commissioned by St. Patrick’s Festival to produce a poem in honour of our national holiday. The parade was inspired by Stephen’s words. “It was surreal,” he says. “Almost 20 years ago

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Restoring Bow Street Distillery

The old Jameson whiskey distillery is a beautiful and historic building in the heart of Dublin. It’s undergone numerous changes in its long life, the most recent of which has seen the building transformed into a spacious venue for distillery tours and events. As the project manager at the Jameson Brand Home, Paula Reynolds played a central role in the redevelopment of the site. “We were lucky in that the people working with us on the renovation managed to keep about 90 per cent of the original structures intact.” She points to the glass flooring we’re walking on. “Through the glass here you can see the original foundations of the distillery.” She points to

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The Queen of Dublin, Panti Bliss

When the Marriage Equality referendum passed in May of 2015, Ireland’s dearest drag queen Panti Bliss took her place on the podium at Dublin Castle. Standing alongside Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams and Minister for Justice Francis Fitzgerald, she addressed the emotional crowd. Rory O’Neill’s alter ego, Panti, who had always been in the peripheral vision of the Irish people, was now front and centre having played a hugely important role in the Yes campaign. Today, Panti performs all over the world but is based in Dublin, even making her own mark on the cityscape. At dusk, the gloriously cartoonish PANTIBAR sig

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Dublin Treasures – The Five Lamps

‘Do you know the Five Lamps?’ If you’ve heard this question before - and been foolish enough to answer in the affirmative - you’ll know not to answer it again. Essentially it’s a peculiarly Dublin way to tell someone to shut-up or to feck-off: ‘Do you know the Five Lamps? Well go hang your bollox off them!’. No one actually knows how this old saying originated. Well, how could they? But hats off to whichever Dublin wit it was who came up with it. Now it’s part of inner city Dublin culture. The lamps in question are in Dublin’s North Strand area, situated at the junction of five streets: Portland Row, North Strand Road, Seville Place, Amiens Street and Killarney Street. There it is, sitting an island in the middle of the road: a decorative five-branched lamp-post.

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Creative Dublin: The Design House

Half way down Dawson Street, nestled away in an old Georgian building, is the Design House – a thriving hub of creativity. The Design House was founded by Irish fashion designer, Bebhinn Flood. It’s the creative home to several in-house designers. With design and retail under the one roof, it’s like buying straight from the studios. The hallways host a gallery of art. Over 60 designers, mostly Irish, sell their creations here. Cutting-edge fashion, jewellery, bridal, vintage and a variety of crafts all in the one beautiful Georgian building. Not to mention the authentic Italian café in the basement, which has just

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