Ireland’s Biggest History Festival Returns – and It’s All Free!

The 2019 Dublin Festival of History will take place from October 1 – 20, with its “Big Weekend” happening in Printworks, Dublin Castle from the 18 – 20.

The event’s dates have been extended in order to make extra room for its packed schedule. There are over 150 free talks, walks, seminars, exhibitions and film screenings focusing on a range of history topics. These include the Decade of Commemoration’s anniversaries like the meeting of the First Dail, the outbreak of the War of Independence and the Versailles Treaty.

Other anniversaries remembered in the programme include the moon landings of 1969, the outbreak of the Troubles, the Amritsar massacre in India, and the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland.

One major highlight of the festival will be English writer and popular historian Tom Holland. Returning to the event for the third time, he will be discussing his latest book Dominion: How Christianity Shaped the Western World on Saturday, October 19 in Dublin Castle.

Christianity is the most enduring legacy of the ancient world, and its emergence the single most transformative development in Western history. Even the increasing number in the West today who have abandoned the faith of their forebears, and dismiss all religion as pointless superstition, remain recognisably its heirs. Dominion places the story of how we came to be what we are and how we think the way that we do in the broadest historical context.

Acclaimed writer Jung Chang will also return to the festival to talk about her latest work: Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister on Sunday, October 20 in Dublin Castle. The book tells the true story of three sisters from Shanghai, who for most of the twentieth century were at the centre of power in China and left an indelible mark on history.

Other authors in attendance at the festival include Joe Duffy and Freya McClements. The pair will be discussing on October 20 in Dublin Castle their upcoming book Children of the Troubles. Nine-year-old Patrick Rooney loved horror movies and Halloween and wanted to be a priest when he grew up. Instead, on August 15, 1969, he became the first child killed as a result of the Troubles – one of approximately 190 children who would die in the conflict in Northern Ireland. Children of the Troubles tells the previously untold story of these lost children and the lives that might have been.

On top of the events highlighted above, there will be seminars on fashion history, the flour and corn mills of Dublin, the Irish War of Independence, the weaving industry in the Liberties and Viking history. There will also be the festival’s popular Decade of Commemorations Quiz.

The full programme is available at where you can also sign-up for the festival’s mailing list. You can follow the festival as well on Twitter and Facebook @HistFest

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