Super Stoneybatter | Dublin 7’s Fantastic Festival
June will be a busy month for the residents of Dublin’s most vibrant urban village as the Stoneybatter Festival returns for its third year from Friday, June 21 to Sunday, June 23.
Featuring culture, food, music, sport and history along with a strong emphasis on celebrating the community in Dublin 7, over 100 events are planned for across the three days. The festival will kick off Friday night at the Village Green (the junction of Aughrim Street and Prussia Street) at the Festival Wishing Tree. There the local St. Gabriel’s National School will perform with Irish United Nations Veteran Association Pipers leading all to the local Community Centre for the opening ceremony.
Following this on Friday night is Storybatter which will see Clarks City Arms Pub on Prussia Street hosting writers Eoin Butler, Patrick Freyne and Sarah Breen. Meanwhile over at Kavanaghs Pub, Stoneybatter Laughs will be taking place, with stand-up, impressions and sketches from comedians Gary Cooke (Apres Match) and John Colleary (The Savage Eye).
The festival will also be launching a craft beer specially brewed for the weekend. Titled ‘On the Batter’, it can be found at The Drink Store on Manor Street.
Saturday will mark Stoneybatter Festival’s Open House Day. This is where museums, galleries, local businesses and private homes will open their doors with tours, talks and heritage events. Pop into some of the interesting houses in Stoneybatter chosen for their architectural design, fabulous finishings, or historical relevance.
As part of Open House Day, attendees can see the birthplace of the poet Austin Clarke on Manor Street. Today the location is home to luthier Jim Beatley who makes cellos and violins in his workshop there. To celebrate these two’s connection to Stoneybatter, there will be music and readings of Clarke’s poetry.
Festival goers can experience tours of buildings such as Áras an Uachtaráin, the Central Criminal Courts, the Former Dublin Metropolitan Police Barracks, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Law Society of Ireland headquarters and Saor Ollscoil na hÉireann. The latter was formerly the City Arms Hotel and was frequented many times by James Joyce. It is referenced several times in his seminal novel Ulysses.
There will also be tours of other landmarks. These include the graveyard of the 1916 leaders at Arbour Hill and the Irish United Nations Veteran Association headquarters where a cup of tea will be had after.
Saturday will see the return of the Stoneybatter Slideshow in the Secret Cinema on Stable Lane. This is where filmmakers, photographers and visual magpies of Dublin 7 will present a selection of their favourite images.
Other cultural and entertainment events happening on the Saturday include Where Art Thou?, an innovative new exhibition of work by Dublin 7 artists displayed in the windows of Manor Street’s businesses; the book launch of Stories from Stoneybatter, a collection of local residents recollections of the area; and Humans of Stoneybatter, a photo slideshow of ordinary people with extraordinary tales.
Music is to play a big part in the Stoneybatter Festival. Clarkes City Arms will take centre stage for various talent shows; jazz, rock, punk and folk gigs; and open mics. There will also be trad sessions, DJ sets and tribute act performances held across the pubs of Stoneybatter, as well as the Stoneybatter Festival Concert. The latter takes place Saturday evening in the beautiful surrounds of St. Laurence’s Church in Grangegorman.
St Brendan’s GAA club will host a range of sporting activities at TU Dublin City Campus in Grangegorman on Saturday with games for all ages including a 5-a-side soccer tournament. There will also be yoga, pilates, mindfulness and meditation classes throughout the weekend to help people unwind.
On Sunday, Stoneybatter and Manor Street will be closed to traffic. This is to facilitate an action-packed family fun day with games, music, talks, food, craft stalls, pop-up gardens and more on offer for kids.
Other highlights of the Sunday programme are the Great Batter Bake Off with Pauline McLynn (Father Ted) and the return of the dog fancy dress contest Woofstock. Plus, a range of local food and drink businesses will come together for a sensory quiz, whiskey tastings and markets stalls offering samples of local food.
Coffee-roasting superstars Charles and Anne from Koppi Fine Coffee Roasters in Sweden will DJ on the roof of Stoneybatter cafe Love Supreme as part of the family fun day. At the same time, Walsh’s pub – recently voted Best Pub in Ireland – will stage a pop-up Gaeltacht alongside their open trad sessions all weekend.
The festival will conclude on Sunday night with after parties in the local pubs and the annual Festival Senior Citizens Party at the Community Centre. The latter is a hooley featuring music and dancing for Stoneybatter community’s elderly.
For more information and to learn about other Stoneybatter Festival events, visit www.stoneybatterfestival.ie.
Featured Image Credit – Phil Yeatman