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Dublin: 10°C Monday 20 September 2021

4 events for... literature fans (and others) at The Jonathan Swift Festival in Dublin

Celebrate the life and work of one of Ireland’s most treasured authors.

NOW IN ITS second year, The Jonathan Swift Festival  returns to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin from today, November 29, until Sunday December 2.

Celebrating the accomplishments of one of Ireland’s most treasured authors, this year’s festival welcomes a number of creative bodies and cultural institutions, including EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum and The Irish Film Institute.

Best known as the author of Gulliver’s Travels, which he wrote in 1726, Swift was a man of many talents. He attended both Trinity College and Oxford University and maintained a keen interest in politics throughout his life. However, in 1694 he decided to make a career change and trained to become a protestant clergyman and hoped to eventually rise through the ranks of the church to become a bishop or archbishop.

However, his outspoken nature had earned him enemies which stunted promotion. In 1713 he was appointed Dean of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, where he was buried following his death in 1745.

With over 21 events taking place in his memory over the coming days, we’ve rounded up four not to miss. 

1. Gulliver’s Fair and Market 

40282975540_69ab381f00_k Source: Sonse/Flickr

When: Sunday December 2, 11am until 4pm

Where: St Patrick’s Park, Patrick St, Dublin 8

This open-air market is for all the family, with international food and craft stalls, circus workshops, live music and attractions for both young and old.

The event is free admission with no booking required.  

2. New Dublin Voices

Source: Jonathan Swift Festival

When: Saturday December 1, 8pm

Where: St Patrick’s Cathedral, Wood Quay, Dublin 8

In what’s sure to be a spine-tingling performance, the New Dublin Voices choir will perform a selection of pieces from Swift’s era, as well as more contemporary seasonal songs for all to enjoy. 

Tickets for the performance are €15 and are available here.

3. Swift Laughs

33819698016_7bdf3188d9_z Source: William Murphy/Flickr

When: Friday November 30, 8pm

Where: Smock Alley Theatre, 7 Exchange St Lower, Temple Bar

Swift is famous for using satire and comedy, so in celebration of his life and work is a night filled with the two. Featuring David McSavage, Hannah Mamalis, Aine Gallagher, John Colleary and Kevin McGahern. 

Tickets are €20 and advance booking is essential.

4. Sullivan’s Travels

Source: Movieclips/YouTube

When: Saturday December 1, 3:30pm

Where: Irish Film Institute, 6 Eustace St, Temple Bar

Introduced by satirist Kevin McGahern, the Irish Film Institute will host a screening of Preston Sturges’s 1941 classic Sullivan’s Travels and Georges Méliès 1902 adaption of Gulliver’s Travels.

Tickets, priced at €9.50, are available here.

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