Dublin Festival of History

Luke McLeod | Last Updated 08 March 2024 | 5 Minute Read

Returning for its twelfth year of historical debate, discussion and readings, the Dublin Fetival of History will take place between 27th September and 13th of October 2024. The opening weekend will include the marquee events!

Over the twelve years since its inception, the DFOH has continued to grow interest in Irish history. Award winning, national and international historians come to Dublin each year to celebrate the culture of Irish history with a top class programme of events taking place in iconic spaces across the city centre. 

History in Dublin City

From rural community to our everyday lives and all the way back to Viking Dublin the festival covers all angles of our unique past. Some of the previous highlights of other editions are below.

Dublin Castle

Located in the heart of Dublin's cobbled streets, it originally housed an army barracks of sorts with the Normans. As the years went on, it became more of a residency than a defence unit. However, as eighteenth century Dublin began to change, so did the Castle. It's grandeur appearance began to fade and it fell into ruin. With no medieval era buildings left in the Dublin city castle. Instead the castle turned into a palace in Georgian Dublin.

Like many buildings under control of the British empire, Dublin Castle was bestowed on the Irish Free State in 1922. Under the control of Ireland and Dublin corporation the Castle became a venue for state ceremonies with inaugurations happening here along with signings of repeal in the constitution. One central library is located on the ground. The Chester Beatty has a strong language and religious connection between Dublin City and the rest of the world.


14 Henrietta Street

The old tenement houses play a key role in preserving Irish culture and tradition. This once aristocratic town house steadily became a detriment to health of the occupiers. With strong connections to the rich people of Dublin, the houses then became slums in the late 1890s.


The crucial preservation of the industrial working-class community way of life is shown in perfect light at 14 Henrietta street. Tours are also offered through Gaeilge and Irish Sign Language. Creating a welcoming environment for all members of the community. These tenement houses have become an iconic Dublin museum and a vital place for the Dublin City Council Culture Company to have programmes running in.  

Glasnevin Cemetery

124 acres, north of Cabra and south of Glasnevin, lies the historic Cemetery written about by James Joyce in Ulysses. Since consecration in 1832, it has been an ever popular area for visiting.

Explore the final resting place of Ireland's twentieth century heroes like Michael Collins and the republican plot. Whether it's past presidents or spoken language poets, this guided tour brings the stories back around.

Richmond Barracks

Since the start of the 19th century, the Richmond barracks was used by the British army all the way up to 1922. In 1916, the Inchicore site became a sign of rebellion, as those who were expected of being a rebel were held here until release or sent to prison.

It was then handed over to the Irish state in 1922 at the founding of the Irish Free State. After a turbulent period of almost a hundred years, which saw the barracks become a school, housing, and a common area at the hands of Dublin corporation.

However, in the decade of centenaries Richmond Barracks then became home to culture in the city. Housing a library and garden along with venue space, Richmond Barracks is one of the highlights of the Dublin Festival of History. 

Collins Barracks

What may seem like a recurring theme in the history of Dublin, a lot of former military bases have been revolutionised into cultural centres by Dublin City Council. Collins Barracks is no different. What was a British garrison from 1702 until 1922, when it was renamed to honour the 20th Century Irish legend Michael Collins. The prolific figure who is responsible for the formation of the Irish Free State. 

Since 1997, the barracks has become home for the Decorative Arts and History section of the National Museum of Ireland. With over 150,000 items, the museum at the barracks welcomes over 220k visitors each year. The collections include permanent exhibitions from the 1916 rising to Eileen Gray, Ireland's most influential designer. Dublin city historians have helped to craft an excellent tour around the museum.

Blessington Street Basin

Back in 1810, the "City Basin" opened as a drinking water reservoir, as a backup to the one on James's street. Named originally in honour of King George III, the basin was renamed in later years. The area was always a park, but not until 1891 did it get formally developed to what we know it as today. 


Due to a lack of use, Dublin corporation considered filling in the reservoir in the late 1890's but chose not to. This plan was then completed in 1956. Around this time, a man made island was created for birds. Again in 1993, Dublin City Council redeveloped the basin to it's current state. The water is home to fishes, and the island a habitat for Swan's, Ducks, Pigeons and more. 

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Programme of the Dublin Festival of History

The Festival of History has an incredible programme lined up for 2024, with the main events yet to be released. What we do know, is that there are a number of event types including talks, tours, workshops, exhibitions and family friendly events. 

The festival hosts a number Online Events throughout the year, these are panel discussions, lectures and even a podcast. These online events are brilliant for discovering the history of Dublin as you explore it on your stay at the Arthaus. You can find gems with Peter Sheridan, Mary Muldowney and Anne Chambers.

Book Events


We would strongly recommend that guests at the Arthaus book an event during the Dublin Festival of History. As you discover the incredible art and culture that surrounds the hotel, delve deeper into the history surrounding some of the famous attractions and monuments you visit during your stay.

About the Author

Meet our passionate and seasoned Travel and Culture Editor, Luke McLeod. With an insatiable wanderlust and an unquenchable thirst for cultural exploration, Luke is your trusted guide to unlocking the soul of Ireland. 

With years of experience in the realms of travel and culture journalism, Luke has made it their mission to hand-pick the most captivating and authentic experiences that the Emerald Isle has to offer. 

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