The Liberties Festival
is one of Ireland’s oldest festivals. From modest beginnings in 1970 it has grown to become a highlight of the summer in Dublin with a series of family-friendly, sporting and community events, and an exciting multi-cultural and arts programme encompassing visual art, film, dance, comedy, literature and music.
The area known as The Liberties is the south-west part of Dublin’s inner city approximately west of Aungier Street and south of the River Liffey, predominately in Dublin 8. Steeped in history, its name originated with the arrival in the 12th century of the Anglo-Normans who titled jurisdictions united to the city but outside the boundaries of its walls as ‘Liberties’. Two of the most important were the Liberty of St. Sepulchre (under the Archbishop of Dublin) and the Liberty of Thomas Court and Donore (under the Abbey of St. Thomas, later the Earl of Meath’s Liberty). For supporting the ruler, these Liberties received privileges such as freedom from various taxes. Today’s Liberties area is made up of these two ancient Liberties.
The Liberties Festival makes great use of the pleasant terraced streets, bustling shopping districts, open spaces, and the historical and contemporary buildings of the area. And – in keeping with tradition – most of these events are free!