Burning Books @ State Apartment Galleries
Apr 3 @ 10:00 am – Sep 1 @ 5:00 pm


In the last decade of the nineteenth century, the book collector and amateur book binder Sir Edward Sullivan was shown a collection of 149 large volumes in exquisite bindings that had been stored, unnoticed, over many years in the Public Records Office in Dublin. They were in fact the Journals of the Houses of Lords and Commons of the old Irish Parliament that ceased to exist after the 1800 Act of Union. Fortunately, Sullivan made rubbings of all 149 volumes, now held by the National Library of Ireland, as the Public Records Office was destroyed by an explosion and all of the magnificent bindings perished in the flames at the onset of the Irish Civil War, in 1922.

In 1990 Philip Maddock, a book collector, inspired by the images displayed in Maurice Craig’s work Irish Book Bindings, 1600–1800, started to build up a visual database of Irish hand tools based on scans of original bindings with a view to making a digital reproduction of one of the lost Irish Parliamentary Journals. The first attempt, Commons Journal 1757, was very pretty but it was not a book. With the help of book binder Trevor Lloyd, Maddock embarked on the major project of reproducing fifteen of the Irish Parliamentary Journals, based on Sullivan’s work. Fourteen of these wonderful volumes are on display in this exhibition along with the finishing tools specially commissioned for the project, as well as examples of eighteenth-century Irish bindings and some of the printed editions of the Lords and Commons Journals in presentation bindings.


In the Eye of the Beholder: An Exhibition on Beauty in the Eighteenth Century @ Wedgwood Room, State Apartments
Jun 23 @ 9:45 am – Dec 31 @ 5:45 pm

This exhibition has now been extended!

Wedgwood Room, State Apartments

This exhibition explores the reality of maintaining beauty standards at court in the eighteenth century. It introduces Dublin Castle as the stage on which members of – and visitors to – the viceregal court would flaunt their ability to follow and execute changing trends from London and Paris at that time. The advantages of being fashion-forward determined social status, but the personal cost was high. From toxic concoctions of lipstick to shape-enhancing corsets, this exhibition focuses on make-up, hair, hygiene and both ladies’ and men’s fashion. It shines a light on the age-old human action of presenting oneself at an occasion and asks a question that is as simple as it is elusive: if beauty is in the eye of the beholder – is it worth it?

Curated by Bronagh Dempsey and Laura Fitzachary, Guides / Information & Education Officers, Dublin Castle.

Silent Testimony by Colin Davidson @ Coach House Gallery, Dublin Castle
Jul 1 @ 10:00 am – Sep 8 @ 5:00 pm

Silent Testimony, an exhibition of portrait paintings by Colin Davidson, reveals the stories of eighteen people who are connected by their individual experiences of loss through the Troubles – a turbulent 30-year period in Northern Ireland from the late 1960s onwards. Since 2010, Davidson has become internationally renowned for his series of large-scale portraits of actors, musicians, poets and writers. While painting these familiar faces, he became increasingly preoccupied, not with their celebrity, but more with their status as human beings. This continuing exploration of ‘common humanity’ is the foundation on which Silent Testimony rests. Until now, the artist, who grew up in Belfast, has not responded overtly to what he witnessed or personally experienced during the Troubles. Silent Testimony is a powerful response which reflects on how the conflict has had, and continues to have, a profound impact on thousands of individuals – the injured, their families, the families of those who died and the wider community. The Irish Times‘ Lara Marlowe profiled Davidson for ‘An Irishwoman’s Diary in 2015. You can find the article here.

A full biography and details of this, and other Colin Davidson exhibitions can be found here.

Clay/Works: Ceramics Ireland annual members exhibition @ Printworks Exhibition Centre
Aug 13 @ 10:00 am – Aug 27 @ 5:00 pm

Clay/Works will feature the work of 60-80 makers from the four corners of the country. A diverse range of ceramic work will be on show including functional, decorative, wall panels and sculptural forms. The show provides an opportunity for all members to exhibit. This year’s exhibition also marks the 40th anniversary of Ceramics Ireland, founded in 1977.

Our open submission exhibition has seen unprecedented growth in the number of makers submitting over the last five years. Clay/Works will celebrate the wide range of practice from our membership at the Printworks, Dublin Castle. It features established makers including Jim Turner, Markus Jungmann, Etain Hickey and Susan Beiner alongside emerging makers Darren Cassidy, Ann McBride and Michelle Collier. There will be something to interest everyone in this exhibition of over 250 pieces.

Ceramics Ireland is an impactful membership organisation and these annual exhibitions, in tandem with our other activities helps us to prioritise activation, education and promotion of our sector to guarantee the future landscape of ceramics in Ireland.


National Heritage Week: From the Land to the Castle @ Dublin Castle
Aug 24 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
National Heritage Week: From the Land to the Castle @ Dublin Castle | Dublin | County Dublin | Ireland

Please note, this tour is now fully booked. An exploration of how nature has shaped Dublin Castle, from the positioning in the landscape to the natural resources used in the buildings. With Dervilia Roche.

This tour will be partly outdoors and will include steps.

Admission is free but booking is required.
To book contact
National Heritage Week: Things and Words: Curious and Curiouser @ Dublin Castle
Aug 27 @ 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
National Heritage Week: Things and Words: Curious and Curiouser @ Dublin Castle | Dublin | County Dublin | Ireland
Please note, this workshop is now fully booked. From Arabic to Irish. From Turkish to Swahili. From Curious to Curiouser. We will invade Dublin Castle’s collection armed with words (cherished, new, foreign, unknown, forgotten or discarded…).
Admission is free but booking is required. To book contact
Writing Workshop for Children @ Dublin Castle
Sep 17 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Writing Workshop for Children @ Dublin Castle | Dublin | County Dublin | Ireland
*Please note this event has been cancelled*
Writing Workshop for 9 to 13 year olds in Dublin Castle with Fighting Words veteran Caoimhe Creed. Exact meeting point given upon booking.
Admission is free but booking is required.
To book contact
Culture Night 2017 @ Dublin Castle
Sep 22 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Culture Night 2017 @ Dublin Castle | Dublin | County Dublin | Ireland

Presented by RTÉ, in partnership with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Creative Ireland, Dublin City Council and the Office of Public Works.

Following the success of last year, Dublin Castle will once again come to life for an evening that celebrates all aspects of our culture. The historic walls of the castle will reverberate with music, comedy, poetry and theatre. Attendees can also enjoy a number of talks, workshops and live radio recordings.

Visitors of all ages are welcome at this flagship Culture Night event.

Highlight Event: Open-air Concert, Upper Courtyard
Times: 7pm–10pm

RTÉ Radio 1’s Arena with Sean Rocks presents an open-air concert from the Upper Courtyard of Dublin Castle, broadcast live from 7pm to 10pm. Always a crowd-puller, this staggering event will include music, theatre, comedy and poetry all in the company of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. No booking required.

Chapel Royal: Live Radio Programmes
Times and booking information to follow.

Be part of the studio audience for a one-off live recording of RTÉ Radio 1’s Countrywide. Featuring a variety of guests from around the country, the team explores the place of rural life in Irish culture – past and present. RTÉ Radio 1’s Sunday Miscellany brings a vibrant selection of new writing and complementary music to a live audience for Culture Night at the castle.

The Marty Squad gives life to the expression ‘fun and games’ as they bring their spirited programme to a live audience. There’ll be analysis and reflection on the past season as well as a special panel, looking at the role of the GAA in an evolving Ireland.

Talks and Workshops
Times and booking information to follow.

What does culture mean to you – and how does it inspire your life and work? That’s the question that Jim Carroll will be asking a surprising line up of speakers at Banter’s Culture & Me at The Coach House in Dublin Castle. Expect an eclectic bunch.

Younger audiences and families can join Poetry Ireland and Little Island Books as they explore Hopscotch in the Sky, a gorgeous new book of poems for children. Poet Lucinda Jacob and illustrator Lauren O’Neill will take you on a magical journey in poems and pictures through the seasons of the year, from ice creams to Christmas trees, flying grannies to reading mermaids. Lucinda and Lauren will be joined by singer-songwriter Enda Reilly and young readers from the Poetry Aloud poetry speaking competition for this fun event that’s suitable for all the family.

RTÉ’s award-winning Drama on One team will be in attendance to show how to make a radio play, in a special event for children of all ages.

Talks and Workshops will take place from 5pm – 10pm on the evening.

Making Majesty: Building and Borrowing the Regal Image at Dublin Castle @ State Apartments
Sep 25 2017 @ 10:00 am – Apr 28 2018 @ 5:00 pm

25 September 2017 – 28 April 2018

State Apartments’ Galleries

This exhibition explores the shaping of the royal and viceregal image at Dublin Castle in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the later appropriation of that potent image in the formation of an independent Ireland. From the gilded magnificence of the Castle’s architectural surroundings and their intricately crafted furnishings, to the stately ceremonies that unfolded in and around them, the exhibition reveals the different ways in which ideas of majesty were constructed, consumed and reinvented.
Bringing together paintings, furniture, drawings and ceremonial regalia, it draws on the rich collections of institutions including the National Gallery of Ireland, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Office of Public Works and the Royal Collection Trust. The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated book of scholarly essays published by Irish Academic Press and a programme of educational events, all of which will seek to illustrate, for the first time, the Castle’s untold story of building, borrowing and making majesty.

Curated by Myles Campbell and William Derham, Collections and Research, Dublin Castle.

Dublin Festival of History @ The Printworks
Sep 29 – Oct 1 all-day
Dublin Festival of History @ The Printworks  | County Dublin | Ireland

The fifth annual Dublin Festival of History will take place from 29th September to 1st October in Dublin Castle. With over 90 free history events across the city, this year’s programme is the biggest and best yet. This specialist festival features Irish and international historians speaking on a myriad of historical topics as part of a jam-packed programme including lectures and discussions, film, exhibitions and walks. This year’s speakers include Chris Patten, Janina Ramirez, Ian Kershaw and Robert Service.

If you have an interest in history you can’t miss this festival which has gained a reputation for attracting best-selling historians from around the globe and remember, all events are free!
The Dublin Festival of History is brought to you by Dublin City Council and is organised by Dublin City Public Libraries in association with the Office of Public Works.

Join us in the Printworks, Dublin Castle for the following events:

Friday 29th September

17.30: The Russian Revolution Debate
19.00: War and the Death of News
20: 30: Munich

Saturday 30th September

11am: Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet
12.15: Ten Centuries of History, Session 1
13.00: The War in the West: The Allies Fight Back, 1941 – 1943
14.15: Ten Centuries of History, Session 2
15.00: The blending of Celtic and Anglo – Saxon Christianity
17.00: The Darkening Age: The Christian destruction of the Classical World
19.00: First Confession: A sort of memoir

Sunday 1st October

11.00: The Social History of Modern Ireland
12.00: Making and Mapping the Atlas of the Irish Revolution
13.00: Dublin Festival of History Question Time
14.15 Myths, magic and historical parallels in the Harry Potter books
15.00: The Last of the Tsars: Nicholas II and the Russian Revolution
17.00: Lovers and Strangers: An Immigrant History of Post – War Britain
19.00: Writing the History of 20th Century Europe