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The 2019 Festival of Politics is here!

Festival of Politics

This week, the Festival of Politics returns for its third year in a row. It runs from Thursday to Sunday, with many different events throughout each day.

This year’s programme doesn’t dwell too much on the likes of Donald Trump or Brexit. Rather, it comes with “a host of solutions that will bring peace to the world, an end to global warming, and one or two political conspiracies,” according to Claudine Murray from the Temple Bar Company. 

While there was no particular theme on how the topics were chosen, Murray says that they wanted the events to appeal to a broad audience. “People need to have a break from the arguments and find subjects that unite rather than divide audiences”. 

The festival aims to encourage Irish people to engage in topics, as Murray felt that although we can be politically minded, we sometimes feel excluded. She said, “Festival of Politics is for the everyman rather than the politicians or civil servants.”

It showcases interesting discussions on somewhat “irrelevant” topics. For example, on Saturday visitors can join journalists Barbara McCarthy and David Goldblatt for a discussion with anonymous blogger El Comandante named A Political Football – From Pinochet to Prawn Sandwiches Politics in the age of football

Other discussions include Dublin’s cultural death rattle with Subset and District Magazine, What’s the Beef with Veganism? with journalist Catherine Cleary and Viva Founder Juliet Gellately and Jesus Christ Political Superstar? with journalist Pat Cleary and Irish Times Religious Affairs Correspondent Patsy McGarry. 

The events are based in the historic Tailors’ Hall on Back Lane, Dublin 8. The hall was once home to the Back Lane Parliament and is the oldest guildhall in Ireland. Wolfe Tone once addressed the United Irishmen in Tailors’ Hall before the 1798 rebellion. Murray said, “It’s a hidden gem in the heart of the Liberties. It’s great to be able to run our festival there.”  

On Saturday, a free event about the Politics of Dancing (Club Night) with DJ Rob Smith will take place in Lost Lane, off Grafton Street. All other events take place in Tailors Hall and tickets range from ten euro and under. 

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