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Jonathan Swift 350th Anniversary

The Jonathan Swift Festival takes place this weekend in Dublin to celebrate 35o years since the author, satirist and founder of St. Patrick’s University Hospital  was born.

Dublin City Libraries will mark the anniversary with events in several branches.

Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin on 30 November 1667 and is the author of Gulliver’s Travels, the most popular Irish book ever written. To celebrate Swift’s life and legacy, Dublin City Public Libraries will have a programme of talks, exhibition and events as part of a citywide programme for Swift 350 Festival. Join us to find out about the man and ‘the brand’, a Dubliner of world renowned status, a celebrity now as he was 350 years ago.  All the talks and performances are free. Booking is essential.

In a series of illustrated talks Brendan Twomey will describe and celebrate the complexity of Swift’s life, his personality and works unfolding the story of a clergyman, philanthropist, and writer. In addition Enda Leaney, Senior Librarian will give a brief overview of the Dublin City Library & Archives’ extensive Swift Collections, including first editions of Swift’s works, illustrated children’s editions, and rare items relating to the life and work of Jonathan Swift, including Wood’s Halfpenny.

See schedule below.

Illustrated talks

  • Wednesday 8 November at  6.30 pm in Rathmines Library
  • Wednesday 15 November at 6.30 pm in Cabra Library
  • Wednesday 22 November at 6.30 pm in Inchicore Library
  • Wednesday 29 November at 1.00 pm in Pembroke Library
  • Wednesday 29 November at  6.30 pm in Raheny Library

Rags Upon The Poddle – Songs of Jonathan Swift’s Dublin

  • Wednesday 29 November at 1.00pm in the Music Library, Central Library
  • Thursday 30 November at 6.30pm in Rathmines Library.

Contact: Music LibraryCabra Inchicore Pembroke | Raheny | Rathmines


  • Brendan Twomey is a retired banker. He is currently a PhD student in TCD working on the topic of Personal Financial Management in early eighteenth-century Ireland. The financial management practices of Jonathan Swift are a central case study within this project. His research interests, and his publications include; the development of early eighteenth century Dublin, Jonathan Swift and the Southern Church of Ireland from disestablishment to the circa 1960.
  • Enda Leaney is a Senior Librarian at the Dublin and Irish Collections, Dublin City Library & Archive. He was educated at Dublin and Oxford. The Dublin City Library & Archive developed the ‘Jonathan Swift & Baile Átha Cliath/Dublin’ exhibition this year to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Swift’s birth.
  • Pádraig Ó Nualláin  is a traditional singer and musician from Dublin. He has long had an interest in history, social history in particular and has combined this with his love of Dublin songs to create a presentation and performance centred around 18th century Dublin songs

Swift and Dublin,  An Exhibition
This exhibition produced by Dublin City Public Libraries for Swift 350 places Swift within the context of his Dublin. From his birthplace in Hoey’s Court, St Werburghs to Trinity College where he was educated from St Patrick’s Hospital which he founded as the first hospital to cater for patients with mental health problems to his final resting place in St Patrick’s Cathedral, where he was Dean.

Exhibition location and dates

  • Rathmines Library  2  – 30 November
  • St Patrick’s Cathedral 20 – 30 November

There will also be two special performances of Lemuel Gulliver by Jerry Fish and Dave Rudden in Charleville Mall library for children from the local schools.

Led by Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin the Jonathan Swift festival is takes place from 23-26 November. It is supported by Failte Ireland and Dublin City Council and collaborates with a number of cultural institutions across the city who have a historic or thematic link to Jonathan Swift’s life and work including Marsh’s Library, Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, Trinity College, The Irish Writers Centre, and St Patrick’s Mental Health Services.

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