Wednesday 22 May 2019

Culture Night 2018: The insider's guide to the best events

As the all-island celebration of arts and heritage enters its 13th year, Ed Power looks at some of the evening's highlights

Waterford hosts a guided tour of the Waterford Walls murals.
Waterford hosts a guided tour of the Waterford Walls murals.

It's that special evening when artistic and cultural institutions across the country open their doors and extend a welcome to the public. Culture Night 2018 is here, with hundreds of events taking place tomorrow - from aerial displays in Dublin to puppet shows in Cork via children's theatre in Waterford and scary movies in Kerry. The celebration began as Dublin Culture Night in 2015, but soon went countrywide. The capital still hosts more events than anywhere else - with Dublin Bus providing free transport between some of the larger venues. Details are to be found at Below are some highlights.


14 Henrietta Street - Georgian Townhouse to Tenement Dwelling

Conor O'Brien of Villagers
Conor O'Brien of Villagers

This new museum recreates life in a Dublin tenement at the turn of the century. Stepping into the painstakingly-preserved interior, visitors will have a sense of the enormous deprivation in which huge swathes of the city's population lived up to the early 1900s.

From 4pm-8pm.


Music at Collins Barracks

A night of family entertainment with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and a choir featuring 140 members of the public from around Ireland. Also performing are Conor O'Brien of the Villagers and Mick Flannery against the backdrop of Collins Barracks.

From 8pm-10pm.


A History of Dublin for Children

Humpty Dumpty is your host as nursery rhymes and stories are promised as the Dublin of the Viking age and later is brought to life.

Outside Smock Alley Theatre, Cow's Lane, Dublin 8, 5.30pm-6.30pm.


Aerial Cirque

This "home for budding and professional aerialists" hosts child-and-parent "cocoon workshops", suitable for kids aged three to eight. Afterwards (from 7pm), the studio will be open to the public who can ooh and aaah as students of the school take flight.

10 Exchequer Street, Dublin, 5pm-9pm.


Agitate, Agitate, Agitate: Walking Tour for the 200th Anniversary of Frederick Douglass

Born into slavery in the American South, Douglass become a leading abolitionist and political thinker whose influence is still felt today (he was a touchstone for Barack Obama). He also famously visited Ireland two decades before the American Civil War and was shaken by the suffering he witnessed in the depths of the Famine. This walking tour will trace Douglass's visit to Dublin.

Barnardo Square, Dame Street, 6pm.



Murdoch an Currach

Join young Paud and his magic Currach, "Murroch" in a production by the Dowtcha Puppets troupe. It's a tale of faeries, talking animals and a sleeping lighthouse keeper who must be stirred before a ship crashes against the rocks. The performance lasts approximately 40 minutes and is recommended for ages five to 10.

City Hall, Eglinton Street, 5pm and 6.30pm.


Cosmos at the Castle

Science and astronomy events for all ages will be held at the city observatory, featuring and videos about space, the universe and beyond.

Blackrock Castle, 6pm-10pm.


Pillow Queens

Fresh from Electric Picnic, this acclaimed Dublin band - who met playing basketball in a suburban park - will perform a free concert at one of West Cork's most venerable venues.

De Barras, Clonakilty, 11pm.



Behind the Scenes at Henry Street Garda Station

A tour of the communications room at the city's garda HQ, where all calls are received and dispatched. See Limerick via CCTV camera and visit the custody suite where prisoners are processed.

Henry Street Garda Station, 5pm-9pm.



Ciúnas Project - Quiet Spaces in a Buzzing City with Eugene McKeown

Environmental consultant Eugene McKeown will lead a tour of the hidden places in Galway where noise is "screened" by buildings or "masked" by natural sounds. There will also be a performance of John Cage's famous/notorious "silent" composition, '4' 33'.

Galway City Museum, Spanish Parade, 6pm, 7pm.



The Art and Artists of Waterford Walls

A guided tour of the stunning Waterford Walls murals created through August by 50 street artists from around the world.

At Waterford Walls HQ, George Street, 7pm.



An Táin Art Centre

The centre's director Paul Hayes will give a tour of the theatre outlining the rich heritage of the building, which previously housed the Táin Theatre, and sharing the behind-the-scenes secrets of how a show comes together.

Crowe Street, Dundalk, 6pm.



Who Else Lives Here?

Artist Monica de Bath will collaborate with children and adults to create drawings of the creatures inhabiting the nearby canal and waterways.

Rathangan Library, from 6.30pm.



Occulture Night

Two locally-made horror films are featured - Tulaigh Bheag Woods is a short by Mark Riordan about a young woman who receives more than she bargained for when she goes jogging in the forest. Brackenmore, by Caragh Lake films, is a feature-length thriller about a family with a dark history.

The BarN, Langford Street, Killorglin, 8pm.

Read more: Culture Night - what's on and how to make the most of it

‘You have to market yourself to a point of nearly embarrassment’ – Mundy talks crowdfunding, ageing, and upcoming US tour 

Irish Independent

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