James Connolly Festival 2024 

This year’s James Connolly festival opens on Thursday 9th May 2024 with a panel discussion titled ‘Land And The People’. We ask the question: what is our relationship to land and resources? We’ll be joined by Sinead Mercier, Patrick Bresnihan, Róisn Ní Chinnéide and Rory Rowan. 

Friday  10th May will see us mark the 40th anniversary of the powerful Dunnes Stores strike with a screening of Blood Fruit (dir. Sinead O’Brien, 2014). The documentary tells the story of an inspiring struggle that eventually led to the first complete ban on goods exported from Apartheid South Africa. Mary Manning (Author & Activist), the first worker to refuse handling of the goods and thus sparking the strike, will join us for a Q&A afterwards. 

Later on Friday night the festival moves to Dalymount Park, home of Bohemian FC in Phibsborough for a night of electronic music, the Connolly Rave. The event will see top Dublin DJs Robbie Kitt, Moon Cup, Naoise and Aaron Nolan. 

The opening event of what will be an action packed Saturday 11th May sees Dr Conor McCabe host a ‘James Connolly Walking Tour’. The 2.5km stroll will take in some of the lesser-known or ‘hidden’ places associated with Connolly’s life. Meeting at the Connolly statue, Liberty Hall at 11am. 

On Saturday afternoon we return to The New Theatre. Firstly for a youth panel discussion ‘Youth, Imperialism & Revolution’. We’ll welcome Georgina Andrews (General Secretary – Young Communist League), Tomás Sheehan (General Secretary – Connolly Youth Movement) and Matthew O’Brien (Chairperson – Communist Party of Ireland Youth Committee). 

Following that, this year’s Connolly Memorial Lecture will be presented by historian Dr Fearghal Mac Bhloscaidh. The title of his lecture: ‘The National Question & Anti-Militarism’. 

The evening will feature a Palestinian solidarity event in association with IPSC, featuring music, poetry and discussion. Gazelleband is a duo of Palestinian oud player Reem Anbar and musician Dr Louis Brehony, who tell the Palestinian story through music. The evening will also feature Irish-Palestinian singer/songwriter Roisin El-Cherif. Recently awarded All-Ireland Slam Poetry champion Anna Doran completes the evening’s bill which will be MC’d by local hero Emmet Kirwan. 

The weekend comes to a close on Sunday 12th May with the annual Connolly Commemoration at Arbour Hill, Dublin. The main oration will come from Cuban Ambassador to Ireland Bernard Guanche Hernandez. It will also see a speech from General Secretary of the Communist Party of Ireland, Jimmy Corcoran. The event will be followed by drinks in the Cobblestone. 

Tickets for all events are available from www.jamesconnollyfestival.com