Programme of Festival Events

Friday May 31st - Monday june 3rd 2024

Location: Celbridge, Co. Kildare

Keita art work
May 31-June 2

Spotlight: Exhibition by artist Keita Prokopcenko

Spotlight: Exhibition by artist Keita Prokopcenko
Venue: Slip Hall, Celbridge
Time: Launch of exhibition Friday May 31st,
6.30pm – 7.15pm.
Entry: Open entry.

The festival will open with an exhibition of local artist Keita Prokopcenko. Keita is in her third year at the Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT). This exhibition will showcase her work and talent.

Photograph of 'Highly Strung' Quartet
May 31

'Highly Strung' Quartet

‘Highly Strung’ Quartet
Slip Hall, Celbridge.
Date & Time: Friday 31st May, 7.30-9pm.
Tickets: 5 euro (waged adults) | Concession (free) for students, unwaged and low waged.

Enjoy time out on Friday evening to kick off the festival with a performance by the wonderful ‘Highly Strung’ quartet. This provides the perfect ambiance to let yourself be carried back to the 17th and 18th centuries with period music, as well as modern romantic ballads celebrating Swift and Vanessa’s relationship.

Register on Eventbrite.

Image of cover of pamphlet with latern and quills
June 1

Celebration of Jonathan Swift's Achievement for Ireland with the Drapier's Letters

Celebration of Jonathan Swift’s Achievement for Ireland with the Drapier’s Letters
Tea lane Graveyard Church
Date & Time: Saturday June 1st from 2-4pm followed by reception.
Entry: Open entry. Registration required.

This event will celebrate 300 years since the publication of Jonathan Swift’s Drapier’s Letters (1724–25) and its huge political impact in preventing the imposition of an inferior coinage in Ireland. We will explore the historical context of Swift’s Drapier’s Letters, its implications, followed by a celebration of the Drapier through songs and ballads of the time. This important event will be delivered by Dr. Brendan Twomey, Prof Moyra Haslett of the University of Belfast, Prof. James Kelly of Dublin City University. The event will be followed by a reception.

EVENT BOOKED OUT. Waitlist on Eventbrite.

Artist at lectern in front of orange post. Person holding up card with no.6 written on it.
June 1

Artist Talk

Venue: Slip Hall, Celbridge
Date & Time: Saturday
Entry: Open entry, registration is required.

This exciting event by Irish artist, Gary Farrelly will provide a performance lecture about his artistic work which he conducts as part of a duo called Office for Joint Administrative Intelligence (O.J.A.I.). Together with the German artist Chris Dreier, he produces artistic work from inside a semi-fictional DIY intelligence agency. The para-research of O.J.A.I. focuses on corporate architecture, infrastructure, subterranean space, institutional power, and magic.

Gary who is based in Brussels, studied at NCAD in Dublin and later at LUCA School of Arts and a.pass in Brussels. He currently serves as a professor of fine art at La Cambre School of Visual Arts in Brussels.

Not to be missed! Open entry. Register on Eventbrite, email or text 086 1408681.

Short Film based on A Modest Proposal
June 1

Short Film based on 'A Modest Proposal' by Sam Frazier Jnr.

Short Film based on Swift’s ‘A Modest Proposal’ by Sam Frazier Jnr.
Venue: Tea lane Graveyard Church
Time:  Saturday 1st 11am

Entry: Open entry. Please book by email or text.

This short 6-minute film is based on Jonathan Swift’s satirical work ‘A Modest Proposal’ and adapted for modern times – with a focus on hackers! Sam is Editor, Writer, Producer, Content Creator at Desperate To Be Different Productions, US. The film will screen every 20 minutes between 11am and 12pm. Refreshments provided.

Book to attend by emailing or text 086 1408681.

People dancing on the street
June 2

Community event: Family Fun Day!

Family Fun Day!
Venue: The Slip, Celbridge
Time: Sunday 2nd June 2-6pm
Entry: Free

Come along to the Slip, Castletown Gates, for a fun day of family activities, including music by Eddie Quinn and social dancing. The afternoon will also see performances by Bubbles, dancing, face-painting and circus performers. Bring your good cheer, dancing shoes and lots of enthusiasm! Free entry.

Playacting cropped
June 3

Swift's Secrets Play

Swift’s Secrets Play by Straffan Drama Club
Venue: Kildrought Gardens, Main Street Celbridge
Date & Time: Monday 3rd June 2-4pm.
Entry: 5 euro

Swift’s Secrets, written and directed by Geraldine O’Brien, will be performed by Straffan Drama Club on Monday, June 3rd, 2024 at various times between 2-4pm. It is a promenade piece set in the beautiful gardens of Kildrought House by the same team that produced Under Lady Louisa’s Bonnet in 2021 and Celbridgians in 2022. It takes place outdoors, is 30 minutes in duration, and requires walking on uneven ground. 

Booking via Eventbrite.

Photo of tea and cakes
June 3

'Tea in the Sluttery' & Dramatisation of letters, Pickering Forest

‘Tea in the Sluttery’ & Dramatisation of letters, Pickering Forest, followed by jazz music and dancing.
Venue: Pickering Forest, Celbridge
Date & Time: Monday 3rd June,
2pm – 4.30pm.
Tickets €15.

This event celebrates the intimate moments Swift and Vanessa spent together, cryptically referenced by Swift in his letters as ‘Tea in the Sluttery’, where they would have coffee and oranges‘. Don’t miss a beautiful afternoon tea with period cakes, coffee, sugar and oranges in the beautiful setting of the garden of Pickering Forest in Celbridge, the home of Marina Guinness. The event will be followed by dancing to the Barosso jazz trio!

‘Adieu till we meet over a pot of coffee or an orange and sugar in the Sluttery, which I have so often found to be the most agreeable chamber in the world.’

Dramatisation of Swift and Vanessa’s Letters:
The afternoon tea will be accompanied by a dramatisation of the readings of the letters between Swift and Vanessa ‘Romantic Readings’, compiled by Seamus Cummins. This beautifully choreograph piece gives a great understanding of the nature of the relationship between Swift and Vanessa. 

EVENT BOOKED OUT. Waitlist on Eventbrite.

Illustration of band and dancers in pink hue
June 3

Jazz music and dance evening, Pickering Forest

Jazz music and dance evening, Pickering Forest
Venue: Pickering Forest, Celbridge
Time: Monday 3rd June. 4.30-6.30pm
Open Entry – no charge. Places limited so booking is essential

After the Afternoon Tea event, the festival will close with a wild evening of jazz music and dance with the Barroso trio of clarinet, saxaphone and guitar. The beautiful setting of Pickering Forest garden will provide a wonderful backdrop for music you can’t sit down to as well as beautiful outdoor space to ramble to with the wafts of joyful music.

EVENT BOOKED OUT. Waitlist on Eventbrite.


Kildrought House, on Celbridge Main Street, is open for tours during the festival weekend. Tours last for approximately 1.5 hours and will show the beautiful interior and gardens of this historic building and will hear its wonderful stories. The maximum number of people for each tour is 12. To book phone: 087 616 8651 or 01 627 1206 from the 20th May.

Book early for all festival events!

Artist Talk
Gary Farrelly - OJAI

Quartet: Highly Strung

Funded by Kildare County Council, Celbridge Leixlip Municipal District Local Property Tax and sponsorship from Intel.