Jim Sheridan, IFI and St. Patrick’s Cathedral combine for Jonathan Swift Festival 2017

This November, a festival celebrating the life and work of one of Ireland’s most well-regarded authors begins. 300 year old ballads, walking tours and theatrical performances will all take place to immerse punters in the life Jonathan Swift, writer of Gulliver’s Travels, A Modest Proposal and more at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. Also teaming up with the Jonathan Swift Festival are the IFI and director Jim Sheridan, who’ll be presenting films about and inspired by Swift, including a find from the IFI archives, Mary McGuckian’s Words Upon the Window Pane, a film that features Sheridan himself in a cameo as Swift.

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and Irish Film Institure are delighted to present a series of feature and short film screenings to celebrate the legacy of Jonathan Swift, on the 350th anniversary of his birth. Featuring Mary McGuckian’s Words Upon the Window Pane, introduced by Jim Sheridan at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, as well as a season of shorts – Short and Swift – at Irish Film Institute.


Speaking about the screening of Words Upon the Window Pane, Jim Sheridan said:

“Swift was one of Ireland’s most important and thought provoking writers, and I’m delighted  to be involved in celebrating the 350th anniversary of his birth. It will be a unique experience to see Words Upon the Window Pane in Swift’s magnificent spiritual home, and I hope people will come and join us in exploring Swift’s legacy.”


Words Upon the Window Pane

Mary McGuckian’s atmospheric period piece is an adaptation of a one-act play by W.B. Yeats in which he explored the occult, a subject in which he had a life-long interest. Set during a series of séances hosted by the Dublin Spiritualist Society in 1928, the spirits of Jonathan Swift (Jim Sheridan) and the two women who loved him too passionately – Stella (Bríd Brennan) and Vanessa (Orla Brady) – act out the torment of their tragic triangle through the mediums of Miss Henderson (Geraldine James) and Mrs McKenna (Geraldine Chaplin). Tickets for the screening are free as part of the opening night of the Festival, but advance registration is recommended at www.jonathanswiftfestival.ie.


IFI Archive at Lunchtime – Short and Swift

The IFI presents two programmes of short films, celebrating the 350th anniversary of the birth of Jonathan Swift. The programmes will be presented in IFI throughout November on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday lunchtimes. They are presented free of charge to all comers.  Simply collect your tickets at IFI Box Office.  Check website www.ifi.ie for times.

The programme will include:


Jonathan Swift, a film made by Kieran Hickey in 1967 to mark Swift’s 300th anniversary. The film explores Swift’s reflections on mental health, his life in Dublin and London and quotes from his articles, from “Gulliver’s Travels”, his letters, pamphlets and poems.

1967 / 23mins.


John Huston’s Dublin, a travelogue espousing the joys of Dublin for US audiences in which film director John Huston visits places of touristic and heritage interest around Dublin including St Patrick’s Cathedral where he speaks with admiration of the work of Dean Jonathan Swift. 1979 / 30mins


The Jonathan Swift Festival is run by Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. It is supported by both Fáilte Ireland and Dublin City Council and collaborates with a number of cultural institutions across the city including Marsh’s Library, Christ Church Cathedral, The Science Gallery, The Irish Writers Centre, EPIC the Irish Immigration Museum and St Patrick’s Mental Health Services.



Find the festival on Facebook at facebook.com/JonathanSwiftFestival and on Twitter as @swift_festival

Press release courtesy of Bowe Communications

About Luke Dunne

Luke is a writer, film addict and Dublin native who loves how much there is for film fans in his home county. A former writer for FilmFixx and the Freakin' Awesome Network, he founded Film In Dublin to pursue his dual dreams of writing about film and never sleeping ever again.

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