Food lovers can feed their curiosity at this month’s Dublin Festival of History as events across the city provide a flavour of the past. The Festival’s exploration of Dublin’s sweet tooth and ever-evolving menu reflects how the city’s tastes have helped to shape its economy and feed its workforce.

Running from 1st to 20th October, the Festival features over 150 walks, tours, exhibitions and talks taking place across Dublin City, all of which are free to attend. Visitors can take a bite of Dublin’s culinary past at events such as:

  • The Rise and Fall of John Spicer’s ‘Model Bakery’ Balbriggan (part 1, 1904 to c.1942)

In this talk, Frank Whearity will discuss the establishment of John Spicer’s Balbriggan bakery (1904–c.1999) and the battle for the lucrative contract to supply bread and meal to the Balrothery Poor Law Union at Ballough. Sprinkled with stories of business rivalries and the colourful characters Frank’s talk will provide a slice of history from Dublin’s baking trade.

(Balbriggan Library, St George’s Square, 1st October 2019, 6.30pm. Booking required.)

  • Lemon’s Pure Sweets – A History

Dublin City Council’s Historian in Residence Cormac Moore takes a closer look at the history of one of the city’s most famous names in confectionary. Charting the story of Lemon’s Pure Sweets from its foundations in Capel Street in 1842 to the closure of its factory in Drumcondra in 1983, Cormac will explore the interesting history of a culinary landmark.

(Drumcondra Library, 15th October 2019, 6.30pm. Booking required.)

Foodies may also enjoy programme highlights such as The Flour and Corn Mills of DublinForgotten Heroes of the Irish Famine andThe Liffey’s Place in the Development of Dublin, all of which can be found at along with 150 other talks, walking tours and exhibitions on everything from politics, music, science and the 50th anniversary of the Moon landings.

About Dublin Festival of History:

Dublin Festival of History is brought to you by Dublin City Council, and organised by Dublin City Public Libraries.  Further information on the festival can be found on: