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What is the Mother Tongues Festival?

Tallaght, 16-18 February 2023

Mother Tongues Festival is the largest festival celebrating linguistic diversity through the arts in Ireland. Its mission is to showcase the country’s rich artistic and cultural tapestry, and connect people through the power of language.

The Festival encourages everyone to colour outside the lines, learn something new and have fun while celebrating their mother tongue and the rich kaleidoscope of languages spoken in Ireland.

Year after year, our Festival demonstrates that multilingualism is a reason to come together and celebrate. 2023 was no exception.

A festival without borders.

Mother Tongues Festival 2019

Mother Tongues Festival 2023 took place on the 16-17-18 of February and focused on families and children, showcasing a variety of workshops, open discussions, storytelling experiences, live performances and more across multiple languages. We have come a long way since our first edition in 2018 and have made many friends in Tallaght and beyond!

This year we planned three days packed with events. We will start with a discussion on building multilingual communities, and the launch of our publication showcasing national and international projects that celebrate multilingualism through the arts. This led up to a professional development day for artists working with Caroline Bergvall in “Words Work“, which explores the methods and processes of making multilingual creative work. Finally, our much-anticipated family day on Saturday 18th February closed the Festival with creative workshops exploring many languages and an upbeat concert for families.

In the weeks leading up to the Festival, we have our Language Explorers art workshop series for young children (ages 3-6) and their caretakers every Saturday from January 14th at Tallaght Library. This series can be enjoyed as many times as you and your little explorer wish, but attending each workshop brings a special interconnected experience leading up to the final workshops on February 18.

We will reveal our complete 2023 programme on January 20th. If you want to be the first to know all the details, sign up for our newsletter!


Our festival began in 2018, and we are so proud of our journey to now. Thank you to everyone who has supported the festival.
A special thanks to the Arts Council, South Dublin County Council Arts Office, Languages Connect, Rua Red and the Civic Theatre who have given a welcoming home to our ideas, and for supporting and funding our mission to empower bilingual children through creativity and the arts so they can grow up confident in their linguistic and cultural identity.

South Dublin Outdoor
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The Civic Theatre
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Mother Tongues Festival

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