The award-winning Alliance Française Dublin is the third biggest in Europe and the first established in a non-French speaking country.
The aim of the Alliance Française in Dublin is to promote French culture, as well as to provide a space for intercultural exchanges between Ireland and the cultures of the French-speaking world. The branch has more than a century of history, and has existed in its current form for 60 years.
The Alliance Française Dublin is a French Language and Cultural Centre which also hosts a French Multimedia Library. In 2016 the Alliance Française Dublin was awarded the prestigious European Language Label, coordinated by the European Commission and rewarding outstanding improvement in the quality of language teaching and learning. In 2018, Alliance Française Dublin was name Best Language School in Ireland at the Education Awards
Ideally located at the corner of Nassau and Kildare Street in a listed Irish Heritage site, the Alliance Française Dublin is less than five minutes’ walk from a range of Dublin Bike ranks, bus stops, taxi ranks, Luas and Dart stations. The Alliance Française even has its own café on the premises, which is open to the public: bright and spacious, Chez Max Café is the perfect place to stop off while exploring the nearby museums.
The Alliance Française in Dublin is also home to the Coordination des Alliances Françaises en Irlande (Alliance Française Irish Network).
The longstanding friendship between France and Ireland is based in no small measure on the Irish love of the French language and culture.
An Alliance Française committee was already in existence in 1912 and was part of the Fédération des Comités de l’Alliance Française dans les Iles Britanniques, which was created in 1907. After independence, in 1922, the Dublin French Society was founded by the French consul. While the majority of French Clubs outside France limited themselves to small cultural events, the Dublin Centre had teaching as its key activity immediately after the war. French classes for adults were held in the premises at 18 Herbert Street, then called, the Centre Culturel Français.
In 1960, the centre officially became the Alliance Française in Dublin with the arrival of a Délégué Général, seconded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Due to the growth of its activities, the AF moved to 1 Kildare Street (the former Kildare Street Lords Club), right in the heart of Dublin. The address is one of the most prestigious and famous in Dublin. The new head office of the Dublin Alliance was inaugurated on the 15 November 1974 by, the then Prime Minister, Mr Jacques Chirac. In 1986, a subsidy from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs enabled the Dublin committee to purchase the building.
Between 2002 and 2006 the AF Dublin executed extensive renovation and refurbishment works, of both the exterior and interior of the building, with cutting-edge techniques used for the first time in Ireland to preserve this listed Irish Heritage site. In 2016 the AF Dublin also transformed its Library into French Library into a digital and multiform space that can host conferences and screenings with state-of-the-art audiovisual components. The new French Library is a vital addition to the expansion of French culture in Ireland.