Search Results For Category: Uncategorized

Wood Quay Summer Sessions

The Wood Quay Summer Sessions, run by Dublin City Council, are a series of free lunchtime gigs that take place every Thursday in July from 1-2pm in association with First Music Contact (FMC), Improvised Music Company (IMC), Music Network and Contemporary Music Centre (CMC). “When Dublin City Council came to us and asked ‘Do you want to programme some music for Thursdays during the summer?’ we said, ‘Why don’t we show all of Dublin’s music?'” said Angela Dorgan, CEO of First Music Contact. “Events like the Wood Quay Summer Sessions can help to bring artist

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Dublin Uncovered: The Liberties

The Liberties is one of Dublin’s oldest neighbourhoods and for Amy Sergison, it’s part of her family history. She revisited the area to explore its evolution. The Liberties is one of Dublin’s oldest neighbourhoods having been around in one way or another since the 12th century. In my memory, this is where my nana lived and my Dad grew up. I have very fond memories of visiting my nana on Basin Street. We would know we were close in the car, even if our eyes were closed because we could smell the hops from Guinness. I remember Greta’s shop (sadly gone today), where the floor sparkled like diamonds and jars filled with sugar barley stood tall on top of

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Take the weekend off

There's no better city than Dublin in which to spend a long lazy weekend; walk along the canal admiring the swans, sup a coffee in town watching the world go by, maybe do a little yoga in the local park. But one of Dublin's greatest attributes is its proximity to some of Europe's most beautiful cities. You can fly out on Friday evening, come back on Sunday night and feel like you've truly experienced another culture. Here are six glorious European cities that are only a couple of hours away:

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Dublin’s Top Ten Works of Art

The Book of Kells in Trinity is arguably Dublin’s most famous work of art but what of all the internationally renowned masterpieces housed in the Dublin galleries? Here are ten of the major artworks waiting to be discovered behind doors you walk past every day. In the National Gallery: 1. Caravaggio – The Taking of Christ Caravaggio painted this dramatic scene of the arresting of Jesus in 1602 for the Roman Marquis Ciriaco Mattei. We see Judas identifying Christ with a kiss and the guards moving in for the arrest. The darkness of the painting is lit from within by a lantern held by St Peter, although this is considered to be a self-p

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CoderDojo’s Coolest Projects

What libraries might be to budding writers, CoderDojos are to the future whizz kids of tech: a place to share ideas and find inspiration with no exam pressure or set curriculum. CoderDojo was founded in 2011 by then eighteen-year-old Cork native, James Whelton, who received international attention when he spoke at a Web Summit about how he hacked his iPad Nano to turn it into a watch. Whelton was subsequently hounded by schoolmates wanting to know how they might learn to code. “I was never recognised as being high-achieving or academic at school. It was frustrating as I was really good at programming but getting my ass kicked by my pass maths teacher,” Whelton

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Taking trucks off Dublin’s streets

Traffic: we all hate it. But we’re stuck with – and in – it. Or are we? A new initiative from Dublin City Council (DCC) and delivery firm UPS is aiming to reduce the number of vehicles on the city’s roads. It uses what UPS call an “Eco Hub” container on Wolfe Tone Street. The Eco Hub acts as a small distribution hub from which deliveries can be made by bike or on foot. “It came about when we were approached by UPS, who had piloted the same project in London, Paris and Hamburg,” explains Colm Ennis, Senior Executive Engineer with DCC. “We are developing a strategy for city centre goods deliveries and are trying to reduce

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Exhibitions

Art / Photographic Exhibitions in Dublin An Art and Photographic Exhibitions guide for Dublin. All events may not be listed. For further details please visit the venue website. You can scroll down through the page or jump to a particular venue by clicking on a link below: Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane IMMA – The Irish Museum of Modern Art National Gallery of Ireland National Library of Ireland National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology National Museum of Ireland – Decor

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Park Life!

Dublin’s parks have undergone a renaissance in recent years. Once a location for a quiet game of frisbee or a poetic wander amongst the flowerbeds, they have of late been injected with a new vitality. Food stalls, open-air cinema, yoga, and family events are now a given and in the summer months, Dublin’s parks host free lively festivals and original evening events that give the city’s pubs and clubs a run for their money. RUN FOR FUN, WALK FOR HOPE Every Saturday, in parks all over Dublin, early birds can enjoy a free 5k timed parkrun courtesy of parkrun.ie. Operating since 20

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The Ark: Engaging kids’ creativity

For 23 years The Ark in Temple Bar has provided the children of Dublin, and of Ireland, with the opportunity to experience and participate in art and culture. We visited The Ark to learn about what’s on offer for children and families today. The Ark is a dedicated cultural centre for children. It was the first of its kind in Europe, quite a forward-thinking facility for this little island. It was founded after the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of The Child, which safeguards children’s right to access culture and art. The Ark “believes in every child’s right to discover and love art in a society where creativity and culture are valued a

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What to do in Dublin this summer

On a summer day in Dublin city, there’s no danger of being bored. Indeed, for a relatively small city (by international standards), there’s always something to do, and this is remarked on by most visitors to the city. Yes, there are tourist attractions worth checking out: the Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College and the Book of Kells, the National Gallery, the Natural History Museum and Christchurch Cathedral are all worth a look, but Dublin really comes alive through its people and its culture. Between theatre, live music, art exhibitions and installations, talks and workshops, comedy and family-friendly events happening Monday to Sunday, right through the yea

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Parlez-vous Pirate?

There’s a lot of things you can learn at your local library. And how to speak Pirate is one of them. As a place to learn a foreign language, Dublin’s public libraries have a notable advantage over the city’s other estimable language-learning institutions – the facilities they offer are free! Aside from the foreign language books you can borrow, your library card gives you access to two other invaluable resources. One is a language app called Mango. The other is the more traditional but by no means outmoded method of improving your French, or your Mandarin; con

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Galz Gone Wild

Dublin is in a unique position for a capital city in that it has both mountains and sea at its doorstep. We caught up with Melissa McDermott – Galz Gone Wild founder – and Ruth Farrell, to find out about the group of women who escape the city to find some scenic hush in the Wicklow mountains. Mel founded the group after moving home from London last year. She found herself lacking direction, and she was unsure of her next step. She started to hike to clear her head, but the hiking community she found were mostly male and older. They were hiking for different reasons. “There is a community there, but it’s very much about getting from point A to point

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Produce, Provenance and People – Leopardstown Farmer’s Market

With customers becoming increasingly concerned about the quality of their food and its provenance, more and more Dubs are turning to farmer’s markets. We spoke to five market sellers at Leopardstown Farmer’s Market to get to the bottom of what these markets can offer that other shopping experiences can’t. Margaret Hoctor  Margaret farms lamb, apples and sweetcorn at Kilmullen Farm and sells her produce seasonally.

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Vampire jets and vases at Collins Barracks

The National Museum of Ireland… No, wait a second: ‘the National Museums of Ireland’. That’s right, there’s actually four of them – at four different sites. Three of them are purpose-built; the buildings have always been museums: that’s the Natural History Museum on Merrion Street, the Archaeology Museum on Kildare Street and the Museum of Country Life in Castlebar, Co Mayo. The fourth site, Collins Barracks – which accommodates the Museum of Decorative Arts and History ̵

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Ladies, Wine & Design: Dublin’s design collective

The most varied and vibrant event series on Dublin’s design scene, Ladies, Wine & Design (LWD) mixes social with professional, cracking the capital-wide open and encouraging its female talent to burn bright. Founded in New York in 2016 by Jessica Walsh, this creative networking group has since spread to over 120 cities across 50 countries. In Dublin, the monthly get-togethers were started by graphic designer, Meagan Hyland and Aileen Carville, tech CEO and fashion and communications pro. The pair met after LWD New York put out a call for someone to start chapters in other cities, and both pitch

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Talking Statues

Ten of Dublin’s most eminent statues have been given a new lease of life – and a voice - thanks to a project called Talking Statues by Failte Ireland with support from Sing London and Dublin City Council. Dublin is a city with a rich past. Its history is full of humour, folklore and, most of all, characters - many of whom have been immortalised as statues. James Joyce They stand in parks, on street corners and in galleries. They connect us to a time gone by, and they all have a story to tell. But when was the last time you stopped to look at a statue? Or gave a moment's thought to who it portrays and why it's there? Talking Statues helps us to remember the achievements and ideas of the people who were turned into stone or bronze. It keeps their stories alive using an artfully crafted monologue delivered directly to your phone. Just scan a QR code near the statue, and James Joyce or even Cúchulainn will give you a bell. I can assure you that it takes communing with a statue to a whole new level.

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Dublin Treasures – Sunlight Chambers

‘Sunlight Chambers’, it says over the door of the office building on the corner of Parliament Street and Essex Quay. What a lovely name! But why is the building called that? Facing north across the Liffey, it certainly wasn’t catching many rays when Dublin.ie visited on a day in December. With its arched windows and overhanging eaves, it looks like an Italian palace, built perhaps for a cadet branch of the Medici family c1500. But hang on a second, what’s with the strange 3D decorations stuck on the walls of the first and second storeys? There’s nude babies, a donkey, a man building a boat, two men constructing an arch, a bunch of Renaissance-styl

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Language Dublin: Istituto Italiano

Renata Sperandio is the director of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Dublino, the Dublin branch of the Italian cultural institute. Renata, from Belluno in the Veneto region of Italy, has been in Dublin for three years. She has another three to go before her next posting. And, God bless her, she’s learning Irish – with the help of Duolingo, the well-known Irish language learning app. ‘Duolingo’s on my phone too’, says Dublin.ie. ‘It’s terrific.’ ‘Is it?’, asks Renata. ‘Well, yes it is’, I explain. Duolingo does an excellent job indeed. But it’s got its work cut out for it – because, make no mistake

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Meet A Dubliner – Pat Liddy, Tour Guide

Pat Liddy is many things. An artist, historian, writer, illustrator, broadcaster, mapmaker, and environmental lobbyist who has helped make Dublin a global tourist attraction. The author and illustrator of over seven books on the city, as well as others on Irish cultural sites, he is the operator of Pat Liddy’s Walking Tours of Dublin. I was born and reared in what we might call the inner city, which in this case was Phibsborough. So, in the first place, that qualifies me as a true Dubliner, because the definition is “Born between the canals,” isn’t it? If I wanted to come

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2017 in Dublin Moments

And another one bites the dust… Like a fleeting Twitter trend, 2017 has been and gone – but not without leaving its mark. We’ve rounded up 10 of Dublin’s stand-out moments and memories from the last 12 months. 1. There she blows! Hurricane Ophelia brought the country to a standstill this year, uprooting trees, ripping roofs off houses – and stirring the sea into a foamy swimming pool for those who couldn’t spend a day without a dive at the Forty Foot. While the rest of Ireland battened down the hatches, Dublin rejoiced at a traffic-free Mon

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Dublin Treasures – Temple Bar Icon Walk

Pitching itself as “the greatest story ever strolled”, the Icon Walk cracks the heart of the Irish people wide open and tie-dyes the backstreets of Temple Bar with its vibrant colours. Like spokes from a hub, the walk’s rainbow-painted laneways radiate outwards from The Icon Factory, a gallery and shop at the corner of Aston Place and Bedford Lane. Founded in 2009 by Barney Phair, this not-for-profit artists’ co-operative is run for the benefit of the many creatives that ply their wares here. These streets are an unexpected treasure trove of culture and colour, splashed across spray-p

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Creative Dublin: Galia Arad, Singer-songwriter

Galia (pronounced Ga-lee-ah) Arad is just back from playing support on Marc Almond’s UK tour. Last year, she toured Ireland with Jack L. She regularly tours Europe with Jools Holland, most recently playing support for him at the 3Arena in Dublin. And she owes it all to Shane McGowan and his manager Joey Cashman, who in a strange, unexpected way set Galia’s music career in train and took her from small-time gigging in New York to centre stage at the Royal Albert Hall. Coming from a classically trained background, Galia moved to New York from her Indiana home in her early twenties to pursue a singer-songwriter career with a musical style that she calls “Bob Dylan meets

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Meet a Dubliner – Jennifer Rothwell, Fashion Designer

Jennifer Rothwell is an Irish fashion designer. She was born in New York and spent many years living between the Big Apple and the Fair City. I was born in New York and brought back over here when I was ten months old. I was raised here, I went to college here – but I always knew I’d be going back there. I moved back to Dublin in 2005. How would I say Dublin has changed since I came back? It’s just a lot more multicultural, I suppose. It’s very modern, all around the Docklands is very cosmopolitan. It’s a bit more like London. The old

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The Vexillologist

It’s a fine brisk November morning when Dublin.ie meets up with Ed Boden at his office in Blessington Basin, the north side’s secret park. But we are not here to talk about Ed’s job as chief of parks today. No, we are talking about another curious string to Ed’s professional bow. Curious, quirky and colourful. Because Ed is the Dublin City Council vexillologist. “He’s the what?” I hear you say. Well join the club, I said it myself. But if you are stuck for the answer, we’ll give you a clue. A clue that comes from a recent Nobel Laureate who told us “The answer my friend is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind.” Flags. It’s unlikely Dy

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Creative Dublin: Fergus O’Neill, Graphic Designer

Fergus O’Neill is the graphic designer responsible for the ‘Feck It, Sure It’s Grand’ line of products. He also created a series of prints depicting twentieth-century Dublin landmarks such as the Poolbeg electricity generating station and the monumental concrete silos, now demolished, at Boland’s Mill. He studied visual communication at Dún Laoghaire College of Art and Design, now IADT, and works from a shed in Irishtown. Keep Going, Sure It’s Grand. That could be the motto of the Irish Dublin.ie: Tell me about ‘Feck It, Sure It’s Grand’. It was in part based on the British ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ pos

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A City of Words: Jonathan Swift

2017. The 350th anniversary of Jonathan Swift’s birth. Word of the year according to Collins Dictionary: ‘fake news’. But, says Swift expert Brendan Twomey, there was plenty of that about in Dublin back in the early eighteenth century. To keep Swift’s name in the papers, his printer frequently made up stories about him, his celebrity friends and their amusing escapades. Gulliver’s Travels itself is a sort of fake news; the book purports to be an account of the actual travels of an actual voyager. Also according to Collins, usage of the word ‘Swiftian’ peaked back in 1959. But don’t get the idea that Swift’s legacy is on the wan

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Dublin Uncovered: Skerries

A seaside town that’s worth its salt all year round. North of Dublin city in Fingal you’ll find the seaside town of Skerries. Bustling in summer months, the beaches are full to the brim with tourists and city dwellers looking to dip a toe in the sea. But Irish seaside towns take on a different vibe during the autumnal months and Skerries is still worth the excursion beyond September. At this time of the year, you’ll find plenty of people braving some wind for a good ol’ stroll along the seafront. The sea air, a tried and tested cure for what ails ya, feels just as good in your lungs in November as it does in July. The name Skerries originally comes from the Norse w

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Skytango

Skytango is an online platform for the buying and selling of drone video footage. Irish woman Susan Flynn is Skytango’s chief operating officer. Her husband Steve, from Minnesota, is its chief executive, a job he’s been preparing for since he was seven years old: “Back in the day, you’d spend three months building a balsa wood and styrofoam airplane and it would take-off and you might have a thirty-second flight and it would explode into pieces, and you’d go back and work for three months to rebuild it. Now you can pull a drone out of a box and launch it, and it’s really fun. ItR

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Language Dublin: Instituto Cervantes

Today we’re meeting Victor Andresco and Laura Martín, director and cultural officer respectively at the Dublin branch of the Instituto Cervantes, the international Spanish language and cultural organisation. Dublin is a place that is somehow familiar to the Spanish, Victor reckons. It’s not exotic or strange, he says – and he means that in a good way. Spanish people often send their children here to learn English, he points out. His Dublin taxi driver might very well own a holiday home in Spain. And there are other links, too. “We Spaniards feel very close to you”, he says, “s

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Chequerboard

John Lambert, aka Irish musician Chequerboard, is by his own admission, “not a megaphone person,” however his music is being heard loud and clear around the world. Chequerboard’s most popular song on Spotify, Opening the Gates, has had almost 11 million streams, a pretty phenomenal achievement for the Dublin man whose gentle atmospheric music comprises looped acoustic guitar and textured electronica. Sitting down for a chat in the coffee shop of the Chester Beatty Library, John is modest about this unexpected success and candid about the winding road to it. Chequerboard’s ambient music was born from no

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Creative Dublin: Laura McGann, Documentary filmmaker

Laura McGann’s documentary, Revolutions, traces the growth of roller derby in Ireland. It’s full of outspoken characters and breakneck action, and it tells the compelling story of the birth of a sport – the creation of something new – in recession-era Ireland. McGann, originally from Newbridge in Kildare, studied media at Ballyfermot College of Further Education and film at Liverpool Hope University. She returned to Ireland in 2010, when ‘a lot of things were winding down or ending’ in the country. Roller derby ‘was starting and had a really great energy about it. So, I think the timing

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Historians in Residence

Just to be clear, the position of Historian in residence doesn’t come with an actual residence. ‘More’s the pity’, says Cathy Scuffil, who is the Historian in Residence for that LA-sounding bit of Dublin known as ‘South Central’. This is one of the six sectors of Dublin – each based on electoral districts – that now have their own historian. Tara Doyle of Dublin City Council runs the programme, which builds on the success of the 1916 commemorations and a surge in interest in history in general. She sums it up very simply: ‘it’s all about letting historians talk to people about history’. This doesn’t mean that it’s simple to do, however. 

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Dublin Treasures – The Rotunda

With its rounded name and huge dome centre – somehow befitting of a maternity hospital – The Rotunda sits in the centre of Dublin’s north inner city, closing off the top of O’Connell Street. An end, containing so many beginnings. Surrounded by shops, theatres and the Garden of Remembrance, it has long been at the heart of Dublin’s history, quietly getting on with the ordinary business of life throughout famines, protests and revolution. Founded in 1745 by Bartholomew Mosse, the Rotunda is the oldest, continuously-running maternity hospital in the world. 9000 babies are born here every year while all about them the cogs of the city whirr and roll. The new

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Ruth Johnson – Dublin City Archaeologist

Dr Ruth Johnson is City Archaeologist for Dublin city and is charged with protecting, managing and investigating our oldest heritage, much of it underground. As well as conservation projects, Ruth has input to new development projects across the city and a role in policy development advocacy. We sat down for a chat to find out how she works and what’s going on across the city, under the ground, in our oldest graveyards, our buried monasteries and in half-hidden, forgotten houses. How did you first become an archaeologist Ruth? I worked on a community excavation project in Yorkshire while doing my A-levels after which I did a Primary Degree in archa

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How Dublin Works: Digital Docklands

Dublin’s docks met the same sorry fate in the 1970s as those elsewhere around the world, the arrival of containers revolutionising shipping and decimating dockland employment. Work that had sustained inner-city communities for generations suddenly evaporated. The Docklands became empty, desolate wastelands until the first regeneration project came in the shape of Charles Haughey’s Irish Financial Services Centre in the late 80s. The IFSC was developed on the north side of the Liffey behind Connolly train station. While banks and other financial services moved into the area, it had little impact at first on the citizens of Dublin. And at night there was a tumbleweed feel to th

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The Royal Irish Academy

On the morning that I visit the Royal Irish Academy, they’re testing out the new Luas on Dawson Street; empty carriages move by while people take time to stop and take in Dublin’s ever-evolving cityscape. The Royal Irish Academy has been located at 19 Dawson Street since 1851 when it moved from its Grafton Street origins to the more spacious Academy House. Sandwiched between Saint Anne’s Church and the Mansion House, you have probably walked past its elegant exterior hundreds of times and assumed that whatever happens inside has nothing to do with you. But the Academy wants you to know that it has. Pauric Dempsey, the Head of Communications, meets me in reception

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The infamous UCD Superleague

The UCD AIB Superleague, within the amateur footballing community of Dublin, is renowned for both the disorganisation and passion of its teams. Often referred to as, The Hangover League, matches take place on Saturdays and Sundays with teams of misfits and football enthusiasts who don’t have the commitment to play for a ‘real’ team in the Dublin league. In college, football is often a decent ice-breaker when meeting new people. In fact, that rule applies to all walks of life, not exclusively college. The conversation often leads to the question, “So, do you play for a team?” If you respond with, “Oh yeah, I play in the

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Chocolatey Clare anyone?

‘So your bar is there’, says Clare. ‘You have to have that and give me an appraisal’. ‘You can be honest’, she adds. That’s a terrible idea, Clare, I think to myself. I‘m a hopeless chocolate snob. ‘Dairy-free milk chocolate’? How is that even possible? As Clare herself admits, when you say the word ‘vegan’, people assume it’s going to be horrible. She reckons that ‘oh my God it probably tastes like sawdust!’ is what they’re thinking. But guess what? This Chocolatey Clare’s Salted Peanut bar tastes great. Not too sweet and icky like lots of non-milk milk chocolate. Not too pale and wishy-washy. This milk chocolate has a hefty 5

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A Playful City

Jane Jacobs, the doyenne of urban planning, believed that the success of any city owed a lot to the “intricacy of pavement use, bringing with it a constant succession of eyes”. She wrote, in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, “There must be eyes upon the street, eyes belonging to those we might call the natural proprietors of the street. The buildings on a street equipped to handle strangers, and to ensure the safety of both residents and strangers, must be oriented to the street. They cannot turn their backs or blank sides on it and leave it blind.” But what happens when the residents and strangers are themselves blind to their surroundin

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World class teachers: Aoife McLysaght, geneticist

Professor Aoife McLysaght is Principal Investigator in the Molecular Evolutionary Laboratory and Lecturer in Genetics, TCD. The thing that I find interesting and exciting: new ideas and trying to figure them out. And that works better when you’ve got somebody to talk about it with. You learn from the experience of working with people who are really good. And even though I’m now a Professor in Genetics at Trinity I still feel that this still goes on, that I learn from other people and I really enjoy the interactions that I have. That’s the difference between doing whatever it is you do at home at a desk

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Community excellence in Ballybough

Dublin City Council’s Sports, Leisure and Community Centre in Ballybough, has recently won four awards. How come? How has the centre helped the community? And what’s so great about Ballybough Community Centre? We talk to some of the people behind its success. Treacy Byrne sat in an empty building and wondered whether the doors would open. The year was 2009, and Ireland was in the grip of a catastrophic economic crisis. This crisis would go on to ravage communities across Ireland, including Ballybough, a disadvantaged part of inner-city Dublin. But in Ballybough, some of the worst

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Experimental Archaeology

In a corner of University College Dublin’s suburban campus, archaeologists are building houses using thousand-year-old methods and casting bronze tools in fire pits using moulds they’ve made themselves. Brendan O’Neill, a PhD student in UCD’s School of Archaeology, has built a wooden roundhouse as part of his research. It took him about thirty days’ work over the course of ten months to complete. He wove hazel rods from a managed forest in the Irish midlands to create walls and a roof, which is topped with heather to help waterproof the structure. Inside the house, there’s a surprising amount of space. A central fireplace surrounded by stones is unlit. O’Neil

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Meet a Dubliner – Christina Murphy, Elephant Keeper

I moved here a few years ago from Atlanta, Georgia and started working at Dublin Zoo. We’ve had six new calves here in the last three years. All those babies were born here so that makes them Irish! But really, Ireland has fantastic weather for Asian elephants because they like mild rainy days. Sometimes you will even see them going swimming more on rainy days.

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Dublin Treasures: Irish Writers Centre

Although the Irish Writers Centre has long been a place for keen readers and writers to attend readings and launches, or to take part in one of the many writing classes on offer covering every topic from memoir to ghostwriting to autofiction, the centre can at times be overlooked because of its location, tucked away as it is away from the bustle of the city, beyond the trees of the Garden of Remembrance.

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Science in the City

Recently, astronomers at the Alma telescope in Chile discovered a supermassive black hole near the centre of the Milky Way. It is said to be one hundred thousand times more massive than the sun and roughly 1.4 trillion kilometres in length. When we read a science story, it is almost always sensational news. However, a lot of science stories go under the radar of the ordinary non-scientist, primarily because we simply don’t understand it; it’s too complex unless it’s a news story on a topical subject that we can relate to, like space or cancer research. A number of outreach programmes set up by Scienc

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GROWN

GROWN is a tiny Dublin company that prints beautiful simple designs on ethically-sourced, environmentally friendly shirts and t-shirts from a shop on Francis Street in Dublin’s Liberties. Its origins lie in conversations between three friends as they journeyed back and forth between Dublin and the West of Ireland, on swimming, surfing and scuba-diving trips. The ocean-loving friends were Neil McCabe, Stephen O’Reilly and Damien Bligh.  They’d noticed rubbish in the water and on beaches. It made them think about the ecological impact of plastics and modern fabrics, and how we produce and consume everything from food and drink to coffee and clothes. That got them rese

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The Ruby Sessions

Sometimes the queue for the Ruby Sessions is so long that it snakes down the stairs of Doyle’s pub and out the door around past the old plaque on the wall that says “Good times are coming/Be they ever so far away” and down into the dark and puddles of Fleet Street. If you find yourself that far back, your chances of getting in are very far away indeed. These are the nights when word has leaked out into the world that a ‘Very Special Guest’ will be taking to the mic of the renowned live music night, and for the price of a six euro charity donation, you too could be part of the intimate gathering that surrounds the candlelit stage. Ed Sheeran, Damien Rice, Paulo Nutini, T

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The Yard Crew

They’re a group of lads from around the Liberties. Late teens to early 20s, bustling with animation. Bit of slagging about who is going to talk to Dublin.ie. Probably a bit of slagging about the guy from Dublin.ie. But these are decent guys. You could probably place a safe bet that one or two of them might be no stranger to a bit of mischief in their day. So what they are up to takes you a little bit by surprise. If someone outside the gate told you that these guys were making salad bowls inside the yard, “get up the yard!” would be your likely response. But this is the Yard Crew, part of the Solas Project. The

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Museum Dublin: Rock’n’Roll

Walking through Temple Bar on a midweek afternoon, the sounds of céilí bands and lads on guitars belting out U2 covers tumble out onto the street every time a pub door swings open. Buskers are so much a part of Dublin culture that Glen Hansard starred in an Oscar winning film about them. Phil Lynott’s statue off Grafton Street is often draped in rocker pilgrims from around the world, a replica of Rory Gallagher’s rusty guitar hangs over his own designated corner near Meeting House Square, and Whelan’s is a mecca for any serious music lover. Dublin’s rock heritage is as legendary as its literary one, with the city punching well above its weight on the international scene

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The Lilliput Press

On a quiet corner in Stoneybatter, behind a quaint but unassuming shopfront lies renowned Dublin publishing house, Lilliput Press. The door is wide open when I arrive, and the sunshine falls in on a room lined with bookshelves. Two men sit on a sofa by the window, leaning over a coffee table covered in books. The door of founder Antony Farrell’s office sits ajar, and inside there is the busyness of a thoroughly active office; heaped manuscripts, teetering book stacks, handwritten letters taped to the wall. After he ensures I have a coffee and a bit of fruit to snack on, I sit on a chair in amongst the chaos of the heaving room. Antony sits behind his desk, peeling a mand

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Responsible Innovation

Innovation is what has brought the human race as far as it has come… Because of innovation, we have tackled disease; we have navigated the globe by land, sea and air; we have sent men to the moon. Soon we will have driverless cars. Innovation, in many ways, defines us. But it also has its limits and drawbacks. There is an innate impulse to push things as far as they can go. At times you wonder why innovation has taken us in this peculiar direction. What is the need for this device? Why has this phenomenon taken over? This is when innovation becomes irresponsible. That innate drive to push boundaries can have consequences for the environment, commerce and social well-

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Dublin Uncovered: Capel Street

You may not know it, but Capel Street is one of Dublin’s most historically significant streets. It was a fundamental part of an extension of the city north of the river by Sir Humphrey Jervis, who built a large chunk of his estate around St. Mary’s Abbey. In 1676 he built Essex Bridge, (now Grattan Bridge) establishing Capel Street as one of the main links between the north and south of the city. A great contrast to the Capel Street of today, in the 17th and 18th Centuries it was residential, lined with freestanding mansions, each of which had large gardens and courtyards. Later on in the 18th Century t

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How Dublin Works: Eco Mattress Recycling

Mattress Mick’s got nothing on this. This is the greatest gathering of mattresses you’ve ever seen, taking up most of the floor space in a warehouse in Glasnevin. With stacks and stacks of the things 20 and 30 deep, even the most sensitive of princesses could get a decent 40 winks here. If it wasn’t, that is, for the occasional high-pitched squishing noise coming from the machine that bales-up mattress innards in preparation for recycling. Eco Mattress does two very valuable things simultaneously. As a social enterprise, it provides jobs and hands-on work experience for p

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Creative Dublin: Vanessa Daws, Swim Artist

When Vanessa Daws moved to Dublin in 2011, she did something that might seem unusual to most people, but has become a habit for her: “The first thing I did was I arranged a swim down the Liffey at dawn – what I normally do when I go on art residencies or move somewhere: I find the nearest body of water and I swim in it.” She tells me that she does this to feel more at home in a place: “to bond with a place. To be accepted by the city. Connecting, submerging, in the city. And I knew if I swam I just knew I’d be able to relax in the city. I knew it would be alright

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Time for tea

Meet Oliver Cunningham of Wall & Keogh, Dairine Keogh of Clement & Pekoe and Anya Letsko of Joy of Cha. These three are in the vanguard of Dublin’s tea-house renaissance, a movement that’s three parts infusion of leaves to one part charmingly quirky interior decor. Are they operating on a higher spiritual plane than their coffee-fuelled counterparts? Where are they on the vexed question of sugar? Dublin.ie finds out. Dublin.ie: You people are making a bit of a song and dance about tea aren’t you? Why so? Oliver: We do take it seriously at

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Dublin, UNESCO City of Literature

Dublin residents are by now familiar with the UNESCO emblem on programmes and posters for the city’s many literary events, but it was only on the 26th of July 2010, that Dublin was designated a City of Literature by the cultural arm of the United Nations. The fourth city to receive such a designation, after Iowa City, Melbourne and Edinburgh, it was a recognition of Dublin’s lively contemporary literary scene built on the strong foundation laid by past masters.

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Bull Island & the Dublin Bay Biosphere

Most people who visit Bull Island from week to week probably don’t realise that it’s part of one of the biggest biospheres in Europe. So, what’s a biosphere? Quite simply, a biosphere is an environment where people, nature and culture  connect and co-exist. Imagine the biosphere as the perfect cup of tea, with people as the water, nature as the tea-leaves, and culture as the milk. The tea-leaves are rich and unique, but need the water to be hot so they can release the flavour, while the milk is added to make it more drinkable. In the same way, nature and culture within the biosphere can add value to people, but only where it is protected and sustainably managed. The

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MART for Art’s Sake

One of Rathmines’ smallest buildings happens to be one of the most distinctive, for it houses a Dublin art collective, MART. The old fire-station, with a classic engine-red door facing the main street, was built in 1847 soon after Rathmines became an independent “township”. Like the magnificent Rathmines Town Hall, the station was a symbol of township independence and civic pride. The fire crew based here played a big role battling the inferno, which blazed around Sackville Street during the

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Building the Dublin Dashboard

Imagine if Dublin had an instrument panel: a set of gauges and graphs that revealed to its residents the precise current state of their home town. Professor Rob Kitchin and his team at Maynooth did exactly that. And they built it, online. It’s called Dublin Dashboard. Dublin.ie: What’s on Dashboard right now that the ordinary person might be interested in? Robin Kitchen (RK): Probably the real time page where you can see how many spaces there are in the car parks or what the sound levels are or what the pollution levels are or how many bikes ar

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Meet a Dubliner – Mary Louise Reilly, Rugby player

Mary Louise ‘Maz’ Reilly, a sports development officer with Dublin City Council, plays rugby for Ireland. She was on the Grand Slam-winning side of 2013 and plays in her third World Cup tournament, hosted by Ireland, this month. It was always soccer and Gaelic football at home. No one played rugby. One day a friend asked me to jump in and give a dig out and I was like ‘there is not a hope, that sport is way too rough’. Anyway, she got the better of me and I got involved and realised that I actually really enjoyed rugby. For me, in work, it’s the same thing. Whether I’m out cha

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Artists in Residence

Dublin’s art scene is blossoming. A new wing has opened up in the National Gallery, IMMA continues to attract international work, the walls of the city are awash with commissioned street art but with a competitive housing market and rising rents, how is the city looking after its artists? Each year, Dublin City Council puts out a call for artists to live in the four subsidised residential spaces offered for periods of three months to a year; two cottages in leafy tranquil Albert College Park in Glasnevin, a Temple Bar apartment and St Patrick’s Lodge beside the

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Meet a Dubliner – John Evoy, Men’s Sheds Founder

I used to live a pretty isolated life. I’m not saying that my past was a straight line to Men’s Shed in Ireland but it definitely played a big part in my empathy for those who needed our services. I was an only child of a farming family and in my mid 20’s I ended up being a farmer too. I never wanted to be a farmer. It was just the obvious choice. The area was nice, really quiet, not much happening at all. So, I partied too much, I got into drink and drugs and it was very bad for my health. Farming was like that for me. I felt unhappy and isolated all the time. I badly needed something to change and I guess when I turned 27, I was in the right place then. I had devel

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The National Library

It’s still early in the morning when I walk up the steps to the National Library. Standing on the porch, through the fence I can see the TDs totter up the path next-door, folders underarm, heading into the Government Buildings. This Kildare Street building has housed Dublin’s main public reference library since 1890, and in Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, he describes students gathering here to smoke and chat. Inside, it is quieter than even a library should be although there are a few eager types waiting in the lobby. A cleaner polishes around the bronze bust of Senator Mi

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Seven Stories of Creativity – Elizabeth O’Kane, Sculptor

We all know Grand Canal as the home of Google but unbeknownst to many, tucked among the tech giants is a building where ancient crafts are still practised, The Design Tower. The Tower’s seven stories of studios play host to jewellers, fashion designers, conservationists and more. In the fourth instalment in our series exploring The Design Tower, Dublin.ie meets sculptor and painter Elizabeth O’Kane to talk about her path to art, her craft and the building itself. I always wanted to be an artist but I went to quite an academic school in Northern Ireland. I completely messed up my art paper and thoug

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Walking Tours

There is simply no better way to see Dublin than to walk around with a knowledgeable and professional tour guide. Get a closer look at Dublin’s most interesting, unique and historical sites and get to know the real Dublin, its history, and its culture by walking through the streets like a local. Dublin offers a variety of walking tours that are ideal for the tourist, budget traveller or backpacker so don’t miss the chance to walk through the streets of this iconic city and visit it’s many landmarks while learning about their meaning and history.

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Dublin Outdoors – City Kayaking

Most seasoned Dubliners, probably feel like they’ve seen all the city has to offer; every lush park; historic Georgian row; every cobbled street, arching bridge and Victorian pub. The familiar can be taken for granted though. So what if we told you about a new way of seeing the city? We’re not talking about a rickshaw or a longboard. Instead we’re talking about kayaking… on the Liffey. City Kayaking are based on the jetty by the Jeanie Johnston tall ship on North Wall Quay, where the city meets the Docklands. Jonathan, our guide, begins by outlining the route upstream and equipping us with waterproof ja

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How Dublin Works: Sharing in Creativity

In recent years, Dublin has lost some of its most important creative spaces to a building boom that’s reminiscent of the Celtic Tiger era. Block T in Smithfield and South Studios near Cork Street were both closed down in 2016 with a significant loss of square footage for artists, photographers, designers and writers. In their place, however, a new generation of co-working spaces – aimed specifically at servicing Dublin’s creative communities – is coming into being. Although they have become abundant in many European capitals in the last few years, co-working spaces are a relatively new arrival in the Dublin property market. In the past 12 months the number

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Language Dublin: Goethe-Institut

‘Since it opened in 1961’, says the brochure, ‘the Goethe-Institut has broadened the professional and personal horizons of 50,000 people who have attended its German courses’. Currently housed in Fitzwilliam Square while it awaits the refurbishment and extension of its Merrion Square HQ round the corner, its director is Dr Thomas Lier. Thomas is from Bavaria. Don’t call him ‘Bavarian’, though. That, Dublin.ie learns, would be like calling a Cornishman ‘English’. Because Thomas is really a Franconian, from Wurzburg, and Franconia was an autonomous region until Napoleon kicked it into Bavaria. ‘Wurzburg has a very strong con

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Dublin Treasures – Blessington Basin

Down by the Secret Garden – Blessington Basin On the south side, the secret garden was always the Iveagh Gardens. But in recent years music, comedy and food festivals have meant that that garden isn’t so secret anymore. So these days to find the city’s true secret garden, you have to head north side. Up O’Connell St, then North Frederick, cross Dorset and on up Blessington until you come to the black wrought iron gates. In you go. And you’re there.

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Meet a Dubliner – Ailbhe Keane, Izzy Wheels

When Izzy was little she always said that her favourite thing about being in a wheelchair was that her shoes never got dirty. They looked brand new every day and the lights never ran out in her favourite light-up runners. However, her real shoes were her wheels. I remember we used to decorate her wheelchair for birthday parties and Halloween. We filled them with fresh flowers once when she was a flower girl for a wedding. At Christmas, we used to put tinfoil and lights around the wheels and lots of tiny Christmas decorations for the Xmas family show.

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County Dublin cricket on the rise

Cricket is enjoying a surge in popularity across the county, so Dublin.ie visited a few of the burgeoning clubs to find out more. Kamil Mahajan moved from the Punjab region of India to Dublin in 2001. He had been a keen cricket player in his home country, but for his first few years in Ireland he was busy with work and didn’t have much time to spend on the sport that he loved. Then, in 2009, he moved to Adamstown, near Lucan in the west of the city. Adamstown is “a new development”, Mahajan says. “A lot of Asian people” – from south Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – “had moved there around 2007/2008”. A cricket club would

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A City of Words: Temper-Mental MissElayneous

The popularity of spoken word is on the rise in Dublin and one of the stars of the scene is Elayne Harrington, AKA Temper-Mental MissElayneous. She’s a rapper and slam poet from Finglas and a standout female performer on a male-dominated scene. Dublin.ie first saw Elayne perform at a women’s storytelling night in Temple Bar’s Project Arts Centre. With her trademark hairdo of curlers in her fringe, the bold red lips and her warrior stance, she was defiant and gutsy. She set her words to the beat of h

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The Typewriter Shop

On Dorset Street in Dublin’s north inner city there’s a typewriter shop that’s been there as long as I can remember. Founded in 1983, it’s run by Joe Millar and his son, who’s also named Joe. It’s the last typewriter shop in Dublin and the only one in the Golden Pages where it’s listed, simply, as ‘The Typewriter Shop’. Before setting up the shop, Joe Sr had worked in the typewriter trade for the American manufacturer Remington: “they had offices in Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Galway and Limerick”. They sold typewriters to offices, and serviced the machines to keep them i

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Dublin’s Masters in Creative Writing

Creative Writing Postgraduate Programs have long been a staple of the academic world in the United States. Prominent writers, among them Raymond Carver, David Foster Wallace, and Joyce Carol Oates, have worked as creative writing professors since as far back as the seventies. Yet despite Dublin’s literary heritage and wealth of authors, it has only recently come to be recognised as a centre of excellence for such courses; now it attracts scores of hopeful young writers from around the world every year. “You can’t teach people to be creative. You can only accelerate the pace at which people are developing creatively, which is a very different matter.” These are the words of

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Unseen at The National Gallery

There’s a bigger picture behind the recently re-opened National Gallery wings so we went along for a visit. In 2008, Ireland was in the grip of a financial crisis like none we had witnessed before. No wonder then that more than a couple of eyebrows were raised at the awarding of a €25m grant to the National Gallery of Ireland for the renovation of its Dargan (1864) and Milltown (1903) wings. But the truth was they were both painfully in need of attention. Apart from a few cursory repairs along the way, the buildings had seen little or nothing in the way of modernisation in their century-an

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Museum Dublin: The Dead Zoo

You stroll in the door and you walk back in time... Back into a world of Victorian exotica. With the polished wood, the old brass fittings and the glass cases, you feel enveloped in the comfort you find in a good old pub. But this isn’t a pub. This is a place of learning. Or to be more precise, this is a place of fun. This is the “Dead Zoo” or as it is more formally called, The Museum of Natural History. Situated between Leinster House and the Attorney General’s Office, this is a real gem of a museum. It’s been going now for some 160 years and not only is it one of the oldest public museums in the country, it’s also one of the most popular. Each year some 320,000 people visit the museum and enjoy all its Victorian charms for free. “Yes it’s free in,” Education Officer of Archaeology and Natural History, Siobhán Pierce exclaims proudly. Siobhán is joined by the Education Assistant, Geraldine Breen.

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The Poddle and Dublin’s Hidden Rivers

Most of Dublin’s rivers, streams and watercourses have disappeared over hundreds of years as the city expanded. At one point, there were over 60 of them flowing entirely above ground. The Liffey, the Dodder, the Santry River and the Tolka are among the few to remain uncovered but where are the hidden ones today? Chief among Dublin’s hidden rivers is the Poddle, which runs underground for the majority of its course. For centuries it provided drinking water, powered our mills and even kept Dublin Castle safe from invasion. The Poddle, known as the Tymon over its initial overground stretch, rises in Tallaght and forms a lake in

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Space Engagers

If you live in Dublin, it’s almost impossible not to be aware of the shortage of affordable housing. If you haven’t joined the back of a long queue to view a property in recent years, chances are you know a lot of people that have. And for many the consequences can be far worse; about 140 people sleep rough every night, there are some 3,000 homeless who are dependent on hotels and B&Bs, and a further 100,000 are on social housing waiting lists. It’s something that’s garnered a lot of media & governmental attention, and often the solutions proffered are quite grandiose; build up and build quickly. As a nation, we tend to have a penchant for the new when it comes to housing. While that may be a part of the solution, it’s certainly not the only approach. In every corner of this city, there are spaces going to waste.

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Dublin Voices: Towards 2050

I came over to Dublin from Edinburgh in 2005. I suppose it was bang in the middle of the good times. Back then, the atmosphere here was insane; there was so much going on, it was so busy. Ireland and Dublin were really riding the wave at that time. Employment was high, everyone was well paid, everyone had nice cars, you could get a loan if you wanted. Then we moved into hard times, and it’s changed a lot in that regard now. I think people are more grounded; there’s a sense of reality now. I don’t think the ordinary man is as tempted to get carried away. People are more concerned with value and being sensible. I think that’s a positive that can be taken out of the recession.

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Ireland’s Eye

A 15 minute boat ride from Howth on Dublin’s northside lies Ireland’s Eye, a beautiful and mostly untouched island. The only signs of human activity are two structures: a Martello Tower and the ruins of a church. It’s a hive of activity otherwise; the wildlife on offer is incredible, notably the many species of nesting birds. The most spectacular natural feature is the huge freestanding rock called “the Stack”, at the northeastern corner of the island, which plays host to a large variety of seabirds, including thousands of guillemots, razorbills, fulmars and gulls. There’s even a few breeding pairs of puffins. Grey seals are abundant in the sea around the isla

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The Flower Factory

The bedding in your local park, the roundabout at the end of your road, the planter on the quays: Dublin’s famous for its bursts of floral colour. Any journey you make in the city is likely to take you past some cheery display. But did you know that every plant you see comes from a single nursery, lovingly grown from seed to flower? St. Anne’s Park on the northside of the city is an embarrassment of riches. Its the second largest public park in the Dublin area, the grounds of the former estate of Lord and Lady

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UCD’s Irish Folklore Centre

Folklore: leprechauns, legends and fireside stories, right? Not quite. If you go down to UCD today, you’ll find a very different story. From its origins with Irish folklore collectors who, from the 1920s, scrambled around the country on a mission to record traditions, the National Folklore Collection (NFC) has grown into one of the biggest and most impressive collections of folklore and oral traditions anywhere in the world. The collection itself consists of almost 4,000 volumes of bound folklore, much of it handwritten and a substantial portion of it collected by schoolchildren during a spec

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Meet a Dubliner – Chris Flack, UnPlug

I used to work in very tech heavy jobs, consulting with big tech companies like Capgemini and Avnet. Back then I was one of the first people amongst my peers to get an iPhone and iPad for use with work. I enjoyed the luxury of being able to follow up on emails from the comfort of my home and get the updates about ongoing projects instantly; but after a while realised that overuse of tech was having a serious impact on my productivity and wellbeing. As the borders between ‘at work’ and being ‘off’ began to vanish I started having issues with sleep and my relationships as I spent too much time online. I needed a change so badly that I decided to move sectors just to

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Meet the Dublin Honey Project

I first came across The Dublin Honey Project in a local cafe on Leonard’s Corner. Stacked in a little pyramid were half-pound jars, each bearing bold lettering that denoted which postcode in the city they hailed from. In ascending order, D1, D4, D6, D7, D9, D14 and finally, the somewhat more ambiguous ‘Co. Dublin’. But it wasn’t just the lettering on the beautiful packaging that was different; they each seemed to have their own individual colour and hue, so I concluded they probably tasted a little different, too. I would never find out. By the time I’d consumed the jar of honey from my own postcode, the cafe had completely sold out, and they wouldn’t be back in stock until the following year.

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Creative Dublin: Niall McCormack, Commercial Artist

Graphic designer Niall McCormack has been interested in record sleeve design since he was a child. In the nineties, he began to design record sleeves for his friends’ bands, and for his own band, Jubilee Allstars. He’s now designed over a hundred record sleeves and CD covers for an array of record labels in the UK and USA. So, in co-curating Green Sleeves, an exhibition of Irish record sleeve design in the National Print Museum with Dr Ciar

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The James Joyce Centre

Have we had enough of Joyce? Never! All is quiet on a sunny morning on Dublin’s North Great George’s Street when I make my way to Number 35. The Georgian building has housed the James Joyce Centre since 1996 when the building was valiantly saved from demolition through the efforts of Senator David Norris, also a resident of the street. The house was once the location of a dance academy run by Professor Denis J Maginni, a colourful Dublin character who appears often in Ulysses, described as wearing a “silk hat, slate frockcoat with silk facings, white kerchief tie, tight lavender trousers, canary g

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Dublin Treasures – The Gravediggers

Jim, a Fine Gael figure formerly of the Dept. of Justice, is discussing politics with the barman. The thrust and parry of their conversation is momentarily interrupted by the arrival of a group of tourists from the Ghost Bus which tours haunted Dublin.

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DCU’s Water Institute: Solving global problems

The water wars have begun. The devastating conflict in Syria was sparked by a water scarcity that pushed people into the cities and provoked unrest, the unrest in Yemen is rooted in a water crisis. Large parts of America and Australia are feeling the strain, and experts fear a future war for water between India and China. So, forget oil: the greatest battles and conflicts of the 21st century will be over humanity’s most precious resource. Ireland, with an average of 150 days of rainfall along the east and southeast coasts to 225 days in parts of the west, might seem immune to the problems of water supply, but our policymakers are waking up to the challenge of providing s

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The Antique Street

Francis Street is going through some big changes these days, subtle and quiet as they might be. The area is providing a home to new bars, restaurants, and shops. But mostly it’s filled with antique shops, and antiques have been the main business round here for quite a while now. “I opened about 16 years ago,” said Patrick Howard, of Patrick Howard Antiques, “though Francis Street itself has been filled with antique shops for almost 30 years.” Patrick was a fashion designer before he got into the antiques game. “I did that for most of my life, and when I got tired of it I

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What’s different about Dublin?

Every year, tens of thousands of people from over 130 countries come to study in Ireland’s universities, institutes of technology and colleges. What’s bringing them here and why are they choosing Ireland? Sheila Power is director of the Irish Council for International Students. She points out that overall statistics for the number of international students are hard to pin down, but says that we need to broaden the conversation out. Ireland is an attractive destination for international students because it is perceived as friendly and safe “Ireland is an attractive destination for in

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Dublin Treasures – The GPO

On one count at least, the GPO is a disappointment to its visitors. ‘People come in looking for a big green post box. it’s a bit of let-down when I tell them there isn’t one’, says security guard David, who’s from Peckham but has Irish roots.

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Dublin City’s Comhairle na nÓg

The room is bustling with heated, animated conversation. There’s around 50 people gathered in three groups focusing on different areas of the problem in hand. The groups sit in circles, debating, brainstorming. You hear snippets here and there: “A PR launch in the Mansion House or Smock Alley?…Overcoming the stigma of being in care…The trauma of a kid in care turning 18 and suddenly just being thrown out onto the street?…Think in images.” We’re hearing the language of political engagement. Of lobbying. Of activism.

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Sprouting up

There are literally hundreds of young entrepreneurs launching their start-ups in Dublin, hoping to climb the precarious ladder in the tech, food and pharma sectors. Many of these companies will go on to achieve greatness; some will be quietly successful, others will become well-known names across the globe. Others, sadly, will perish under the immense pressure of starting and running a company from scratch. Dublin.ie caught up with Jack Kirwan (pictured above right), founder and co-owner of Sprout & Co. restaurants, which are, well, sprouting up all over the city, to find out what it takes to get from that init

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The Church, Mary Street

Once a place of marriage, christenings and funerals, this church is now a restaurant and bar. The Parish of St Mary was the second parish to be established on the north side of the Liffey. Founded in 1697, it boasts connections with many of Dublin’s most famous citizens – and some musical superstars too. Theobald Wolfe Tone and Seán O’Casey were both baptised here. Arthur Guinness was married here – he’d be happy to know they serve a good pint of plain on the premises now. The church lay vacant for years before it was purchased by John Keating, restored and reopened as a bar. It changed hands again in 2007 and was named ‘The Church Bar’. The base

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Dublin architects on the world stage

Ireland is making a big impression on the international stage in terms of architecture; from the Grand Egyptian Museum to the University of Milan, we’ve left our mark on some of the world’s most renowned structures. Dublin.ie caught up with Hugh Campbell, Professor of Architecture at UCD, to find out how this small island is making such a big impression around the world. “It was an overnight success that took 30 years, in a way,” Campbell says. “We have a lot of great architecture practices here, and a very strong reputation internationally.” Architecture aside, the Irish are well connected globally. There’s more of us off the island than on, with huge cities like Sydney, London, New York and Boston all filled with first, second and third generation Irish.

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Lansdowne Road: From old to new

There’s a lot of history at Lansdowne Road. Including the fact that 73,000 pints were sold on a single day match day recently. Dublin.ie stopped over for a visit to learn more. Ireland versus England at Lansdowne Road. One of the great sporting occasions at one of the great sporting arenas. But when these sides first met here, in 1876, it wasn’t rugby they were competing at. It was athletics. We won four events to their nine victories, one of which was the tug of war. The Lansdowne grounds, established by Henry Wallace Dunlop, opened in 1873 and soon provided a home for a brand new rugby club, Lansdowne, of which Dunlop was the founder. But the place als

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Meet a Dubliner – Joseph Kinvi, APNI co-founder

I moved to Ireland from Togo back in 2005, when I was 15 years old. I studied accounting and finance in DIT and then went on to train as a chartered accountant with EY. Last year was busy for me: I was one of the founder members of the African Professional Network of Ireland and I took a big leap out of the corporate world to move into a start-up. The Economic and Social Research Institute has shown that black African people have a more difficult time finding jobs, and are more likely to experience workplace discrimination. APNI is an important way of addressing this: if you know someone working in an

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Dublin Treasures – Áras an Uachtaráin

The people, places and things that make Dublin special. It is a cold sunny Saturday morning in late spring, and we’re having a coffee in the courtyard of the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, which is a find in itself. It is tucked away beyond the Walled Garden, which is getting geared up for the Bloom Flower Festival, which runs from late May. The rhubarb that grows there ends up in the tarts you can eat in the café next door. The fashion around us tends towards running gear. Babies who’ve been whisked out of the house early in the mornin

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Degrees of Research

What’s being discovered at Dublin’s third-levels? Postgraduate degrees are increasingly useful for people who want to stand out in the jobs market. Much of the focus here has tended to be on taught masters programmes, but the skills picked up during a masters by research or a doctoral (PhD) programme are invaluable: you will learn about how to research and evaluate information and then effectively communicate what you have learned. We spoke to four students about their research projects and what’s next for them. Lisa Koep, PhD candidate at the school of marketing in DIT’s college o

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Meet a Dubliner – Matthew Toman, Producer

I didn’t really like school that much. I’m dyslexic and I couldn’t handle it. I hated even reading at the time. I left school when I was 16 and got into a trade in air conditioning and refrigeration. I bought my first house when I was 19, my second when I was 22, my third when I was about 24. I rented out the houses and was involved in different businesses, investing money as well as working in refrigeration. In my early 20s, I had nice cars, everything was going great, I travelled all over the world and had a ball! I realised I liked the hustle and bustle behind the camera. It was being creative but it was still business, and I like dealing with people

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How Dublin Works: Eoin Redmond, Foreman

This is no occupation for old men – to twist what Yeats said. Wouldn’t mind but I’m not even that ancient. Climbing up all these flights of scaffolding. Then the scaffolding gives way to ladders. Ladders for a couple more floors. So the sweat is breaking out when we get up here: this windswept top floor with stunning views – if it was safe to stop watching your footing and look out on the city and the Liffey flowing into Dublin Bay.

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Welcome Home

The Irish diaspora is renowned around the globe. Our ex-patriots exert a powerful influence on how this small country is seen by the rest of the world – and in 2017, the last year for which figures are available, 30,800 people left home to join it. But hang on: in the same period about 27,400 returned to Ireland – a marked increase over the previous year. So why, all of a sudden, are we seeing a return of the Irish? Everyone has different reason for coming home, of course. We talked to Natasha, 25, about what prompted her return to Dublin after almost three years of travelling. I feel like your early 20s are precious for either of two different route

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The Iveagh Trust Museum Flat

It’s hard to imagine this little three-room flat was once home to a family of eight. Flat 3B, Bull Alley Estate on Patrick Street, is a cosy flat comprising of a living room and two bedrooms. It was home to the Molloy family and built by The Iveagh Trust. In 1890, Edward Cecil Guinness, the First Earl of Iveagh and grandson of the original Arthur Guinness, provided houses and amenities for working-class people with low incomes in Dublin. The Iveagh Building replaced some of the worst slum dwellings in Europe. At the time, these new flats were state of the art.

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A Literary Tour of Dublin

Joyce, O’Casey, Beckett – you can’t even cross the Liffey without acknowledging Dublin’s literary heritage in the names of its bridges. The ubiquitous blue plaques marking writers’ birthplaces and residences are in such abundance, we can lose sight of how spoiled we are for old haunts of the literary greats: Wittgenstein on Parkgate Street, Bernard Shaw on Synge Street, Bram Stoker on Marino Crescent – even the Irish Writers’ Centre on Parnell Square. So yes, for a thorough literary tour, there is the option to get out the map and go wandering. Make a Yeatsian pilgrimage to Sandymount Avenue to

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Dublin Uncovered: Howth

A closer look at Dublin’s neighbourhoods Nestled in the wild and bushy hillsides, overlooking the sea in north county Dublin, you’ll find Howth. A world away from the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s one of those precious resorts that make Dublin so unique: a seaside sanctuary for many Dubliners and tourists on the weekends. There are many treasures to be enjoyed here, history, hiking and seafood amongst them. The name Howth is thought to be of Norse origin. ‘Hoved’, meaning head, became Howth over the years. Originally an island, it’s now joined to the mainland in the form of a tombolo, as evidenced by the long sandy beaches.

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The Newspaper Vendor

4pm. O’Connell St. And it sounds like a Beckett play. Doom and gloom. Sitting and waiting. Waiting. Waiting for customers. “I suppose a fella gets to sit and read the paper all day. That’s what it’s come to,” says Austin Cregan, the third generation of his family to sell papers and magazines on the capital’s main street. Sitting in his kiosk near the Abbey St corner, Austin reaches behind him and takes out a laminated 2008 article from the Irish Times. It’s all about him and his father’s and grandfather’s life selling newspapers from the kiosk. “Read that,” he says to Dublin.ie. “Everything is in that. Excep

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From a Lithuanian lab to a Dublin cafe

If you went to school in Ireland in the late twentieth century you’d have been taught a lot about our nation’s struggle against imperial oppression. But other nations still in the clutches of various empires got short shrift from our school books. Latvia? Estonia? Lithuania? If we even knew they existed, we didn’t trouble to separate them in our minds from Russia. Sure weren’t they all just the Soviet Union – where girls fell in love with their tractors and unlucky dogs got sent into space? Indra Variakojiene didn’t have a tractor. In fact before she came to Ireland she worked as a chemical analyst – in a laboratory attached to a flour mill in Lithuan

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A City of Words: Stephen James Smith

On St. Patrick’s Day 2017, Stephen James Smith sat a few rows back from Michael D Higgins in the presidential stand outside the GPO. Sitting beside his father, he watched as the parade passed by on O’Connell Street. He thought about how bizarre the whole situation was. He felt humbled by the experience. Aware of the risk of getting a swelled head, he knew he had to stay focussed on the next project. Stephen had been commissioned by St. Patrick’s Festival to produce a poem in honour of our national holiday. The parade was inspired by Stephen’s words. “It was surreal,” he says. “Almost 20 years ago

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Restoring Bow Street Distillery

The old Jameson whiskey distillery is a beautiful and historic building in the heart of Dublin. It’s undergone numerous changes in its long life, the most recent of which has seen the building transformed into a spacious venue for distillery tours and events. As the project manager at the Jameson Brand Home, Paula Reynolds played a central role in the redevelopment of the site. “We were lucky in that the people working with us on the renovation managed to keep about 90 per cent of the original structures intact.” She points to the glass flooring we’re walking on. “Through the glass here you can see the original foundations of the distillery.” She points to

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Opera in the Dublin Multiplex

Opera could save the cinema – or kill itself Who likes the trailers? For many film fans, the previews of upcoming films are an integral part of the cinema experience. In recent years, however, most cinema-goers will have noticed a new phenomenon: less trailers for upcoming films and more for live opera and theatre, which is beamed into cinemas across the world. Cinemas love it. It attracts an older, wealthier demographic and often at times of the day when the cinema might not be very busy But who goes to the cinema to watch live opera and theatre? Actually, quite a few, says Christopher Morris, a professor of music at

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The Queen of Dublin, Panti Bliss

When the Marriage Equality referendum passed in May of 2015, Ireland’s dearest drag queen Panti Bliss took her place on the podium at Dublin Castle. Standing alongside Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams and Minister for Justice Francis Fitzgerald, she addressed the emotional crowd. Rory O’Neill’s alter ego, Panti, who had always been in the peripheral vision of the Irish people, was now front and centre having played a hugely important role in the Yes campaign. Today, Panti performs all over the world but is based in Dublin, even making her own mark on the cityscape. At dusk, the gloriously cartoonish PANTIBAR sig

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Dublin City Council Events

The Dublin City Council events team work to ensure that events delivered in Dublin City offer variety, deliver on fun and excitement and provide opportunities for everyone to enjoy and experience the City in a family-friendly inclusive and safe environment. We aim to promote the use of public spaces through our year-round programme of festivals and events that bring social, cultural and economic benefits to the city and help to grow tourist and local visitor numbers. We liaise directly with event organisers and event management companies to assist them with the delivery of safe, properly planned and managed events.

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Going it Alone

What happens when you choose the road less travelled and forgo a full-time college course on leaving school? We chat to Craig Andrew about what he did instead. The Leaving Cert can seem like the biggest thing in the world when you’re 18. It’s going to define the rest of your life. You’ve got to work hard if you want a job. You’ve got to work even harder if you want a well-paid job. And you’re just lucky if you enjoy it. That’s how Craig Andrew and many others felt when they were that tender age. “It’s not like I didn’t try,” Craig says. “But nothing really spoke to me that much. So I applied for stuff I thought was relevant, with help from guidance co

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Dublin Treasures – Phoenix Park Deer

The people, mammals, places and things that make Dublin special. A gang of lads. Shy, reserved, quiet. Just chewing the cud. Sure, every now and again there is a bit of jostling. Just like you would expect from a group of healthy young males. But there’s one thing you would not expect. And that’s the complete lack of interest in the women across the way. It’s almost like an old country ballroom. Men on one side. Women on the other. But come September, that will all change. Scents will be donned. Fights will be had. Women will be chased. Another generation will be born. So

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The Enduring Legacy of George Bernard Shaw

The story of the plaque on George Bernard Shaw’s birth house on Synge Street offers a keen insight into Shaw’s relationship with his native country. The proposed wording, “He gave his services to his country, unlimited, unstinted and without price” was rejected by Shaw as “a blazing lie.” The plaque now simply refers to him as “author of many plays”. Shaw’s small Synge Street home, where he lived an impoverished youth, is perhaps a symbol of our uncertainty about Shaw. Once a museum, it now stands empty, its fate uncertain – but often the people of a city create their own monuments. Last December, the street artist Fink was working on a mural outsid

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Dublin Treasures – The Five Lamps

‘Do you know the Five Lamps?’ If you’ve heard this question before - and been foolish enough to answer in the affirmative - you’ll know not to answer it again. Essentially it’s a peculiarly Dublin way to tell someone to shut-up or to feck-off: ‘Do you know the Five Lamps? Well go hang your bollox off them!’. No one actually knows how this old saying originated. Well, how could they? But hats off to whichever Dublin wit it was who came up with it. Now it’s part of inner city Dublin culture. The lamps in question are in Dublin’s North Strand area, situated at the junction of five streets: Portland Row, North Strand Road, Seville Place, Amiens Street and Killarney Street. There it is, sitting an island in the middle of the road: a decorative five-branched lamp-post.

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Run This Town: Traffic Control

The eyes of the city: Andrew Harris, Dublin’s traffic control room supervisor. ‘There’s always someone looking at you’ sang Dublin band the Boomtown Rats in 1979. Today in the city that someone is Andrew Harris and his staff at the Traffic Control Room. They monitor the screens in their room in Wood Quay, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They’ve got 300-odd cameras in locations all over the city – with forty more on the way. Some of them you can see – up at the top of street lights, for instance. But it’s the ones you can’t se

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Creative Dublin: The Design House

Half way down Dawson Street, nestled away in an old Georgian building, is the Design House – a thriving hub of creativity. The Design House was founded by Irish fashion designer, Bebhinn Flood. It’s the creative home to several in-house designers. With design and retail under the one roof, it’s like buying straight from the studios. The hallways host a gallery of art. Over 60 designers, mostly Irish, sell their creations here. Cutting-edge fashion, jewellery, bridal, vintage and a variety of crafts all in the one beautiful Georgian building. Not to mention the authentic Italian café in the basement, which has just

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The LGBTQ student experience in Dublin

Dublin is a friendly and welcoming place for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) students. Third-levels all have LGBTQ societies, while the city’s bars, restaurants and clubs are welcoming spaces. Dublin.ie spoke to three LGBTQ students about their experience of the city. Growing up gay or bisexual can be tough. Being a young transgender person can be even harder. But in recent years, Ireland has come on in leaps and bounds. Organisations like youth support group BeLonGTo and the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (Teni)

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St Patrick’s Festival 2018 – a city en fête

There is a tendency, when you’re Irish, to take the celebrations of Saint Patrick’s Day for granted – until you spend it somewhere else. A couple of years ago, I was working in London’s Canary Wharf for Saint Patrick’s Day. Looking out the window of a fifteenth-floor office, the only break of green in the glass and steel metropolis was some hastily painted inaccurate shamrocks on the windows of an empty pub across the street. With n’er a silly hat in sight, I was never more Irish than I was that day, listening to Raglan Road in my cubicle. Growing up, St Patrick’s Day was the day to break Lent and crack open the sweet jar. A day for your granny to cut off a l

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Dublin Treasures – Stillorgan Shopping Centre

1966 was the 50th anniversary of the 1916 Rising. De Valera was president. Nelson’s Pillar was blown up. In the same year the Bishop of Clonfert protested about a guest on The Late Late Show who told host Gay Byrne that she hadn't worn a nightie on her wedding night. ‘66 also saw the opening of Ireland’s first shopping centre, in Stillorgan, south county Dublin. For generations of Southsiders – and especially their children - Stillorgan Shopping Centre was a place of magic, glamour and excitement. It gave us a glimpse of the USA: a wonderland of airy spaces and covered walkways arranged around a capacious car park.

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Fenu Health: From School Room to Startup

Secondary school is a time to hang out with your friends, do some study and grow as a person. But two teenage sisters at Loreto College on Stephen’s Green in Dublin have also found the time to found and develop Fenu Health, a thriving, multi-award winning equine health business with a worldwide customer base. Annie and Kate Madden, aged 15 and 16, are the eldest of four children. Annie is in third year and Kate is in fifth year. They live in Summerhill, Co Meath, with their parents and younger brother and sister. “We grew up with horses for sport, not business, and we’ve been riding since we could walk,” they say.

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Dublin in Blue

“There’s always been a bit of an audience for Blues in Dublin” On a dark Wednesday evening you walk into the Leeson Lounge on Upper Leeson Street. It’s a great place to take refuge from the rain, the cold, or whatever is on your mind. You grab a stool and a pint. Some musicians are playing. At first you don’t take any notice. Then something happens: your left foot starts tapping. Some of the songs feel old, or of a different time, but here there’s new life being given to them. Very soon it’s hard to take your eyes from the stage. The band is Los Paradiso, and the music they’re playing is the

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Creative Dublin: Fuchsia MacAree, Illustrator

Dublin based illustrator Fuchsia MacAree has a range of work full of unusual characters, bright colours and quirky maps. She’s been freelancing since finishing college, working with a regular client base, taking on bigger projects and teaching part-time in NCAD. Dublin.ie sat down for a chat to find out more. Dublin.ie: How did you get into illustration? Fuchsia MacAree (FM): I’m from Killaloe originally. I studied Visual Communications in NCAD. I thought I wanted to do graphic design, then outside of college, I was illustrating for local magazines. I realised, illustration didn

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NCAD: Bringing Art to the City’s Heart

Art College is a waste of time, right? Not so: The National College of Art & Design is really punching above its weight and is intent on disproving the lazy stereotypes about art students. Its annual showcase has become an art and design highlight in the city, featuring painting, product design, sculpture, fashion and more. Meanwhile, its fashion students have been awarded top prizes both here and abroad and the college is climbing the QS world college rankings. Luncheonette, their basement café, happens to be one of the best lunch spots in the city, and it’s open to the general public. And the students bring

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A City of Words: John Cummins

Phil Lynott, Dr Seuss and Eminem stroll into a bar. They sit down, have a few drinks and start to have a raucously good time. That’s the sort of vibe you get from writer and performance poet, John Cummins. John would argue that Bob Marley has a place at the table too. “Bob Marley was huge where I was growing up. You’d hear him out of literally every window. And sure Dalymount Park was one of his last gigs.” John cuts a curious figure. Skinny. Tall. Thin. Bearded. But with a wild braided bardic beard, not a hipster one. Overall there’s a gentle, affable groove to

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Dublin’s Moving Statues

We’ve a bit of an aul obsession with statues here in Dublin, the nature of which has changed a bit over the centuries, years and months. First it was commissioning them, and boy did we commission them like they were going out of fashion, commemorating and solidifying in bronze the likenesses and memories of all the great political, cultural, fictional and notional heroes of our times. Then, for a short period there in the mid 80s, the 1980s that is, inspired by a reported 30 sightings up and down the country of statues of the Virgin Mary moving, we saw people, whether they went to mass or not, gathering at grottos outside churches all over the capital and its suburbs wan

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The Third Level: The Lir Academy

Grand Canal Dock is home to more than just the tech companies it’s famous for. That dark grey contemporary building with unusual green bubbles on the front is The Lir – Ireland’s National Academy of Dramatic Art. Its courses are developed in association with London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and its reputation is enviable. Acting is not for the faint hearted though; it takes a certain type of determination and passion. ‘It’s…satisfying to me, going through a script and having to do it night and night again. Every moment is live and there is no second take’, explains final year acting student, Damian G

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Vintage at The Harlequin

Dublin’s vintage scene is thriving. With more vintage stores opening in the city centre, the competition is hotting-up, but so is the demand. So, why the sudden increase in vintage fashion? The inclusion of vintage inspirations by current fashion designers and the media has driven a change in people’s attitudes towards wearing second-hand clothes. You could say the recession has had an impact too. People are more resourceful because of it. They’re more likely to buy second hand now and generally the clothes are longer lasting than high street fashion. There’s also the fact that, thanks to a recent surge in bohemian and hipster trends, Dubliners are striving for mor

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Seven Stories of Creativity – Tony O’Connor, The Jeweller

We all know Grand Canal as the home of Google but unbeknownst to many, tucked among the tech giants is a building where ancient crafts are still practised, THE DESIGN TOWER. The Tower’s seven stories of studios play host to jewellers, fashion designers, conservationists and more. Dublin.ie is going behind the tower’s walls to meet the craftspeople working there, including Tony O’Connor of JewelleryRepair.ie. I’ve been here longer than my own house. I started my apprenticeship here in a different jewellery company

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The Third Level: From Vermont to Dublin

Ireland has the second highest percentage of people with a third level degree in Europe. Whether it’s family tradition, student life or affordable fees in comparison to our counterparts, our third level system is highly popular. It’s also enticing a lot of international students to the country. Ben Campbell-Rosbrook is originally from Syracuse in upstate New York but has come to Ireland to do his master’s in Trinity College. ‘I’m spending like half or a third of the fees to do my masters here, compared to America’, notes Ben. ‘I think a lot of students in America get the sense that the system is stacked against them.

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The Flower Ladies of Grafton Street

Wrapped from head to toe against the hostile elements, surrounded by a riot of colour which cuts a sharp contrast with the grey February day, meet the flower ladies of Grafton Street. They say the ladies are “the heart and soul of Grafton Street” and what helps save the road from becoming just another English high street. You’ll find the ladies bringing both wit and colour to the corners of Chatham, Harry and Duke Streets. Tina Kelly tells us she’s been selling flowers all her life, starting off aged 12 helping her mother when Grafton St still had two-way traffic. She has seen a lot come and go from her perch on Duke Street. Tina tells Dublin.ie that one time she even met The Duke himself. “Yeah I met John Wayne.” “Sure I met them all,” she adds. “Sean Connery… I was talking away to him, Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan, Lisa Stanfield. I met an awful lot of them. And sure Eric Clapton, well I was talking to him on the street for nearly two hours and I hadn’t a clue who he was.” A natural born story teller, you can tell Tina enjoys the banter that comes with the trade. Many of the customers are obviously regulars as there’s lots of first name usage. Sister-in-law Susanne, who mans the Harry Street corner, says “you have to enjoy talking to people.” And in case we hadn’t noticed, she adds: “Now I would be a talker!” The Kelly name is synonymous with flowers on Grafton Street going way back, Susanne says. “Now I married into the Kelly family,” she says adding that she comes from a family of boxers. My grandfather was Spike McCormick.”

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How Dublin works: Nobó

Dublin company Nobó launched its ‘Frozen Goodness’ dairy-free and gluten-free ice cream four years ago. It’s gathered a bunch of prestigious awards since then and is distributed nationwide in Ireland. You’ll also find it in stores across the UK – and in Waitrose in the Dubai Mall. Dublin.ie talked to the husband and wife team behind the brand, Rachel and Brian Nolan. Dublin.ie: Nobó isn’t some marketing gimmick, is it? It’s a real innovation. Rachel: Definitely it is in terms of the ingredients. There are other dairy-free ice-cr

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15 minutes… on O’Connell Bridge

Stand in one spot for long enough and you get to witness some pretty interesting stuff. The ground rumbles beneath my feet with the Luas works and its accompanying symphony of pneumatic drills and heavy machinery, played expertly by men in high vis jackets and hard hats. Lorries laden with cement and rubble pass left and right. Double decker after double decker stream from the quays onto the bridge. The middle-aged woman weighed down with Arnott’s bags runs past me for the stop, panting. Her bus is pulling away. She’s distraught. Maybe she has some sentimental link to that particular bus; another one with the same number is waiting at the lights on O’Connell Street, a minut

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World-class teacher: Luke O’Neill, immunologist

As Professor Luke O’Neill discovered recently, when you become a fellow of the extremely exclusive and august science club that is the Royal Society, you have to sign their book. Previous signatories include Newton, Boyle, Freud and Einstein (Oh, and superstar astrophysicist Brian Cox). Which makes the process rather nerve-wracking, according to O’Neill, a biochemist at Dublin’s Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute and one of the world’s leading immunologists. Luke O’Neill: There’s a practice, you don’t want to smudge your name! Dublin.ie: That’s quite some company you’re keeping there - but what do all you science guys have in common? Luke O’Neill: Science is trying to find stuff out. You can call it exploration, you can call it pioneering, frontier stuff because it’s all about making discoveries. We are explorers, that’s our job, that’s what attracted me to it. I wanted to see something nobody’s seen before. And in my case, luckily enough in my lab we probably had three big discoveries that made a big difference: we explored the immune system and saw things there for the first time. The next step is there’s a whole new pathway or process discovered - and of course the thrill would be if that was a dysfunction or a disease because then you might try and correct it. Once you find the enemy, you might be able to design a new medicine that might beat it. Dublin.ie: So you’re a biochemist and not an ordinary one? Luke O’Neill: I’m a bit of a schizophrenic! I was interested in chemistry anyway and biochemistry is chemistry writ large: if you want to understand something you’ve got to understand the chemical basis for things - and biochemistry is the basis for life. If we understand the chemicals of life wouldn’t that be a thrilling thing? One comparison is with genetics: geneticists don’t really go beyond the genes, you know – and I want to know the real fundamentals. Like genes makes proteins, but what do they do? I was always obsessed with true mechanism – the underlying mechanism, the very basics of how things work. I’ve always been obsessed with molecular things in a sense.

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Cutting A Fine Figure

From one chair to three shops – the success of Cut & Sew Barbershop culture is on the rise in Dublin. Barbershops are becoming cultural hotspots. Places you can go not only for a haircut, but for music, design or even a whiskey. By taking the best of New York’s barbershops and adding a touch of creativity and an Irish welcome, Sean Bryan of Cut & Sew has built his business from one chair in the basement of a record shop to three stores in Dublin’s city centre. And he isn’t finished yet. Dublin.ie caught up with Sean to see what’s behind his success. Sean left school after

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The Third Level: Life at Trinity Medical

Medicine in Trinity College is known as one of the most difficult courses to get into in Ireland. These students will play a major role in the future of healthcare, in Ireland and worldwide. Someday your life might just depend on one. During placement at hospital, some of these students will experience things that most of us will never see. They’ll witness life-changing moments and hear about difficult upbringings and tragic back- stories. “Sometimes I’ve taken a step back and thought, oh I’m very lucky to never have had any of those issues” says Aisling Hickey, a Trinity medicine student. Aisling is currently in fourth year of the course and on placement.

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Talking business

You’re the HR manager at a Dublin-based corporate. Your new hire has everything you need. Well, nearly everything. All they lack is the conversational English they’ll need for you to get the best out of them. Which is a pity – because that vital project starts in two weeks’ time. You need to talk to Salvatore Fanara and Rosanna Fiorenza of Travelling Languages. But first, romance. He was an engineer from southern Sicily. She was a banker from Turin. It was 2006. Salvatore: We met in Turin a few weeks before we moved to Ireland. Rosanna: He told me that he was planning to go somewhere to improve his English. Salvatore: We were looking to do something different, to make a big change. Rosanna: I decided: look, I’ll quit my job, we’ll pack and we’ll go. Salvatore: London, Dublin, Edinburgh…? In the end we just packed the car and we drove from Turin to Dublin. Rosanna: I worked in banks for another 7 years here. But I‘d had enough of banking, finance, I wanted to change, I wanted to do something else. So we brainstormed. Salvatore: I remember thinking that if I wanted to scale up my own working life I really needed to get up to speed properly from a language perspective with someone who’s not Italian. The starting point was when we realized that a lot of people weren’t satisfied in terms of the results they were getting from traditional language programmes: we’d identified a gap in the market. Rosanna: We came up with the idea for Travelling Languages in 2011 and I finally quit my job in 2013.

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Creative Dublin: James Earley, Street Artist

Adding colour to the walls across Dublin, James Earley is bringing street art out of its sub-cultured roots. By spray painting concepts onto walls, Earley is proving that street art is more than just stylistic. Dublin.ie: How do you feel street artists are perceived? James Earley: Some people have this idea that as a street artist, you could be stand-offish, but that’s not the case at all. The majority of us are very open and want to get people involved. I’ve met a lot of people when I’m working on walls in the city, asking ‘will ya put my name on it’ or ‘can I have a go’ – they’re gas craic! I used to d

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Supernatural Dublin – Marsh’s Library

This library has more than just books as residents… Marsh’s library is located behind Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. It’s Ireland’s oldest public library. Inside, the library is, for the most part, untouched, remaining beautiful. Marsh’s Library is one of the very few 18th century buildings left in Dublin that is still being used for its original purpose. It’s made up of two long galleries, joined by a small reading room. Books are shelved in bays on either side of the gallery. The interior of the library has elegant dark oak bookcases filled with old books. Bookcases are complete with rolling ladders and walking through the gallery almost feels like a journey throu

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The Forty Foot

It’s an addiction. It’s life threatening. It’s awesome. Huddling together in the bitter cold, on Friday the 13th, under a weak and feeble January sun, they all argue that there’s nothing better. Sure, there’s dramatic stories of nearly dying. But the group is adamant that the buzz is worth it. Great, they say, for the mental health. “It’s the perfect anti-depressant,” photographer Barry Delaney says. Listening to them, you hear the language of addiction, of love, of religion even. I didn’t miss a single day last year. I would feel absolutely guilty if I did Welcome to Sandycove’s famous Forty Foot and

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Food for Thought

What sets Europe’s largest culinary school apart? The School of Culinary Arts, DIT Cathal Brugha Street has been blazing trails for almost 80 years. Dublin.ie met with the Head and Assistant Head of the school, Dr Frank Cullen and Mike J. O Connor to find out what sets Cathal Brugha Street apart and what the future and the move to DIT’s new centralised campus at Grangegorman hold. The School opened its doors in June 1941 as Saint Mary’s College of Domestic Science. In the 1950s the college changed to cater to the needs of a growing tourism industry, becoming the Dublin Colle

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How Dublin Works: The Guinness Enterprise Centre

The Guinness Enterprise Centre, on Taylor’s Lane in the heart of Dublin’s Liberties, is managed by Dublin Business Innovation Centre and has been named the no.1 university associated business incubation centre in the world. In the first of two articles about the GEC, Dublin.ie talks to Eamonn Sayers, the centre’s manager since 2011. Dublin.ie: I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve got an idea. What can the GEC do for me here? Eamonn Sayers: The first step here is that we’ll try and put you in front of an entrepreneur who’s in the same industry. We’ll say have a chat with this person, see what they’re thinking. If you’ve identified your target market, again we’ll say we know someone here who’s in the same market and they’ll have a coffee with you too. Dublin.ie: Then what happens? Eamonn Sayers: Our role here is to help your company grow and scale. We help to make it become better and we help to make you a better entrepreneur. We create an environment and a community and a sense of belonging that makes entrepreneurs very comfortable, makes them enjoy the fact that this is their office, this is their workplace, so that both the entrepreneur and their teams are in the best place to grow their businesses.

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Dublin Treasures – Sweny’s Pharmacy

The people, places and things that make Dublin special. Tucked away on Lincoln place, in the heart of Dublin’s south inner city, is Sweny’s pharmacy. It was made famous by the James Joyce novel, Ulysses. Sweny’s is no longer a working pharmacy, but a key part of Dublin’s culture and nostalgia. It’s run by volunteers to maintain its original 1850’s Victorian style – made obvious by the mahogany counter and old glass cabinets outlining the room. Shelves of unopened medicine bottles and old photographs sit in the cabinets, still waiting to be collected. The original chemists sign is still intact, proving that this place has not lost its charm!

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Freedom of the City

Remember where the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood took place? Or Hansel & Gretel? Well, these days, it’s not stories of the deep, dark woods parents try to spook their children with, but the bright lights of the city. Maybe they’re afraid of them growing up too quick, of venturing out into the big wide world. It’s all futile, however, because for a kid reared out in the suburbs, the ambition always is to be able to go into town one day, sans parents. It was interesting speaking to one such teen, Eric, now at the ripe old age of 16, to see how much has changed and how much has stayed the same. He recalled with us he and his friends’ first excursion, and ex

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Is Northside/Southside still a thing?

Remember when whether you lived on the Northside or the Southside of Dublin was a really big deal? Like, practically life-or-death? No? Well then either you’re not originally from around these parts, or you moved around in circles that never saw you encountering anyone from the other side of the Liffey. God forbid. So how deep did this, this rivalry we could call it, go? Well, think of it like this – there are those who would refuse to go to Dunne’s Stores in the Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre if they hadn’t got the slippers they were after in Dunne’s Stores over in the Ilac. We’re talking garlic-to-a-vampire type of aversion here. The side of the Liffey on

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Dublin Treasures – Malahide Castle

The people, places and things that make Dublin special. Set on 260 acres of parkland in the seaside town of Malahide, 16 km north of Dublin, Malahide Castle was home to the Talbot family from 1185 to 1975. The atmospheric castle – yes, there are ghosts – is furnished with period furniture and a large collection of Irish portraiture on loan from the National Gallery. Four main rooms are open to the public: the wood-panelled Oak room, the Small and Great Drawing Rooms and the Great Hall, where an exhibition records the history of the family who lived at the castle for almost 800 years.

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Language Dublin: Alliance Française

The Alliance Francaise Dublin is a French language and cultural centre which also hosts a French Multimedia Library. Philippe Milloux has been its director for four years. Dublin.ie met him in his elegant corner office at the former premises of the Kildare Street Club, home to the Alliance since 1960. A framed Charlie Hebdo cover hangs on the wall. The ideals of the Enlightenment, of debate and of the freedom of expression are important to M. Milloux. But so is romance. Dublin.ie: What were your impressions of Dublin when you first came here? PM: When I arrived first I f

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How Dublin Works: Dublin Couriers

Pushbike couriers. You see them milling about on Dublin’s city streets every day. And if you don’t know one, or have never been one, they can be the subject of some curiosity. Why would you want to do that for a living? Is it a real job? Could you live on the money they make? Is it dangerous? Are they crazy? Well, seeing as I used to be one, I can answer some of these questions. But given that was back in the mid to late nineties, I caught up with one of them briefly, one who worked the streets at the time I did, and just so happens to be still out there. The big theme of our chat revolved around how much the city and the job has changed. I always remember couri

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The Guinness Ladies and Hoggers

Guinness has long been part of Dublin’s history and it’s not just the drinking of the black stuff that we’re talking about either. There’s all the industry and activity that surrounds its brewing and its distribution too – and all the memories that are associated with them. Up to 1961, for instance, the barges transporting wooden casks of Guinness along the Liffey would have been a familiar sight. In those days, of course, the Liffey did more than just divide the city in two. It was a major thoroughfare as well. There were six Guinness barges, each named after a Dublin suburban locality: Castleknock, Killiney, Sandyford, Howth, Clonsilla and Seapoint. The bargeme

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2016 in Dublin moments

Through losing stage and screen legends, 1916 Rising commemorations, The Boss in Croke Park, the birth of a baby elephant and retaining Sam Maguire. It's been quite a year for the county. True, every year has its ups and downs. But surely 2016 was more uppy and downy than most. So let’s kick off with an up - about 20 storeys up, as it happens.

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Christmas Eve: My Christmas Day

“Christmas comes but once a year”, they say, to which I always reply, “But Christmas Eve comes first!” Not just because of the fact it comes a day earlier, but because it happens to be my favourite day of the year. As some friends and colleagues sleep off the night before and relish their lie-ins (which won’t feel as sweet given that Christmas Eve falls on a Saturday this year), I’m up and out the door, observing my own personal tradition of taking a long walk out into the middle of Dublin Bay or, in other words, along The South Wall. The view from the lighthouse at the end of the pier is stunning at any time of the year, but it’s something special on this pa

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Dublin On Stage: The Abbey Theatre

“The Abbey is your national theatre. We are here to tell your stories.” These were the words of Neil Murray, recently appointed alongside Graham McLaren as one of the Abbey’s new directors. And the Abbey itself has long been part of our city’s story. Nestled in the bustle at the heart of Dublin 1, amidst the comings and goings from Busaras and Connolly station, the Luas clangs past its door, and the Liffey’s squawking seagulls are within earshot. President Michael D Higgins regularly attends opening nights, a straight run for him down the quays from the big house in the park. The last t

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Stallholders of George’s Street Arcade

George’s Street Arcade is Ireland’s first purpose-built shopping centre, and one of Europe’s oldest, having been built in 1881. We popped in to talk to a few of the stallholders. Milo Póil, Man of Aran Fudge I’m here in the Arcade just over two years, my third Christmas! I am the son of The Man of Aran Fudge! It’s my dad who makes all this stuff, he’s being doing it for 20 years now. It’s actually a family recipe. It’s my Grandmother’s recipe, well, the tiger butter flavour anyway. That recipe was made 90+ years ago with only a few changes! This is one of the only permanent stalls of ours. We’ve another on Ínis Óirr, which is

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Look What’s Popping Up: Fumbally Exchange

It’s been going on for a while. You might call it a movement - a revolution of sorts – but it’s certainly a good idea. It’s the pop-up. Pop-up shops and pop-up spaces have become an increasingly common sight. At Dublin.ie, we wanted to know more. First things first: they don’t go pop, and they’re not inflatable. The term pop-up can cover a lot. But in essence, we’re talking artists, designers and businesses getting the chance to make use of premises they wouldn’t otherwise have access to – all those shops and work spaces that closed during the recession because their tenants couldn’t afford the rent anymore.

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The National Gallery: ‘Say What You See’

In a picture painted in 1916, Joanne Drum points out a dead body on O’Connell Bridge. In another picture, she spots a group of onlookers gathered high up on the parapet of a building. And in another she notices what’s written on the destination plate of a tram (Terenure) on College Green in 1901. Joanne is Education Officer at the National Gallery on Merrion Square. Joanne Drum: If you look at a picture with somebody standing beside you saying “have you noticed that tiny detail up in the corner?’, sometimes that can really bring it to life and make the whole experience more meaningful. More rich. Dublin.ie: This is the National Gallery of Ireland. But plenty of your pictures have Dublin as their subject, don’t they? Joanne Drum: Look at the work of Jack B Yeats – not only was he working in Dublin but he was painting and drawing and sketching what he saw around him all the time so he was kind of documenting the history of this city. And he was there at such an important time in history. This is a man who not only lived through two world wars but also all the conflict and change that was happening in Ireland at the time as well.

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Meet a Dubliner – Ciaran Butler, Smithfield Market Trader

I’m up at four in the morning. The first thirty years are the hardest! After that you’re just up and out. I tippy-toe out the door so I don’t wake the family. I’ve worked six days a week here for thirty years. My father worked here too. I love it. There’s nowhere else in the city that is alive like this market at five o’clock in the morning. It’s bustling with characters, it’s got a heartbeat of its own at that time of the morning. And that’s uplifting. There’s a good bunch of lads there. They’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with you. We’re working under stressful conditions. This morning was two degrees. There was frost on the window, it was bloody freezing - that’s when the character comes out. I’ve got five layers on today. That’s for two degrees. You want to see minus two!

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A City of Words: Dublin Comedy Improv

You walk up the side stairs of the International Bar. On Wicklow Street. You stroll into a dark room. You pay a fiver. You instantly hear laughter. You’ve just made the smart move to go the Dublin Comedy Improv. Going since 1992, DCI is a true institution, a little gem in the city. Kicking off at 9pm, it’s been up there adding big grins to grim Mondays for 25 years. I’ve seen a lot of lesser acts labelled ‘cult’ over the years. But this crew earn the accolade. Looking at these dudes

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Dublin Flea Christmas Market

The Dublin Flea Christmas Market is heading back for a third year in a row at The Point Village. From Thursday December 7th to Sunday December 10th the shopping centre will be transformed into a winter wonderland filled with over 100 stalls selling the flea market’s usual retro and vintage wares alongside Irish craft and design. Once again, the market is supported by Dublin City Council and Dublin.ie. We sat down with half of the four-person team behind Dublin Flea, Sharon Greene and Dave Dunn to find out what makes the Christmas Flea Market so special.

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The Third Level: IADT

IADT is Dublin’s Institute of Art Design and Technology and inside the walls, it’s alive with ideas, creativity - and a girl who hula-hoops every single day! The college is situated in Dún Laoghaire – Dublin’s picturesque coastal town - and it’s home to 2,300 students and staff. Being only 12km from the city centre means “the students have the option of hanging out in Dún Laoghaire or making the trip to the city centre” says Students’ Union president, Alice Hartigan. Conveniently, it’s on the 46A bus route, the one they voted Dublin’s favourite bus route of all time: check out the views from the top deck!

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Seven Stories of Creativity – Anne O’ Mahony, The Dressmaker

We all know Grand Canal as the home of Google but unbeknownst to many, tucked among the tech giants is a building where ancient crafts are still practised, THE DESIGN TOWER. The Tower’s seven stories of studios play host to jewellers, fashion designers, conservationists and more. After meeting Violinmaker, Michiel De Hoog Dublin.ie revisited the Tower and met Dressmaker Anne O’ Mahony. Anne O’ Mahony creates made-to-measure pieces as well as costumes for film and theatre, including The Gate’s recent pr

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Museum Dublin: IMMA Freud

The afternoon is full of orange light and autumn leaves when I make my way down the path into IMMA. Not that all this gentle nature would have been of much artistic concern to Lucian Freud, the new star of the show around these parts. Freud was a visceral painter of the flesh, fascinated by the heft of a belly or the sag of the skin. Every good painting requires a little bit of poison, he said. IMMA’s new collection, The Freud Project, is comprised of fifty paintings and etchings on loan from private collections. The IMMA Garden Galleries are now the Freud Centre and there I meet Patricia Brennan of the Visitor Engagement Team who is happy to share some of her knowledge of the modern master.

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Sounds of Dublin: St. Patrick’s Cathedral Bells

“I mean if you could bottle it...”. Derek McEndoo is talking about the sound of his favourite church bells. Dublin.ie caught up with him to discuss all things bell ringing and, in particular, we wanted to find out about the bells at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the National Cathedral of Ireland. He just happens to be the Ringing Master at St. Pat’s. Yes, Ringing Master. We’re talking to the right man and he’s been ringing for over fifty years. Derek is very quick to point out that he was a young starter.

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Dublin Uncovered: Fairview

Fairview has been a part of suburban Dublin since the 1800s. In the beginning it was a refuge for well-off people seeking solace from the bustling city. The area originally bore the same name as neighbouring Ballybough. But in 1856 a church was dedicated to Our Lady of Fair View, giving the surrounding area the name used today. Walk through Fairview and you’ll feel its unique vibe. It’s like a cross between the Liberties and Clontarf. Trendy bars and eateries sit comfortably alongside hardware stores and charity shops that have been here for years. Families who have been in the area for generations live happily alongside a metropolitan mix of young professionals.

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How Dublin Works: Jam Art Factory

Dublin.ie talks to Mark Haybyrne of Jam Art Factory about his family business and the future of Irish art and design. Since 2011 brothers Mark and John Haybyrne have been showcasing the best of contemporary Irish art and design in their store, Jam Art Factory. Stocking a range of Irish art and design they give independent artists – such as illustrator Claudine O’Sullivan, Arty Smarty Jewellery and KaroArt Ceramics - a platform to exhibit and sell their work. Having started in the Liberties, they now have another thriving store in Temple Bar and ship internationally from jamartfactory.com.

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Dublin Treasures – Leo Burdock’s, Dublin’s Oldest Chipper

When Justin Timberlake’s parents were there, where was Justin? This is a legitimate question when you look up at the Leo Burdock's Hall Of Fame. Justin’s parents are listed on the wall, while he himself is notably absent. The chipper is renowned for pulling in big names and listing them proudly on its wall. Spandau Ballet, Ray Charles, Ben Kinsley, even Edith Piaf. A possible supergroup? Bruce Springsteen was there just a few months ago. And he’s been before – the Boss is known for his love of fish and chips. They pull in other names too. Local ones, maybe less well known, who come time and time again.

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Horticultural Dublin: The Bots

First things first: The Bots. What is it? “The Bots” is how teachers and students refer to The Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture, located at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin. They’ve been teaching there since 1812 so there’s quite a bit of history. For our first instalment of Horticultural Dublin we want to find out about this unique institution hidden away in the suburbs. To investigate, we’ve enlisted some people on the inside. We’ve got John Mulhern, Principal of the College, and prized former pupil, Gary Mentanko. John has been with Teagasc, a wider authority on agriculture and food development, for 20-odd years. Gary studied Horticulture at the Bots and has also conducted Horticultural work in the Arctic. We’ll come back to that.

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Dublin Outdoors – Niall Davis, Biking.ie

A stone’s throw from the city (this could depend on one’s throwing arm), there’s something extreme going on. Tyres hitting gravel and muck at speed. That’s all we’ll say for the moment, we’ll let Niall Davis from Biking.ie do the talking. Quick note: a “spin” for the uninitiated, like ourselves, is going out on your mountain bike. Dublin.ie: Tell us a bit about Biking.ie? Niall: We’ve two locations, one in the Dublin mountains [Ticknock] and one in the Wicklow mountains [Ballinastoe]. From both those hubs we run bike rentals, lessons, tours, and we act as an information or

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Dublin Canvas

A series of colourful traffic signal boxes has added art to the streets of Dublin city as part of the Dublin Canvas project. It’s probably the first time most of us have even noticed these boxes; their old dull appearance was nothing to admire. Now works of art, they showcase the artistic talents of people across Dublin. Dublin Canvas is a community street art project, its main goal to make the city more beautiful, and it has definitely achieved it. David Murtagh, the project coordinator has given us some background on the project. Dublin.ie: When did the project start? David: The project started in 2013.

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Conor Dodd and Luke Portess, Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum

Glasnevin cemetery is the dead centre of Dublin, with 1.5 million people buried there. In fact, there are more people below ground in Glasnevin than above ground in all of Dublin. This is no ordinary cemetery, with a list of historical figures buried here including Michael Collins, Eamon de Valera, Charles Stewart Parnell and Arthur Griffith. Conor Dodd, Historian at Glasnevin, and Luke Portess, Head of Digital, tell us some of the lesser known, more unusual stories about Glasnevin. Dublin.ie: The cemetery is a working cemetery, with funerals and burials on a daily basis, but there

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Supernatural Dublin – Vampire capital of the world

We’re proud of our vampire writers in Dublin. And we’re right to be. If you were selecting an all-time first XI of authors in this, well, vein, then Bram Stoker and Sheridan Le Fanu would be first and second on your list. Stoker, creator of the world’s most important male vampire in the world (Dracula) was born in Clontarf. Sheridan Le Fanu, creator of the pre-eminent female vampire (Carmilla), was born on Dominick Street. But then what happened? Was the city of their birth so thick with inspiration (Marsh’s Library, St Michan’s church, etc) that when they came to write fiction (mostly in England), vampires naturally suggested themselves as subjects. Or was there

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Game Season

We are lucky to live in a city where fantastic local produce is readily available, and game is no exception. Game season is well under way with venison in stores since September and grouse, pigeon and pheasant available from next week. People can often be intimidated by game. But it can be treated like any other meat. You can roast, pan-fry or braise it, just watch out for the shot! With such an abundance of options on our doorstep it would be a shame not to avail of this great resource. Dublin.ie visited some of the best places to buy game in Dublin to see what’s on offer, so that come next week you will be well equipped to cook a hearty, seasonal and local meal.

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Dublin Voices: Dublin City Marathon 2016

Four years and seven days ago I swore “never again”. I’d just completed the Dublin Marathon in 3 hours 51 minutes, and my right leg had swollen to twice the size of my left. You see, I’d been advised not to take part in intensive physical activities since breaking my leg in four places playing football, which had resulted in nine operations. But I’m stubborn I guess. And I was grand, after a few weeks of soreness and swelling. Six months ago, I decided that I needed to challenge myself again. I hate the gym. I’m not a fan of classes where you look steadfastly into your own pained face in the mirror for

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Jenny Siung, Chester Beatty Library

Dubliners know where to find Armageddon, The Whore of Babylon and The Seven Headed Beast. They’re in the Book of Revelations. But where would you find the actual book? Well it so happens that most probably the earliest copy in existence (it’s called Papyrus 47) is right here in Dublin, at the Chester Beatty Library. It’s just one of the myriad treasures of this museum (it’s way more than just a library, folks). There are Egyptian Books of the Dead, Japanese picture scrolls, Art Deco French book bindings: the range and depth of the collection is extraordinary. Chester Beatty himself – the man who made this collection – was a

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Seven Stories Of Creativity – Michiel DeHoog, The Violinmaker

We all know Grand Canal as the home of Google but unbeknownst to many, tucked among the tech giants is a building where ancient crafts are still practised, The Design Tower. The Tower’s seven stories of studios play host to jewellers, fashion designers, conservationists and more. The Tower started its life as a sugar refinery in 1862. In 1978 the IDA bought the Tower to form part of their Enterprise Centre with the aim of preserving and restoring it to create a home for many of Dublin’s craftspeople. Today this enterprise is managed by Trinity College. Dublin.ie is going behind the tower walls and

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Supernatural Dublin – St. Michan’s Church

Do the vaults really contain the restless spirits of the dead? St. Michan’s Church is situated behind Dublin’s Four Courts on Church Street. It was originally founded in 1095 and is the oldest parish church on the north side of Dublin. The church was rebuilt in 1685 and contains a large pipe organ which Handel is said to have played during the first ever performance of his ‘Messiah’. The church is still a fully functioning church with mass every second Sunday. The interior is little changed since Victorian times but what lies beneath is even more fascinating. Under the church, through large metal chained doors and down a narrow stone stairway, are burial vaults con

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A City of Words: LINGO

LINGO Festival is almost upon us. The spoken word festival will see some of the best artists from around the country take to stages across the capital. We briefly caught up with two performers, Alicia Byrne Keane and Özgecan Kesici. Both are fixtures of the local scene. Spoken Word, for the uninitiated, is essentially performance poetry. Most of it has a beat, but that’s not a rule. Some of it has music, but some doesn’t. Alicia Byrne Keane is performing for the second time at LINGO this year. We ask her who she’d pick out for us to see this year? “Kate Tempest”. That was quick. A nineteen-year-old Alicia first saw Tempest in

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Open House

‘We shape our buildings’, said one-time Dublin resident Winston Churchill, ‘thereafter they shape us’. So what shape are we Dubliners in? On the eve of Open House, the Irish Architecture Foundation’s phenomenally successful annual festival, Dublin.ie spoke to the IAF’s Laura Wolfe and Jennifer Halton. Dublin.ie: Open House opens the doors of special buildings all over Dublin and beyond to the public. What’s that about, Laura? Laura: It’s about giving Dublin people back ownership of their whole city. It’s saying to them ‘you know the city, you use the city, here’s the chance to rethink where you live’.

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The Moonmen

Half way down the South Wall pier at Poolbeg, Irishtown and you quickly realise you are somewhere very different. For one, you’re a good bit away from land. Could anyone hear you scream out here? Perhaps, but that’s a very strong wind. Then, when looking out to sea, you have the waves brutally crashing into the wall on one side, but the gentle lapping of Dublin harbour on the other. It can seem surreal. Maybe madness and lunacy figure in the whole package Turn around and there’s a stunning view either side of both the north and south side of Dublin. It’s at this point you realise how rare it is to see both sides of this bizarre city

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Dublin Treasures – Hodges Figgis

Hodges Figgis is Ireland’s oldest bookshop, celebrating its 250th birthday in 2018. This iconic store has moved around a lot since its founding in 1768, from Skinners Row, to Nassau Street and on to Dawson Street. But it has always been home for Dublin’s booklovers. We spoke to Bookstore Manager, Tony Hayes to get to the bottom of what makes Dublin’s oldest bookshop a Dublin Treasure. Tony has worked in the book trade since the ‘70s and has in recent years returned to Hodges Figgis. Hodges Figgis’ iconic storefront would not look out of place in J.K. Rowling’s Diagon Alley and the magic do

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Meet 2 Dubliners – Mattress Mick and Paul Kelly

It’s fair to say Mattress Mick is something else. You are probably familiar with the viral videos and with the persona of the madcap mattress salesman. Are there any rules to what they do? “We want to break the rules” says Mick. Yet within the madness there is something that resonates with us. And it’s this which makes Mattress Men, the new behind the scenes documentary, such a compelling prospect. In part, the film gives us the backstory. How did this madness come about? How could one man become so inextricably associated with mattresses and great deals? Mattress Men allows us to step back from the persona to see the creators at work.

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You’re learning wha’?!

Many people think of learning as something related to their job or school. But we can also learn for fun. Dublin is host to an array of very unusual classes – so whoever says learning is boring is very wrong. Whether it’s to learn a new party piece or to up-skill in an unusual activity there is loads to do. And with less common activities you might even have the competitive edge! We’re always trying to get the work/life balance right but with handstand classes in Dublin we’re talking a whole new type of balance. Okay, standing upside down might seem a bit daunting. But why not be inspired by those amazing displays at the Olympics this year and give it a go? It

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How Dublin Works: Stephen Quinn, Jobbio

In that famous TV ad for Donegal Catch, the hapless trawlerman’s recipe ideas are kept ‘on file. In a filing cabinet’. And that’s exactly where they’re going to stay. It was the realization that so many CVs suffer a similar fate that got Stephen Quinn wondering if there wasn’t a better way to organise the world of recruitment – and, he says, ‘bring an old-world industry to life’. Stephen is the CEO of Jobbio and established the company with his brother John Quinn in 2013. His idea was a digital platform that enables people to apply privately to companies they want to work for – with what Jobbio calls a ‘live bio

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Croke Park: From Hill 60 to Hill 16

Croke Park. It’s not just a stadium. As Tim Carey, author of Croke Park: A History says, ‘More than perhaps any other sporting venue, Croke Park represents something that is beyond sport’. The place has always had another agenda – one that’s intimately connected with the birth and evolution of a nation. ‘It is freighted with historical significance’, says Carey, ‘from the naming of the stands after various figures associated with the GAA to the momentous historical event of Bloody Sunday. Perhaps no other stadium in the worl

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Dublin Uncovered: Dundrum

A closer look at Dublin’s neighbourhoods Inner-city resident Leopold Bloom, the hero of James Joyce’s Ulysses, dreams of moving out to leafy suburbia. He has his eye on Dundrum, south of the city, where he imagines living in a bungalow called “Flowerville” or perhaps “Bloom Cottage”. Over a century later, Dundrum remains an attractive place to live. If you’re coming from the city by road, the first you might see of Dundrum is its magnificent Santiago Calatrava-designed bridge. The bridge carries the Luas tram line over the busy Taney Road junction and is named for William Dargan, the pioneer of Irish railways. Dargan lived nearby, in Goatstown, where Queen Vi

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Mindfulness – Learning for the Soul

Mindfulness is a big buzzword around Dublin. What with social media, multi-tasking, and generally running around like mad things, Dubliners are in need of new ways to unplug and relax. Mindfulness is one way to answer this need. Which is why it’s moving from the hippie fringe to the mainstream. We have so much going on in our heads, and so many items on our mental to-do lists, that we often carry out daily tasks without being conscious of what we’re doing. Or being able to remember it later. ‘Did I turn off the immersion?’ we wonder. ‘What time did I arrange the meeting for?’ We worry that our house will be robbed because we can’t remember locking the door. W

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Supernatural Dublin – The Hellfire Club

Montpelier Hill, better known as The Hell Fire Club to Dubliners, is a lovely place for a weekend walk. It has a variety of short forest trails and provides wonderful views of the city from the south-west. On the weekends you can find it busy with urbanites escaping the city and dogs running free. At the top sits a large hunting lodge where, if the stories are to be believed, some very strange things have happened. Originally there was a passage grave with a cairn at the top of the hill. Speaker Conolly, one of the wealthiest men in Ireland, built the hunting lodge on its site. Conolly is said to have destroyed the cairn while building the lodge, using a standing stone as the lintel of the fireplace.

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How Dublin Works: George’s Fish Shop

Ever wondered what it would be like to be your own boss? Graham Rogerson did. After several years doing shift work in IT he was ready for a change. One thing that got him thinking about opening a shop was that he’d get to meet people. ‘And that didn’t really happen much in IT’, he remembers. The question ‘what sort of a shop?’ was a bit of a no-brainer. Graham is a member of a family with sea water coursing through its veins. His grandfather James and James’s brothers had their own fishing boats. Before they were 12 years old, Graham’s father, George, and his uncle, Tommy, were selling fish on the Coal Quay in Dun Laoghaire. As a child in the 80s

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Dublin Treasures – The Iveagh Gardens

Perhaps you seek refuge from the clamour of the city? Then head away from Stephen’s Green. Walk up Harcourt Street. Take a left. And approach the gates at the end of Clonmel Street. Enter. And breathe. Around you are green lawns. Trees, Fountains. Statues. A rose garden. A maze. A grotto. An elegant promenade. And, crucial to our purpose here, not very many people. Indeed, mid-afternoon of an autumn’s day you may very well have the place to yourself. The place is Iveagh Gardens. It’s a Victorian park. So is Stephen’s Green, of course. But the difference in the atmosphere is pronounced – a direct result of its history.

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Meet 2 Dubliners – Louise Lowe & Owen Boss, Theatremakers

We asked two theatremakers, Louise Lowe & Owen Boss, to talk about their work and how it’s shaped by Dublin and its inhabitants LL: Together, we run a company called Anu Productions. We cross-pollinate between theatre and visual arts to create experiences – artworks, really – that will ask people to question themselves within the work. And the work that we make is about the history of contemporary life, in lots of ways. A lot of the time, we’re asking people to re-engage with a space, or a place or a community. And then to make up their own minds. We never tell people w

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Drumcondra, Glasnevin and the new DCU

DCU is growing. The young university is spreading its wings across the north of Dublin, with campuses in Glasnevin and Drumcondra. As a result more eager students will be adopting these areas as their new home. So, what can students coming to study in the New DCU expect from this part of our fair city? Student life is about balance. A rounded education does not just happen in a lecture hall. Libraries, books and essays may make up a large part of the university experience but they are not the be all and end all. New friends, new experiences and new locals are all waiting to be explored.

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Dublin Photo Diary: People of Temple Bar #2

Our Dublin Photo Diary series continues with the remaining eight portraits of photographer Shay Hunston’s People Of Temple Bar project. Earlier this year, I began a project to photograph and document, street by street, the independent retailers in Temple Bar, one of the oldest parts of Dublin. As each street was completed an exhibition of the photographs was staged in the shop windows. A collage of the photographs was also displayed on each street. The project helps to create a greater awareness and promote the businesses and streets in the area. I started the project at the quieter, Christ Church end of Temple Bar, many of these cobbled and terraced streets such as

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Dublin Photo Diary: Aidan Kelly

As part of our ongoing Dublin Photo Diary series, we showcase the best of Dublin based Photographers. This week we feature the work of Aidan Kelly. Having worked for such clients such as Mercury Prize nominee Gemma Hayes, Gavin Friday, Ruby works records, Brown Thomas, Jameson Irish Whiskey, U2, Sony, Rodrigo y Gabriella, Choice Cuts music with Candi Staton, Axis Ballymun for the Irish Arts Council, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Channel 4 UK with renowned playwright Martin MacDonagh, Oscar winning Fantastic Films, Ireland and many others, Aidan has certainly built a formidable reputation in the industry.

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Meet The Dubliner – John Sheahan, Musician

Being in The Dubliners always made you feel like a bit of an ambassador for the city. I mean we were all instantly recognisable, and I think people felt at one with us. There’s a nice feeling of unity about being a Dub. And Dubliners in general never made any great fuss of their own sons and daughters who became well known (laughs). When The Dubliners celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2012, I had been with the band for 48 of those 50 years. I served an apprenticeship as an electrician in the ESB, and worked there as a draftsman for a few years. But the music was always a hobby, and at a certain point I had to give it up and join the lads. It was precarious in the early days, but there was always a great sense of adventure about the whole thing. We were doing it for the craic as much as anything else, and gradually it became a living. I think anybody who can extend their hobby to the extent that it becomes their livelihood, that’s a real privilege. Especially anyone who’s making music.

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Meet a Dubliner – Carol Cosgrove, Mother

I’m from Clondalkin, and I’ve recently set up a support group for people who are bereaved by suicide, having lost my own son Daniel to suicide in 2014. It’s been running for a couple of months now. There are no support groups out there specifically for parents, so I set up my own one. We have eight people in the group, and we meet up every two weeks locally, in a house connected to St Ronan’s Church

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Dublin Photo Diary: People of Temple Bar #1

For the first in our Dublin Photo Diary series, we asked photographer Shay Hunston to talk about his People Of Temple Bar project. We’ve featured eight portraits in Part 1 with the remaining eight to be featured next week: Earlier this year, I began a project to photograph and document, street by street, the independent retailers in Temple Bar, one of the oldest parts of Dublin. As each street was completed an exhibition of the photographs was staged in the shop windows.

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A Poem For Dublin: Liffey Swim

In my dream, the Blessington Street Basin fills with the Liffey’s stout-­bottle waters, but still the swimmers come, in droves, on the stray sovereign of an Irish summer’s day. The river courses through the city, turning concrete roadways to canal banks that shrug their shoulders into dark water; a man rises, seal­-like, in his caul of silt, to wave. At the sluice gate, where the river bends out of sight between toppling buildings, a black dog jumps, again and again, into the water. And there, at the edge of vision, my parents, ready to join the swimmers, gesture their cheerful farewells.

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Dublin Voices: Our City, Ur City

Whatever a CV says, we are born in rooms and grow up in houses. Cities come later, long after streets and shops and villages and churches and a signal box at the level-crossing on Sydney Parade where an elderly man with enormous ears, who is almost deaf from fifty years spent switching points on the coastal track, gives you a Victorian penny to insert in the slot of a thing never seen before in the whole wide world: a vending machine that sells British bubblegum called Zapper to twelve year-old schoolboys who wear short grey trousers in mid-February.

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Dublin Uncovered: Crossing Harold’s Cross

Why do any of us choose what part of the city we live in? Budget usually dictates, as well as practicalities – Is it near a Luas stop? What are the local schools like? – or sometimes, well, it’s just for random reasons. Occasionally, we’ll get a yen to live somewhere in particular, because we’ve decided we like its village vibe. When I moved to Harold’s Cross six years ago, my motivation was less notional and more prosaic. We’re talking about a room in a very nice house, with people I liked and most importantly of all, it was only twenty minutes’ walk into Dublin’s city centre.

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Dublin Treasures – The Spicebag

For the love of spice bags... In Dublin pubs, the conversation has now evolved from queries of ‘What is a spice bag?’ and ‘Have you had a spice bag yet?’ to more pressing issues of etiquette and availability. Because everyone’s mother probably now knows what a spice bag is, that celebrated, moreish takeaway meal combo of chicken, chips and spices in a bag (foil or paper) and the occasional bit of onion and red pepper thrown in. She may have even eaten one. Once seen as something only millennials should let past their lips, it’s now gone properly mainstream, and was voted Ireland’s favourite dish at the Just Eat National Takeaway Awards last year. A mere culinary craze? We don’t think so.

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Dublin Voices: Building Memories

Some weeks ago, I was leading a group of World Heritage masters students on a tour of the north city which began in St Mary’s Abbey Chapter House and finished in Mountjoy Square. At the end of the day we were invited in to view one of the houses on the square, and I found myself back in a ground floor apartment that I had first encountered decades earlier. At the age of nine, I was brought to visit my uncle who was living in a flat at the corner of Mountjoy Square and Grenville Street. I remember a vast bright interior with a beautiful bow window, and a raised sleeping mezzanine over the kitchen.

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Dublin Voices: Liberties Belle

I didn’t get to Dublin until I was five but I embraced it, pronto. Either that, or the force of impact turned my California twang into a Dublin one, and my blonde hair mousey within a week. Aiming to please, and blend in, at all costs became a survival strategy for growing up in the Liberties, where intimate, narrow streets hosted hops heavy breezes from the Guinness brewery. There, they

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Meet a Dubliner – Bella A GoGo, Burlesque Star

I’m a burlesque performer, bellydancer, producer, stylist and maker. I make a lot of my costumes from scratch; you might take an item, say a pair of shoes, and completely reimagine them. My sitting room is my studio, so half the time everything’s covered in sequens and glitter. I describe Dublin as a little powerful nugget of genius; there been an incredible influx of people from so many different cultures, we’re able to take those influences and put our own spin on it. It’s very important, especially in this centenary year, that people get out and engage with everything Dublin has to offer. There’s art, music, theatre, comedy, and it’s all very accessible. That’s the brilliant thing with the burlesque scene here, there’s such a diverse pool of performers from all walks of life. I’m very much about cross-pollination.

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Dublin Voices: Ticket To Write

I remember seeing the DART for the first time. I was 7 years old. It was 1984. I thought it was some impossible machine out of a science fiction movie. At that time, I lived with my family in the remote wilds of Blanchardstown, West Dublin, and as such, the DART wasn't likely to be a part of my daily life. But the very next year, we moved to Donaghmede. Howth Junction Station lay just around the corner from our house. And, from that moment on, if we were availing of public transport, we were hopping on the DART.

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Dublin Voices: Master Of My Domain

I blame my father. His Super 8 film projector got me where I am today. That, and his collection of one-reel highlights from all the great Disney movies. Since Cabra didn’t have a cinema anymore, I was forced to migrate... to Phibsborough. The building was once home to the Silver Skate Ice Rink, but to me it will always be the State Cinema - the jumping off point for a life-long addiction. The place where I saw Grease, Empire Of The Ants, The Cat From Outer Space and so many others. And then there was Star Wars, from which, I gather, none of us have ever fully recovered. There were times Phibsborough just wasn’t big enough. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Arnotts’ car park... sorry, formerly the Adelphi Cinema, on Abbey Street! In 1978, Superman: The Movie was a watershed. Outside of mass, I’d never been in such a huge building, filled with so many people. As John Williams’ music buckled my ears, I finally realised I was part of something far greater than myself.

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Fighting Words: Write On!

There is unfortunately no blueprint for happiness, but a maxim to think about is ‘create, don’t consume’. Fighting Words is where Dublin’s children and young teens can learn to express themselves, but also get to grips with the tools that make that expression possible. Numerous studies have indicated that it’s our experiences that give us the most satisfaction and not the things we accumulate. That’s not always easy to remember when faced with the new car purchase that will change our lives, or the dress that makes you look like a better, slimmer version of ourselves but in our hearts we know it’s true.

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Dublin Voices: This Must Be The Place

After living in Jersey City for the first decade of my life, we moved to my mother's hometown, Dublin. My parents had divorced and the neighbourhood we were living in was starting to deteriorate rapidly. My father stayed on in his native city and we hopped on a plane to Ireland. It took a long time for me to find my peace with this place. The food here in the 80's was brutal and I quickly realised why. There was nobody here of any skin colour that wasn't lily white and freckled. Consequently, no proper New Jersey pizzas, bagels and barbecued chicken. These had been my dietary staples. And although I was well used to tough city kids, on my own I was no match for the lads from Charlemount street and Swan Grove, who on my first day of school beat me up because I asked the teacher if I could please use the "bathroom."

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Dublin Voices: A Dub And A Half

I believed up until relatively recently that I was a mixed-race Dubliner. ‘My dad is a North Sider, and my mother is a South Sider!’ I would declare, explaining away my propensity for Chipstix-and-cheese bread rolls washed down with a carafe of Amerone. My brothers and I have always joked that my Coolock-born dad must have nicked our Dun Laoghaire-born mother’s handbag, led the chase north of the Liffey and eventually coerced mam into staying there.

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Flash Fiction #5: I am Dublin

From up here, says the bird, it is a city like any other, concrete brick machines glass, a river, a port. And look, over there, on the crest of the bridge, a boy. From up here, says the boy, it is a port like any other, filled with ships containers warehouses cranes. But it is not any other, it is Dublin. This bridge is Samuel Beckett, and the grey green river is called the Liffey. I asked when I first came. My English is better now. I make it a game to pass the time. Too much time. I watched the others, closing in, closing down. Down time, free time, free run.

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Flash Fiction #4: The Last Gig

Dermot takes his saxophone out of its case. It is as beautiful as ever. He hasn’t played for a year, since before he came here. He puts it to his lips. This audience looks unresponsive, slumped in their seats, and some asleep even. He’s played a fair few weddings in his time where half the guests were comatose before the band came on. The South City Jazz Band it was called. Originally Jimmy wanted “The Jimmy Devlin Jazz Quintet” but that got shot down pretty quick. Jimmy liked to think of it as “his” band even though he was only the vocalist. The rest of them would have to put him in his box. Dermot used to say to him

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Flash Fiction #3: Liffey. If He. Dares.

I make him tremble. The thought of me: I have causality. He is drawn to me. Torn. More than a tremor. A convulsive shudder and shake. Rock and roll. Slips and slides. Wants to hide. Looks up into the emptiness above, and then down, into my soul, the inviting deepness of me. Vulnerability bows those broad shoulders, venerable boulders. Hairy, leery atop the worn elbows of a charity shop find three winters ago. Now, he quakes. Shivers. Shows respect for the force that I am.

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Looking Up

Dubliners… Think you’ve seen it all? Cast your eyes skyward. As charming as Dublin’s skyline is, it’s never exactly been noted for its towering buildings. Quite the opposite, in fact, with the highest towers in Dublin reaching an average of 60 metres, although planning permission has been granted for ‘The Exo’, a 73m high structure that will sit alongside the 3Arena in Dublin’s Docklands. It’s perhaps because of Dublin’s low-rise nature that neither inhabitants nor visitors tend to look up very often. There’s also the likelihood that stopping and standing on a city centre street to peruse the vista above eye level is likely to really annoy harried Dubl

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Dublin Treasures – Phil Lynott’s Statue

In a random (and completely unscientific) study I asked several people to name five of the best known statues in Dublin. Merrion Square’s Oscar Wilde was name checked, as was Patrick Kavanagh’s canal bank sit‐down.

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Flash Fiction #6: For The Birds

I’m a romantic, I suppose. I like the shine of the granite and I like the stories. I like BTs’ bed linen for the softness, that’s my indulgence, and I like that I’ll never see the inside of Fitzwilliam Square. I’m a Dublin man. I used to believe that one day Maura’s ring would turn up. Every little squit of doo­doo I’d look for that diamond. The other week, even, in Marks’s rooftop café, I was sitting there with my coffee and my pastry, and a seagull was knocking on the glass, trying to get to me. He was trying to say something. You’re the little gurrier, I said.

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NovaUCD: Cool Ideas, Hot Tech

It’s an economic truth, universally acknowledged, that innovation is at the core of most successful businesses. Actually being innovative, however, is easier said than done. Which is why centres of incubations are so necessary. Ireland can proudly boast nine university incubation centres, six university bio incubation centres and 15 Institute of Technology incubation centres, all contributing to making this country one of the globe’s most exciting places for both research and development, and in which to do business. At the heart of all this, you’ll find NovaUCD. Located on the campus of University College Dubli

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Dublin Treasures – The Long Hall

One of the reassuring signs of an economy in recovery is the proliferance of new bars and eateries in town. The microcosm of South Great George’s Street, moving into Aungier, Wexford and Camden Street is a good example. Recent months have seen several new venues pop up, and already they seem like they’ve always been part of the (shabby-chic) furniture - places such as the achingly hip Chelsea Drug Store, JT Pims and a brasserie-style extension to L’Gueuleton restaurant, which doesn’t seem to have a name of it's’ own and is simply signposted as ‘Bar’.

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Dublin Voices: My Life In Dublin Parks

The other night, driving through the Phoenix Park, I remembered. Remembered what it is I love most about Dublin. Sometimes, it’s tough to retrieve all the good things about your native city – particularly when you’re surrounded by the aftermath of a general election, the consciousness of all those things that the city gets wrong, the awareness that so much about Dublin can be challenging. But on a lovely spring evening – the first, after a dismal, murky winter – the Phoenix Park unrolled itself in all its green, luscious glory.

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Building Dublin’s Food Chain

Attention Dubliners: we’re incredibly lucky to inhabit a city with such foodie inclinations and a culinary largesse. Right now, Dublin offers an exquisite blend of Michelin-starred fare, outstanding street food, hipster eateries and friendly local restaurants. And let’s not forget the evolution of our drink culture either. We were once a city of avowed tea drinkers and pint lovers; we’re now as au fait with cocktails and customised artisan coffee blends as any seasoned mixologist or barista – and loving them. We’ve also fully embraced the juicing phenomenon, but still find time for a cuppa. Or three.

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Decoding Dublin’s Bridges

The newest of the Liffey bridges is the Rosie Hackett Bridge of 2014. A bridge of its time, built of stainless steel and concrete, it caters for the living city, providing a crossing for the pedestrian and for public transport. In the name alone – it is the only bridge within the city limits named for a woman – there is the kernel of the history of the modern state and the tale of an heroic woman. The oldest bridge straddles the river in the western suburb of Chapelizod, a four arch stone bridge with royal connections of old and a more modern, Joycean inspired moniker: the Anna Livia Bridge dates to 1753.

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Flash Fiction #2: Killing JB

On an afternoon in spring, I saw John Banville coming out of the Mark’s and Spenser’s on Liffey Street. I am a great admirer of his work. I followed him down the street. I didn’t do this with the intention of killing him. Not straight away, in any case. I planned to work up to that, having first allayed his suspicions by means of some literary conversation. He wasn’t carrying a bag. But he was carrying something. He walked quickly in the direction of the river. He wasn’t smaller in real life. This was real life; he was the same height as Bono. When I’d got closer to him ¬ outside the adventure sports shop – I saw that he was carrying a wedge of parmesan cheese. I have a great enthusiasm for this cheese. Banville had gone into M&S for parmesan, and that’s what he had come out with. He’d been single ¬minded in his errand, undistracted by marinated artichokes, say, or even prosciutto. He held the cheese now in his hand, the palm facing downwards, the way an american footballer might hold the ball.

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Dublin Voices: Stoneybattered!

You’ve probably heard that Stoneybatter has been gentrified. They wrote about us in The Guardian, so it must be true. As the fourth generation of my family living in the neighbourhood, the notion of gentrification sits uncomfortably with me. Certainly, we have seen changes in recent years, and some of my neighbours have been given the short end of the stick since “boomtime” passed. The people still living in the O’Devaney Gardens flats were abandoned without the new homes and services that they’d been promised. Like anywhere in Dublin, rents are soaring and building companies are buying up property by the handful, which has priced some people out of the neighbourhood.

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How Dublin Works: DCU Alpha

If you’re not entirely sure what the Internet of Things (IoT) is, or if you haven’t even heard of it yet, that’s alright. Essentially, the IoT is a connection of devices to the internet, whether that’s your washing machine or your house alarm and everything will be ‘talking’ to the other. On a micro level, that might mean that your alarm clock will tell your coffee machine that it’s time to start brewing a pot when you get up; on a macro level the possibilities are infinite, including making cities smarter.

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Meet a Dubliner – Nubi Kayode, Entrepreneur

I’m from Lagos in Nigeria. I originally got into tech blogging, covering the local ecosystem, until I realised that I’d rather be part of the story than write about it. So I launched my first startup, which involved a lot of trial and error, lots of mistakes, lots of learning, and then decided to come to school here. I had read a lot about Dublin on The Next Web, and thought ‘That looks really interesting… everybody’s here.’ So I thought I’d check it out. I came here in 2013 to do my Masters at the

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How Dublin Works: The Fumbally

“We have a really great team of people in the kitchen and on the floor, who are really creative and really passionate about what they do.” What is it? The popular Dublin 8 neighbourhood café where the emphasis is on all things wholesome, healthy, ethical and delicious. They’re experimental too, making their own fermented drinks. There’s also The Stables, their complementary space where yoga classes and food workshops happen; it also houses an extra kitchen where they play around with new dishes. Food, wellness and education is at the centre of everything. Who owns it? Aisling Rogerson, who co-founded the café with

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Silver Surfers Get Started

Let's be honest; the internet can be mildly intimidating (if not positively terrifying) at the best of times. What to do, then, if you're of a generation unacquainted with the World Wide Web? Recent statistics suggest that just over 50% of people aged over 60 in Ireland have never used the internet. The problem, ultimately, is that seniors can feel a type of 'digital isolation'. The solution may lie in good old-fashioned human interaction: people together, in a room, exchanging knowledge. Call it a digital dig out.

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Reimagining Dublin: College Green Steps Up

Pedestrians tend not to linger on College Green. In its current incarnation, the area doesn’t lend itself to those great city pursuits of (a) meandering or (b) ambling. It’s a thoroughfare, on the way to somewhere else and if you stop it’s only to get a bus, grab a coffee or maybe do a little retail damage in Abercrombie and Fitch.

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Dublin Voices: Let It Flow

When I was a kid we would drive to Dublin once or twice a year from County Limerick and get excited as we passed under the flyovers on the dual carriageway somewhere near Naas. The Ilac Centre had glass elevators back then, and we would ride them repeatedly before going for ice-cream sundaes on a terrace near the library. I won some anti-litter art competition when I was very young with a picture colored in with markers of St Stephen’s Green covered in apple cores and cigarette butts.

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Dublin Treasures – The Poolbeg Chimneys

All interesting Dublin landmarks tend to polarise. For every champion of The Spire, you’ll find someone who still thinks that it should never have been erected. And so too with the Poolbeg Generating Station. Even the more ardent of its champions would be hard pressed to describe it as it beautiful; its two distinctive red and white chimneys, built in 1969 and 1977 and standing at over 207 metres, poking the city’s skyline, cannot even be described as useful - they were decommissioned in 2010.

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Grangegorman Gets Schooled

Young people are the future. It’s why we cherish them and invest in them. That’s not to say that everybody would necessarily be thrilled at the prospect of 20,000 students arriving on their doorstep, which is exactly what will happen at the Dublin Institute of Technology’s formidable new Grangegorman Campus. Thanks to meticulous planning and a comprehensive vision of what the whole area will become, however, this dramatic swelling of Grangegorman’s population is being anticipated with something resembling excitement.

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Meet a Dubliner – Lorcan Collins, Historian

I’ve been running the 1916 Rebellion Walking Tour for the past 20 years, bringing people around the city, showing them the sites of the Easter Rising. It’s not just for tourists, either. Sometimes these days you’ll get 95% Irish people on the tour. It’s great that we take a real interest in our own history, especially in this centenary year. I do feel like I have a responsibility to show the good and bad of Dublin; it’s a great city, and a safe city, and I like bringing people around and saying ‘This is where it’s really at…’. Places like Moore Street, that might

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Dublin Treasures – Lambert Puppet Theatre

Most 4-year-olds are almost as digital savvy as their parents, and there's a high probability that your average toddler knows his or her way around an iPhone better than you do. It's still something of a surprise, then, to discover that the touchscreen generation can be as enthralled by a visit to the Lambert Puppet Theatre as their parents ever were.

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Dublin Voices: Viva Ballymun!

Any day in axis Ballymun is filled with potential. That's what makes working in the arts and in a community as vibrant as Ballymun so special. For me arts, culture and creativity is about people, about ideas, about synergies and most importantly about listening - really listening. axis is all about this, about creating a space where people can be entertained, try out new ideas in a safe environment, meet, discuss, and come to the heart of the northside to make magic. I have had the pleasure of working in Ballymun, with a great staff, community, artists, and a multitude of stakeholders for nearly 12 years now, and I can safely say that no two days in all that time has ever been the same.

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How Dublin Works: Chloé Roux, Airbnb

“You’re always fine-tuning so it’s always challenging; you’re always looking for improvements, no matter what they are, small ones or bigger ones” The Job: Airbnb: the online community marketplace that has transformed the way we book our holiday accommodation. We Irish have taken to the notion of renting out our houses, apartments and spare rooms to visiting folk particularly well, with the number of Dublin hosts growing at somewhat furious rate. Who she is: Chloé Roux, a project manager with Airbnb in Dublin. Originally from Lebanon, she did her MBA in Milan an

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Flash Fiction #1: Joy

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be presenting pieces by winners of the I Am Dublin flash fiction competition, as selected by judges Dermot Bolger and Doireann Ní Ghríofa. We’re talking about short, sharp writing that captures something of Dublin’s unique essence – while allowing tiny moments to speak for themselves. First up, Joy by Sinead Flynn.

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Shane Sutton: Up The Walls

If you’ve wandered in the direction of South William Street (or South Williamsburg Street, as local wags are wont to call it these days) anytime of late, specifically past Busyfeet & Coco cafe, you may have come across your first sight of the new Dublin.ie identity. Truth be told, it’s kind of hard to miss. We’re talking about this rather impressive – and altogether massive, in every sense of the word – piece of wall art especially created by acclaimed Dublin street artist Shane Sutton.

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CONNECT: Dublin’s Research Renaissance

What CONNECT does has the potential to impact on all of us. As well as the intellectual and academic importance of the research done here, its practical application is just as relevant. According to CONNECT’s Andrew O’Connell, there is a strong culture here of commercialising the research, taking it from the lab and turning it into a commercially viable product or service.

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Dublin Treasures – Richmond Barracks

‘Ah, if these walls could speak…’ The clichéd but always heart-felt phrase we’ll forever use to reference intriguing historical sites, with the underlying assumption being that we will never learn these forgotten tales. In the case of Richmond Barracks in Inchicore, however, the people who lived, worked and were schooled here over the last two centuries will be given a voice. From military accommodation to a prison, then social housing and a school, Richmond Barracks has had several incarnations, all of them played out to the backdrop of some of the nation’s most turbulent times.

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Sing Street

A great Dublin movie doesn’t merely show off the landmarks, however, or sample the legendary wit – although it never hurts to do a little bit of both. It gets under the skin of the city, and captures its pulse, via that elusive quality some like to call movie magic. There are any number of movies that showcase Dublin and its boroughs to fine effect, from '70s cult classics like Flight Of The Doves and Quackser Fortune Has A Cousin In The Bronx to historical epics like Neil Jordan's Michael Collins (which receives a theatrical re-release this month) and contemporary tales like Lenny Abrahamson's debut Adam & Paul.

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Meet a Dubliner – Niamh Scanlon, Coder

I’m 13 years old, and I’m into coding. I went to my first coding club in Coder Dojo when I was 9, my Mum heard about it from someone and said that I should just give it a go, and from the first day I just loved the fact that you could create anything from coding. Coder Dojo runs classes that teach young people how to code for free, there are always mentors there to help you if you get stuck with anything. I think that they’re great, they have gotten a lot of young people into coding, and into tech. If you’re really creative, and you have a passion for it, then you’ll get good at coding. I like creating things wi

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Dublin Treasures – Casino at Marino

James Caulfeild, the 1st Earl of Charlemont, was a man who did things with style, and then some. His townhouse on Parnell St, which now houses the Hugh Lane Art Gallery, reflected his elegant, artistic nature, and was initially designed as an adornment to the city, where paintings by Rembrandt and Titian hung. When he embarked upon his Grand Tour - the 18th century equivalent of a gap year - he spent a rather impressive 9 years taking in the delights of Italy, Turkey, Greece and Egypt and became close friends with the future King of Sardinia. As you do.

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Meet a Dubliner – Hassan Lemtouni, Café Owner

I was born and raised in Morocco, and lived for 30 years in America before coming to Dublin. My wife is a Dubliner, and we have 2 beautiful little girls, and we decided that we wanted them to grow up here. I was lucky enough to step into this beautiful building, The Chocolate Factory on Kings Inn Street, and that opened up a whole new avenue for me, professionally. One of my business partners was looking for a place to put on a gig, and met Val, who runs the building; we started talking about food, and what we’d like to do, and decided to go for it. It took us about a year and a half, but

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