Getting lost in a new city is a good way to explore, feeling lost, however, is something entirely different. A new city is an opportunity to rewrite your life, but it can be tempting to slip into a routine of what feels comfortable and familiar; home to work and work to home, texting and scrolling the evenings away. To make a city truly your own, you need to create spaces for yourself within it; a favourite café, a bookshop, your secret hideaways, with activities where you can meet like-minded souls. On a cold winter night in Dublin, down the mews-lined Waterloo Lane in the south city centre, lies one such pocket of space,
Dubliners are among the friendliest people in the world, and the city is becoming increasingly diverse as new migrants are coming to make the capital their home.
Meet a Dubliner: Shauna Caffrey, Musicologist and Werewolf. My name is Shauna Caffrey and, in performance circles, I’m also known as Alice Apparently. I’m a PhD researcher on witchcraft, music and magic in the 17th century. I’ve been known to take to the stage in various forms, either as a werewolf or in very glittery burlesque performances as Alice Apparently. I am a Dub at heart. I always wanted to be the Indiana Jones of musicology. I feel like I’m leaning a little bit more now towards being the Vincent Price of musicology, which I’m probably even better with. It’s fun to dress up as a werewolf and g
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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