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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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.

Read More

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

Read More

BIMM: Music in the making

Looking for stars? Try BIMM Spotted a famous musician in Dublin recently? There’s a fair chance they were coming out of DIT’s school of commercial music. Situated on Francis Street in Dublin 8, the The British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM) holds regular masterclasses for its students with world-class musicians: Imelda May, Danny O’Donoghue of The Script, Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlain and even Hozier have paid surprise visits. US singer-songwriter John Grant offered a songwriting masterclass. U2’s The Edge has attended a BIMM graduation ceremony. All of the tutors at BIMM

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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)

Read More