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Highlights from the International Dublin Literary Award 2017

José Eduardo AgualusaOn Wednesday, 21 June author Jose Eduardo Agualusa and translator Daniel Hahn were announced as winners of the 2017 International DUBLIN Literary Award for Agualusa's novel A General Theory of Oblivion.  The Award is organised and sponsored by Dublin City Council and at €100,000 is the world's largest prize for a single novel published in English. Uniquely, the Award receives its nominations from public libraries in cities around the globe and recognises both writers and translators.

In case you missed it we have photos and videos from the Award ceremony.

Manuscript of the Month July 2017: The Mystery of the Summer Islands

Usher IslandIn its natural state, the River Liffey is shallow – the Irish name for Dublin is ‘Baile Atha Cliath’ or the town of the ford of hurdles, which were put down on the river bed to allow people to have a firm footing while wading across.  Further east, the Nightingale Sands, which appeared in summer at the mouth of the Liffey at low tide, were used during the Riding of the Franchises to cross from Clontarf to Ringsend on horseback. 

And again in summer, a varying number of islands appeared in the River Liffey.  These were owned by the then Dublin Corporation which leased them out to citizens who hoped to build the summer islands up and reclaim them. Many of the summer islands appeared in the vicinity of Rory O’More Bridge and are shown on Bernard de Gomme’s 1673 map of Dublin; these were probably sand and gravel banks.  In 1670, the merchant Henry Orson secured a lease of these small islands and in 1685 Phillips’ map of Dublin shows them as a single island with a house – an indicator of Orson’s success in effectively consolidating them.  Orson’s islands were incorporated into the north bank of the Liffey by 1728 and the land is now known as The Esplanade and Wolfe Tone Quay.

Dublin Literary Award 2017 Winners Reading and Q&A

Hahn & AgualusaOn the evening of Thursday, 22 June, literary award winners José Eduardo Agualusa and Daniel Hahn gave a reading, followed by a Q&A session, introduced and moderated by Sinéad Crowley, in Dublin City Library & Archive, Pearse Street. Author José Eduardo Agualusa and translator Daniel Hahn were announced as winners of the 2017 International DUBLIN Literary Award for Agualusa's novel A General Theory of Oblivion at a ceremony in Dublin’s Mansion House on Wednesday, 21 June 2017.

Listen to the reading and interview [play time: 53:46 minutes]:

News from Nelson: Kismet

Death of NelsonSince I came to live and work in Dublin City Library & Archive, I have been very conscious of being a rough diamond – we naval types were trained to sail and fight around the world, with no opportunity of furthering our education.  So any chance I have to expand my cultural horizons I seize on with enthusiasm. And when a kind invitation arrived from the Gorry Gallery to attend their summer exhibition, I was delighted and rolled around there one evening.

Image: Detail from 'The Death of Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar’ Engraving by Charles William Sharp after Daniel Maclise.

August Public Holiday Arrangements

beach sceneDublin City Public Libraries will be closed from Saturday 5 to Monday 7 August (inclusive). Branch libraries will re-open on Tuesday 8 August 2017.

Right: Image from our 1953 August Bank Holiday Weekend Image Gallery.

Online Renewals

Communiversity - free university course at your library

StudyingOn Thursday 29th June 2017 the participants of the Communiversity  programme took a trip out to the University of Ireland at Maynooth to receive their well earned certificates in the august surrounds of Renehan Hall.

The Communiversity initiative is a free university course held locally in libraries. The Dublin City Public Libraries branches of Coolock, Ballyfermot, Dolphin’s Barn and Walkinstown facilitated an ever expanding programme. The day in Maynooth brought together friends, family, tutors and administrators to celebrate the success of this brilliant initiative.

Books to build new skills for your baby/toddler

Clap hands here come the puppiesWe had our last sessions of the Baby and Toddler Book Clubs on Tuesday, 27 June.  To celebrate, we had a little party for each group with jellies, sweets, juices and bubble mixtures.  The sessions had good attendances again with over 20 people at each group.

The Baby Book Club final book choice was Clap Hands Here Come the Puppies.  This book is aimed at babies and young toddlers.  The book is designed to develop sensory, language and physical awareness.  Each page contains bright pictures and patches with various textures. The book also encourages little ones to clap hands – a skill that most babies acquire by the age of 6 months.  It’s an ideal read for at home and on trips.  We sang ‘Six Little Dogs’ to the tune of ‘Six Little Ducks’ to complement the story.

Sinead de Valera

The Emerald Ring by Sinead de ValeraJane Flanagan was from Munster Street in Phibsborough. Born in 1878, she remembered as a young girl following the cortege of Charles Stewart Parnell to Glasnevin. Flanagan’s family had moved to Phibsborough from Balbriggan when her father Laurence, a carpenter, had worked on the refurbishment of St. Peter’s Church. While she was working as teacher at St. Francis Xavier’s school near Dorset Street during 1899 Jane joined the Gaelic League. Thereafter she used the first name ‘Sinead.’

The Emerald Ring by Sinead de Valera.

Flanagan joined Inghínidhe na hÉireann, one of the first nationalist women’s organizations. She also acted in Irish language plays and taught the language to beginners, among them Seán T. O’Kelly, Ernest Blythe and Eamon de Valera. She met de Valera in 1909 and they spent that summer at an Irish college in Co. Mayo. They married in January 1910. By 1916 they had three children and were living in Morehampton Road. <--break->

Summer Stars 2017 Reading Challenge

Summer Stars

Join the Summer Stars Reading Adventure at Dublin City Public Libraries!

To take part in the National Reading Campaign, children are invited to register for the adventure at their local library and to read eight books over the summer months to complete the challenge! There will be rewards and incentives along the way and an Awards Day in September in each library.

Children can write a review of the book and submit it to www.summerstars.ie where they can also find colouring pages and activities.

Tipping off de Valera

de ValeraEamon de Valera was one of the republican prisoners who arrived back in Dublin to a tumultuous welcome on 21 June 1917. Already popularly known as one of the most senior veterans of the Rising, he became a nationwide personality when elected as MP for East Clare on 10 July 1917. At this point de Valera was living in Phibsborough, at the family home of his wife Sinead.

Image: "Irish Rebellion, May 1916. Ed. de Valera (Commandant of the Ringsend Area) Sentenced to Death; sentence commuted to Penal Servitude for life." (see larger version)

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