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Charter of Henry II: 1171-2

Charter of Henry IIIn the wake of the Norman Invasion of Ireland, Dublin was seized in 1170 by Richard de Clare, better known as Strongbow.  His overlord, King Henry II, was alarmed as it seemed likely that a separate and independent kingdom might be established in Ireland.  Accordingly he decided to visit in person to assert his authority, and his journey was financed by the merchants of Bristol.

Lord Mayor's Certificate in Local Studies, 2017-2018

Bang Bang*** The Lord Mayor's Certificate course in Local Studies 2017-18 is now full and not taking any more applications.   ***

However there are still places on the Certificate in Oral History. (11 August 2017)

The Lord Mayor's Certificate in Local Studies is offered by Dublin City Council as part of its commitment to life-long learning.  The course examines the local dimension of Ireland’s past and is presented in a lively and accessible manner.  Classes are held on Tuesday evenings to facilitate attendance by a broad range of people.

Commencing in September 2017, the Lord Mayor's Certificate in Local Studies will be taught at Dublin City Library and Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2.  The closing date for applications is 5.00 p.m. on Friday 1 September 2017. See the following form:-

Spring into Storytime at Ballymun Library

Cheep! Cheep!‘Spring into Storytime’ is a national story-time initiative in public libraries which ran during the month of April. It celebrates the importance of families reading together and sharing stories – values that are central to all Baby and Toddler Book Club sessions at Ballymun Library. With an attendance of 30 people at the Baby Book Club, we certainly sprang back with gusto following the Easter break!  It was wonderful to see such an enthusiastic crowd present! 

To date, stories with lift-the-flap features have proved very popular with Baby Book Club Members.  With this in mind, we kicked off this session with the story ‘Cheep! Cheep!’ by Sebastien Braun.  This book encourages little ones to talk.  The lift-the-flap element on each page is designed to teach children about animals and the noises they make. The children were enthralled!  We sang our old favourite song ‘Old MacDonald’ to round off the story.

May Public Holiday Arrangements

Cherry blossomDublin City Public Libraries will be closed from Saturday 29 April to Monday 1 May 2017 (inclusive).
Branch libraries will re-open on Tuesday 2 May 2017.

"We are having hell of a time": Letters from the Somme 1916

Mansfield collectionJuly 2016 marked the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest and horrific periods of World War 1.  Despite lasting only 4 months, it incurred over 1.2 million casualties.  Impossible as it may be to understand these barbaric acts of extreme violence these men experienced, letters sent home from the Front to loved ones and friends offer us a unique glimpse into this period.  These letters provide us with a first hand account of the Somme, enabling us to piece together a picture of the daily life, opinions, and the innermost thoughts and fears of a soldier fighting at the Somme.

One such collection of letters are those sent by Harold Barton Mansfield to his wife Eveleen Mansfield (nee Barton), who was expecting their first child during the course of their correspondence.  In what is a series of honest, poignant and, at times, moving letters, Harold recounts his daily experiences of trench life to his wife and, by extension, us.

Hail! the Poet of Rock and Roll is Dead

Chuck Berry"Down in Louisiana close to New Orleans
Way back up in the woods among the evergreens
There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood
Where lived a country boy named Johnny B. Goode
Who never ever learned to read or write so well
But he could play guitar just like a ringing bell”.
Johnny B. Goode, Chuck Berry 1957.
Chuck Berry passed away on March 18 2017 aged 90. I was so lucky to have seen him in Vicar Street Dublin in the 1990s and danced with him on stage! I have photos to prove it but I am not posting them here; it was one of the highlights of my life... sad I know. BTW it was before mobile phone cameras so thanks to the gentleman from Cavan who took the photos and posted them to me.

Easter fun at Ballymun Library

Easter egg huntA very special visitor came to Ballymun Library before the Baby and Toddler Book Club sessions on Tuesday 4th April – the last ones before the Easter Holidays.  Maria Sheahan (Book Club Facilitator) invited the Easter Bunny to check out what a marvellous facility the Library is and to leave some treats for the children.  He certainly didn’t disappoint us!

Photo right: Treats left by the Easter Bunny

News from Nelson: Echoland

EcholandI have just finished with great enjoyment Joe Joyce’s novel Echoland which is this year’s choice for ‘One City, One Book’.  It is set in Dublin in the months of May and June 1940 and it vividly brought back the past to me.  The characters regularly go to drink tea in the posh and popular Monument Creamery Café which had two branches, one in Grafton Street and one in O’Connell Street right beside me – they were of course named after my own good self – as I was the Monument.

There is one specific reference to my Pillar (on page 339) which relates to my function (out of many) as the terminus for Dublin trams.  Speaking of monuments, the statue of Queen Victoria, which stood on Leinster Lawn – it was removed in 1948 to the Royal Hospital Kilmainham to make way for a car-park and in 1988 it was sent to Australia as a bicentenary gift – is another influence in the book. The statue is quite the minx, flirting shamelessly with the principal character, Paul Duggan, having previously glared at him. 

International Dublin Literary Award 2017 Shortlist

2017 Award10 novels have been shortlisted for the 2017 International DUBLIN Literary Award, proudly sponsored by Dublin City Council and managed by Dublin City Libraries. The list includes The Green Road by Irish author Anne Enright, debut novel Under the Udala Trees, and six novels in translation from Angola, Austria, Denmark/Norway, Mexico, Mozambique and Turkey, and novels from Nigeria, Vietnam and the USA.

The International DUBLIN Literary Award is worth €100,000 to the winner and is the world’s most valuable annual literary award for a single work of fiction published in English.
The award was launched on 7th April 1995 and is now in its 22nd year.

The shortlisted titles are:

Rathmines Readers – AE’s 150th centenary

Bearded, bear-like, immensely kind; Frank O’Connor compared him to an old fur coat, unkempt but warm, while the artist Beatrice Glenavy said "he had a sort of wild look, but it wasn't wild with fury, he was wild with warmth and vitality and terrible interest in everybody." Brendan Jacobs, the nephew of the artist Estella Solomons, met him often when he visited the house of he aunt Estella Solomons in Rathfarnham and thought that he was God, albeit a God who was not very good at croquet.

Born in Lurgan on 10th April 1867, the Russell family moved to Dublin when George was a child. He can be justly claimed as a Rathmines reader, for he was brought up in Grosvenor Square, attended school in Rathmines and lived most of his later life in the close vicinity of 17 Garville Avenue. While he could not have used Rathmines Library as a child – it did not open until 1913 – we can safely assume that he brought his own children there in later years, and perhaps used the old newspaper room to catch up on the daily news.