Words Ireland is initiating twenty-nine literature mentoring relationships to begin in September 2021. Closing date for applications is noon, Thursday 22 July, 2021. The opportunity is available to writers of: literary fiction, creative non-fiction, children’s / YA fiction, poetry.
Music Lending, a smash hit at Pearse Street Library
Instrument Carousel - a partnership between Girls Rock Dublin and Dublin City Libraries was a smash hit with all the teenagers in Pearse Library on Culture Night last Friday. Instrument Carousel was an opportunity for participants to explore their musical potential.It marks the launch of the “GRD Gear Library”, the gear loan service designed for teenagers by Girls Rock Dublin & Dublin City Libraries. Sixteen teenagers took over the Library in a fun & loud experiment involving electric guitars, basses, synths, keyboards & drums. By moving through different rooms and engaging with GRD coaches, participants learned a song on each instrument, and finished by performing the song together.Girls Rock Dublin is a non-profit, volunteer-led organisation that builds girls’ self-esteem through music creation and performance. Providing workshops and technical training, GRD creates leadership opportunities, cultivates a supportive community of peers and mentors, and encourages social change and the development of life skills. From Culture Night any teenager who is a member of Dublin City Libraries can borrow their preferred instrument for three weeks. All you need is your library card!Teenagers will need the signature of a parent or guardian when completing the membership form. Their parent or guardian will need to bring photo I.D. and proof of address. Get access to great online resources, borrow books, DVDs and now musical instruments! There are no fines and you can use your card in any library in Ireland. Joining is easy. Call into Pearse Street library and borrow what you like. The GRD Gear Library is a collection of instruments, amplifiers and musical accessories that Girls Rock Dublin are now making available through Dublin City Libraries all year round. The collection is made up of donated gear from people in the community who value the work of Girls Rock Dublin and from purchases made from funding received with thanks to Reverb.com. GRD Gear Library also welcome donations of 'gear'.The library is an ongoing project, more pics from Culture Night 2019 on flickr. Dublin City Libraries are free,fun and easy to use. Find out more.
This week I have had the great pleasure of visiting Massachusetts and presenting a paper at the annual national meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies held in Boston. It was my second time attending such a gathering, having also presented a paper on Dublin poet Maeve Cavanagh MacDowell two years ago, when ACIS met in Kansas City, Missouri. This time around I spoke about the life of Dora Maguire, another woman who happened to be profiled in R. M. Fox’s 1935 book of essays Rebel Irishwomen.Whereas the likes of Maud Gonne and Countess Markievicz became legends in their own lifetimes, Dora Maguire (1889-1931) was perhaps the most obscure of Fox’s dozen ‘Rebel Irishwomen’. A friend of the author, she died aged forty-one in February 1931 after years of ill-health. During my paper I spoke about Maguire’s upbringing in England and the north of Ireland, time spent in Blackburn and London during the First World War (when she worked as a nurse and developed suppressed diphtheria and tuberculosis), decision to move to Ireland around the time of the War of Independence, and employment at St. Ultan’s Children’s Hospital in Ranelagh during the 1920s.I then focused at length on her arrest in 1925 over an incident at the Princess Cinema in Rathmines. Evolving into an ardent republican during her adulthood, Maguire was indignant at the time about the screening across Dublin of short films concerning the Prince of Wales’ recent dominion tour of South Africa. Entering the “Prinner” – as the Princess Cinema was known to locals – on 6th August 1925 with an inkpot hidden on her person, Maguire stood up and hurled her makeshift missile over the heads of the theatre orchestra as soon as the offending picture was shown, causing considerable damage to the screen and generating newspaper headlines.Surviving foyer plaque from the Princess Cinema, the scene of Dora Maguire's arrest in August 1925. Known locally as "The Prinner", the cinema closed its doors in 1960 and was demolished in 1982 (Photograph courtesy of Carol Dunne, Dublin City Libraries).This incident is the focus of The Spirit of Dora Maguire, an historical comic strip by Dublin artist Aidan J Collins. Some artwork from this creation, which came about in 2018 following a talk I gave in Dublin on Maguire’s life the previous year, can be seen below:Blueprint still from an animated video by Aidan J Collins. This is based on one of the panels from his 2018 historical comic strip The Spirit of Dora Maguire (Courtesy of Aidan J Collins).On Monday 20th May 2019 I will be teaming up with Maeve Casserly (Historian in Residence, South East Area) for a joint talk about Dora Maguire and St. Ultan’s Children’s Hospital at Rathmines Public Library. The event starts at 6:30pm and all are welcome to attend.Dr. James Curry, Historian in Residence, North West Area.Dublin City Council Historians in Residence are available to meet groups and schools, give talks, walks etc, run history book clubs and advise on historical research.
History Document of the Month: Rally round the banner boys!
Gerald Crofts (1888–1934) was one of a small group of musicians and lyricists who made a huge contribution to the Irish independence movement in the early 20th century. He came from Capel Street originally, where his family had a shop and he was a popular singer. His brother Joseph was a composer who arranged the words and music for this marching song, which was dedicated to Crofts.Gerald had joined the Irish Volunteers in 1914 and he was a close friend of some of the leaders of the Rising. He was imprisoned in Dartmoor and Lewes prisons in England and suffered poor health for the rest of his life. Crofts continued his republican activities after his release from prison although he was curtailed in what he could do by a problem with his hands, which meant he could not hold weapons. Family papers suggest that he was involved in intelligence work with Michael Collins. In the later years of his life he was well known for singing his friend Constance Markiewicz’s anthem 'A Battle Hymn’ (dedicated to the Irish Citizen Army) at political gatherings and concerts. He died on 14th November 1934. History Document of the MonthEvery month the Dublin City Council Historians in Residence will be highlighting a document from Dublin City Public Libraries and Archives Digital Repository. An image of the selected document will be on display in branch libraries during the month.Historians in Residence are available to meet groups and schools, give talks, walks etc, run history book clubs and advise on historical research.
Dublin supported James II at the Battle of the Boyne, but following his defeat by William III, a protestant ascendancy resumed control of the city and began to forge links with the new and successful monarchy. This process intensified after the death of Mary II in 1695 left William III as sole monarch. Dublin Corporation added William’s arms to the City Sword; in 1697 and in the following year, the king presented a chain of office to the Lord Mayor of Dublin, carrying the monarch’s bust on a medallion, which is in use to this day.