History in Dublin’s Communities – a Celebration

Over 150 community groups and organisations right across the city have been recognised by the Lord Mayor of Dublin for their contribution to commemorating 1916 and other events in the Decade of Commemorations. At a reception in Dublin’s City Hall on Thursday 1st February, Ardmhéara Mícheál MacDonncha awarded certificates to each group to mark their role in the commemorations. Such has been the success of the Council’s 1916 commemoration programme that it won the national Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards in the category “Commemorations and Centenaries 2016”.

Community groups throughout the City and suburbs have organised hundreds of events since 2015, taking advantage of grants totalling over €200,000 provided by Dublin City Council under its Decade of Commemoration Fund for Communities.

Local areas throughout the city have participated in walking tours, concerts, memorabilia displays, murals and re-enactments while commemorative plaques, exhibitions, events for school children, tapestry, drama, poetry and even gardening have made for a creative, diverse and inclusive programme. This broad participation by people has increased the awareness of these important historic anniversaries around the city.

Speaking at the event the Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál MacDonncha commented:
“In marking the events of the Decade of Commemorations, the City Council wanted to get as many people as possible involved. The response from communities around the City and suburbs was fantastic, with hundreds of events, supported by the City Council Decade of Commemorations Fund for Communities, taking place throughout Dublin. I want to congratulate all the communities involved and look forward to seeing how they continue to engage with the history of our City and its people. Bhí suim ar leith i gComóradh an Éirí Amach 1916 agus molaim na grúpaí phobail go léir a d’eagraigh imeachtaí ar fun na Cathrach. Dublin City Council is continuing its Commemorations Grants scheme and I hope to see lots of interesting ideas coming forward in 2018”.

Community groups can continue to apply to Dublin City Council for funding to organise a history event under the Decade of Commemorations designation and €75,000 has been made available for 2018. For full details see www.dublincity.ie/decadeofcommemorations.

Building on the success of the commemorations programme, Dublin City set up an innovative historians-in-residence programme, which sees five historians working across the City to talk history with community groups and schools and to help them organise history events.  The project has been a great success and continues in 2018 - historians can be contacted at commemorations@dublincity.ie or on Twitter @DubHistorians.



Photographs by Fennell Photography are available on request from the Media Relations Office

Notes to the Editor:
Dublin City Council established a committee on Commemorations in 2014. The Commemorations Committee is chaired by Cllr Vincent Jackson and membership is open to all councillors and members of the Arts, Culture & Recreation Strategic Policy Committee.

The Commemorations Committee has overseen the Council’s commemorations programme, including the major commemorations of 1916, and a series of exhibitions, lectures, publications, and digital projects related to events falling under the national Decade of Centenaries.

The Commemorations Committee sees supporting community engagement as a priority, and notes that the City Council has awarded grants totalling in excess of €200,000 to over 200 community groups to support them in commemorating 1916 and other events.

Some examples of events that took place:

  • Community Law and Mediation  - “Women of 1916: Social Justice Then and Now” series of free public lectures with Near FM and Coolock Library, with podcasts of talks available.
  • Dublin Adult Learning Centre – “Remembering 1916 Learner’s Festival”:  a series of exhibitions, talks and presentations.  As DALC students are early school leavers and struggle with reading and writing, a number of history classes were arranged prior to the events.
  • Henrietta Street Adult Learners (Henrietta Adult and Community Education service HACE) drama group wrote and staged a drama to commemorate the 1916 Rising. Two tutors worked with two groups, ideas discussed and brainstormed culminating in two original short plays: “Cherish our Children” and “20 Days to Bloody Sunday”.
  • Lorcan O’Toole Day Centre Commemoration Day: collection of family stories and memories from 1916 with music.
  • Ballyfermot Community Association held a 1916 Commemoration festival, parade, exhibitions and events and created banners to dress the streets.
  • Good Counsel GAA & Camogie Club, Drimnagh: seminar on “The GAA and the Irish Revolution” and re-enactment of Bloody Sunday match 1920.
  • MACRO Community Resource Centre held a 1916 commemoration day that involved all aspects of the community. From children in crèche playing 1916 games, and primary school children playing tin whistle and Irish dancing to walking tours and historical lectures and Over 55s commemoration social afternoon tea.
  • Barbara Ward Clonliffe & Croke Park Community Centre created a tapestry commemorating the events of 1916 including the children of the Rising.
  • 1916 Relatives Association and many of the 1916 Rising Garrisons Relatives groups held commemorative events in 1916.

A selection of publications supported:

Rebels and Heroes: Hidden stories from Dublin’s Northside

Our Rising: Cabra and Phibsborough in Easter 1916

“Within the seat of War” Dublin Docklands and the sinking of the SS Hare and SS Adela 1917

Chapelizod Heritage Society Remembers 1916

Rathmines and the Easter Rising 1916: a Guidebook

A RADE in Dublin: graphic tales from 1916 (Recovery through Art Drama and Education)

War Chest comic: anthology that celebrates less well-known stories and characters of 1916 Rising