I’m a burlesque performer, bellydancer, producer, stylist and maker. I make a lot of my costumes from scratch; you might take an item, say a pair of shoes, and completely reimagine them. My sitting room is my studio, so half the time everything’s covered in sequens and glitter. I describe Dublin as a little powerful nugget of genius; there been an incredible influx of people from so many different cultures, we’re able to take those influences and put our own spin on it. It’s very important, especially in this centenary year, that people get out and engage with everything Dublin has to offer. There’s art, music, theatre, comedy, and it’s all very accessible. That’s the brilliant thing with the burlesque scene here, there’s such a diverse pool of performers from all walks of life. I’m very much about cross-pollination.
Whether you’re into music, theatre, art, literature, history and heritage or comedy, you’ll find some cultural happening to suit your taste.
There is unfortunately no blueprint for happiness, but a maxim to think about is ‘create, don’t consume’. Fighting Words is where Dublin’s children and young teens can learn to express themselves, but also get to grips with the tools that make that expression possible. Numerous studies have indicated that it’s our experiences that give us the most satisfaction and not the things we accumulate. That’s not always easy to remember when faced with the new car purchase that will change our lives, or the dress that makes you look like a better, slimmer version of ourselves but in our hearts we know it’s true.
In a random (and completely unscientific) study I asked several people to name five of the best known statues in Dublin. Merrion Square’s Oscar Wilde was name checked, as was Patrick Kavanagh’s canal bank sit‐down.
The newest of the Liffey bridges is the Rosie Hackett Bridge of 2014. A bridge of its time, built of stainless steel and concrete, it caters for the living city, providing a crossing for the pedestrian and for public transport. In the name alone – it is the only bridge within the city limits named for a woman – there is the kernel of the history of the modern state and the tale of an heroic woman. The oldest bridge straddles the river in the western suburb of Chapelizod, a four arch stone bridge with royal connections of old and a more modern, Joycean inspired moniker: the Anna Livia Bridge dates to 1753.
When TripAdvisor speaks, the world listens. Last year, the online resource named the Little Museum of Dublin as Ireland’s top museum in its Travellers’ Choice Award, pipping heavy-hitters like the Croke Park Stadium Tour & GAA Museum and the National Museum of Ireland on Kildare Street. More recently, they also bagged the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Award 2016. These accolades are all the more remarkable considering that the Little Museum of Dublin is a relative newbie, having opened up its doors in 2011.
All interesting Dublin landmarks tend to polarise. For every champion of The Spire, you’ll find someone who still thinks that it should never have been erected. And so too with the Poolbeg Generating Station. Even the more ardent of its champions would be hard pressed to describe it as it beautiful; its two distinctive red and white chimneys, built in 1969 and 1977 and standing at over 207 metres, poking the city’s skyline, cannot even be described as useful - they were decommissioned in 2010.
Since 1996, historian Lorcan Collins has brought visitors around Dublin’s most significant sights to tell them the story of the 1916 Easter Rising and its role in Ireland’s struggle for independence from Britain. He also has a podcast called Revolutionary Ireland and has written The 1916 Handbook for O’Brien Press. Derek O’Connor sat down with Lorcan for a chat to find out more. He discusses what to expect from his walking tour, the true blue Dublin and how he came to land his dream jo
Any day in axis Ballymun is filled with potential. That's what makes working in the arts and in a community as vibrant as Ballymun so special. For me arts, culture and creativity is about people, about ideas, about synergies and most importantly about listening - really listening. axis is all about this, about creating a space where people can be entertained, try out new ideas in a safe environment, meet, discuss, and come to the heart of the northside to make magic. I have had the pleasure of working in Ballymun, with a great staff, community, artists, and a multitude of stakeholders for nearly 12 years now, and I can safely say that no two days in all that time has ever been the same.
If you’ve wandered in the direction of South William Street (or South Williamsburg Street, as local wags are wont to call it these days) anytime of late, specifically past Busyfeet & Coco cafe, you may have come across your first sight of the new Dublin.ie identity. Truth be told, it’s kind of hard to miss. We’re talking about this rather impressive – and altogether massive, in every sense of the word – piece of wall art especially created by acclaimed Dublin street artist Shane Sutton.
‘Ah, if these walls could speak…’ The clichéd but always heart-felt phrase we’ll forever use to reference intriguing historical sites, with the underlying assumption being that we will never learn these forgotten tales. In the case of Richmond Barracks in Inchicore, however, the people who lived, worked and were schooled here over the last two centuries will be given a voice. From military accommodation to a prison, then social housing and a school, Richmond Barracks has had several incarnations, all of them played out to the backdrop of some of the nation’s most turbulent times.
A great Dublin movie doesn’t merely show off the landmarks, however, or sample the legendary wit – although it never hurts to do a little bit of both. It gets under the skin of the city, and captures its pulse, via that elusive quality some like to call movie magic. There are any number of movies that showcase Dublin and its boroughs to fine effect, from '70s cult classics like Flight Of The Doves and Quackser Fortune Has A Cousin In The Bronx to historical epics like Neil Jordan's Michael Collins (which receives a theatrical re-release this month) and contemporary tales like Lenny Abrahamson's debut Adam & Paul.
James Caulfeild, the 1st Earl of Charlemont, was a man who did things with style, and then some. His townhouse on Parnell St, which now houses the Hugh Lane Art Gallery, reflected his elegant, artistic nature, and was initially designed as an adornment to the city, where paintings by Rembrandt and Titian hung. When he embarked upon his Grand Tour - the 18th century equivalent of a gap year - he spent a rather impressive 9 years taking in the delights of Italy, Turkey, Greece and Egypt and became close friends with the future King of Sardinia. As you do.