The Dublin City Good Citizen Awards ceremony took place in the Mansion House on the 18th May 2016. The awards acknowledge and celebrate the contribution made to Dublin city by countless hidden heroes of everyday life. Over the coming weeks, we’re presenting a profile of the winners who stood out in making a big difference to the lives of others.
Jimmy Bolger – Arts & Culture
My name is Jimmy Bolger, and I live in Crumlin. I belong to the Crumlin Youth Band, we take kids off the corner and teach them how to read music and play instruments. We keep them safe, so they’re not running about the roads at all hours. The kids all love it. In years to come, the music will stand to them. The beauty of it is that a lot of them stay with us, there are a load of former band members on the committee.
We’re a brass band trumpets, saxophones, trombones, clarinets, flutes, drums, there’s 36 members at the moment. They’re all getting on a bit, turning 19 and 20, so we’ll be recruiting a new bunch soon. We’ve been all over the world with these kids, to Germany and New York, we can only go every couple of years because there’s a lot of fundraising involved.
The band’s been going since 1990, I joined in 1991: my young fella wanted to join and was told to bring his Da with him. I was sitting there eating me dinner, and he’s like ‘Come on, we’ll go down…’ And it all went from there. My three kids ended up in the band. Me? I don’t have a note in my head, never did, still don’t (laughs). I open the place up for the kids, and keep an eye on them they do music theory classes, as well as learning their instruments.
Why do I do what I do? I just enjoy it, that’s the main thing. My kids got me in on it, so I just wanted to give something back. It’s brilliant seeing them enjoy themselves and learning how to play. We’re always in the Rose Of Tralee every year. They love going back to it, they’re always like ‘Are we going? When are we going? Is it time yet?’ They get back, and they’re raring to go again.
It keeps them off the street. They’re in for three hours upon an evening, and when it’s time for them to go home, none of them want to go. We always have a bit of craic. It’s great fun.
I couldn’t believe when I heard that I’d been nominated. When the man rang, I asked if he had the wrong number (laughs). I thought ‘There’s something wrong here…’ Then I asked a few of the women ‘Do you know anything about this?’ and they started laughing. There’s a few of them involved. I know there is. As long as I’m not in trouble, I don’t really mind (laughs).
Jimmy won the Dublin City Good Citizen Award in the Arts & Culture Category. This category recognises those who have worked to make people in their communities lives richer, and more fulfilling, and in doing so making communities brighter, more stimulating places to live.