Calling all Dubs- help the capital win culture title

by Dave O'Connor
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The European Capital of Culture for the year 2020 will be hosted byIreland and Croatia. Dublin, Galway, Limerick and the south east are now competing to win the coveted title. Dublin2020 is Dublin’s campaign to make sure our city wins.

The European Capital of Culture is awarded for a period of one year, highlighting the diversity, richness and integration of cultures in Europe and the chosen city.
While 2020 may seem like a long time away, the judging is happening in mid-October of this year when a panel of European judges will arrive in Ireland and shortlist their favourites.

A number of projects is being undertaken by the Dublin 2020 team, one of the most interesting of which is a mini series of short films made by Dubliners called We Are Dublin 2020. Each We Are Dublin2020
film concentrates on one person, their Dublin story and the reason they love Dublin.

Two films have been made so far, the first of which is The Unofficial Lord Mayor of
Ballymun, a film which focuses on 16-year-old Jamie Harrington, who talks about his belief in community, his love for Ballymun and his desire to make it a place where everyone wants to live.

The latest film is called More Than One Million Hits and focuses on taxi driver John McCartney,
who gives wise words on maintaining the balance between his love for Dublin and his blog, which can be viewed at

Another interesting initiative is Dublin: Let’s Chat, which is a series of conversations with prominent Dublin figures about what Dublin means to them and why they love the capital. The first in this series was Senator David Norris who said: “I think Dublin is a wonderful city. If you look at it in the European context it has made an absolutely disproportionate contribution to literature: Yeats, Shaw, Wilde, Joyce, Beckett, Colm Toibin, Roddy Doyle, it’s just an endless list of people. We’ve made
an utterly amazing contribution to 20th century literature, written some of the greatest poetry with Yeats, we’ve contributed the greatest novel of the 20th century: James Joyce’s Ulysses.”

The second in this series was former Lord Mayor Christy Burke who said: “What makes Dublin home for me is, when I’m away and I’m coming in on the plane and I see Howth or Dublin Bay, then I know, this
is home. It’s that sort of pride that hits me, makes me proud to be a Dubliner.”

According to the Dublin2020 team: “The reason we are competing for the European Capital of Culture 2020 is to build a new story for Dublin, based on shared ideas, inclusion and confidence. Dublin
can be a leading city in Europe. We can take advantage of our talented young population, our informed older population and everyone in between to initiate major progress in communities and
neighbourhoods. We need everyone in Dublin to join in. If you are part of Dublin you are part of Dublin2020.”

Dublin’s distinguished A r t a n e B a n d a l s o showed their support for Dublin 2020 recently in Connolly Station by performing in front of hundreds of morning commuters who were on their way to work.

Keith Kelly, director of Artane Band, told The Gazette that the young members of the band really enjoyed the experience and said that the public really showed them their support.

He said: “In the run-up to the performance we were all a little nervous as we considered that it could go either way. At eight in the morning you’re going to people in good or bad forms.

“When the band started to play some people just walked past with their heads down, but the majority of commuters stopped and listened and seemed to really enjoy what we had to offer.

“Some people even started dancing while  the band were playing.

“The band enjoyed it  so much that the kids asked could if they could go outside the station and play outside the Luas.

“The kids then picked up their instruments and started playing out towards the street. It was
great fun and a really worthwhile experience.

“We’ve offered our support for Dublin 2020 since Artane would be considered one of the most visual parts of Dublin, especially considering our connection with Croke Park,” he said.

For more information on the Dublin2020 bid see www.dublin2020

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