Press Play


PRESS PLAY is a unique project working with local people from the north west area (Finglas, Cabra, Whitehall and Ballmun) in partnership with The National Museum at Collins Barracks and The Abbey Theatre. It’s about pop up museums, culture clubs, turning people’s homes into pop up cultural venues, playdates, strategic partnership building, connecting local artists to their local community, unearthing gems and ultimately – pressing play on creativity in this unique part of Dublin.

Over the past few months, PRESS PLAY has been visible throughout the community engaging local people, groups and schools in various projects and events including;

  • 2 pop up museums;
    The School of identity Museum (New Cross College, February 2017)
    The Museum of Sport & Song (Retail unit in Charlestown, February 2017)
  • A Play Date with the Abbey: A programme of fun community ‘playdates’ inspired by The Abbey Theatre
  • Commissioned writer Dermot Bolger to develop four new monologues that will be performed by local people at The Abbey Theatre and The National Museum in Feb/Mar 2017
  • Legacy building: Piloting a new Dublin’s Culture Connects Culture Club with The National Museum
  • Turning people’s homes into pop-up cultural venues/spaces;
    – Clowning Around in Your Kitchen
    – Lethal Dialect in your Living Room
  • A new PRESS PLAY anthem and Irish Hakka that will be performed by 100+ local people in February/March 2017
  • Unearthing the Artist: A PRESS PLAY musical radio programme in partnership with The Artist’s Lounge/NEAR FM
  • An area wide weekend ‘playdate’ with the community at the end of February 2017
  • Strategic partnership building and visual arts project with The National Museum and Deaf Village Ireland
What is PRESS PLAY up to?


  • 60 people have signed up to the Culture Club to date
  • 45 people are working with Sean Millar on the Museum of Sport and Song (across 3 groups)
  • 61 people are working with George Higgson the Museum of Sport and Song (across 4 groups)
  • 40 people are working with Veronica Dyas on the School of Identity Museum(across 3 schools)
  • 12 local musicians took part in The Artists’ Lounge @ NEAR FM
  • 15 local women are performing as part of our THREADS on TOUR event
  • 100+ local people will be invited to perform the PRESS PLAY anthem in February 2017
  • A minimum of 20 people will be involved in the Deaf Village Ireland visual arts and strategic engagement project
  • 40 neighbours, family and friends will be attending Lethal Dialect in Your Living Room pop up gig in local Cabra woman’s Monica’s house
  • 4 local people will be selected to rehearse with the Abbey Theatre and will perform one of Dermot Bolger’s newly commissioned pieces.
  • A minimum of 8 more community groups will be invited to participate in the A Play Date with the Abbey programme
  • Hundreds of people will be involved in various activities/events at the final ‘playdate’ event in February 2017.


PRESS PLAY is engaging a wonderful and diverse mix of community groups across the north-west area. As well as local people who were born and raised in Dublin, PRESS PLAY is also engaging people from Slovakia, Egypt, Asia, Poland, Croatia and Romania. PRESS PLAY is for everyone and we have on-going workshops, projects and pop up events happening for older people, children, young people, men, young mothers, new communities and students.

Below is a list of groups currently involved in PRESS PLAY.



A terrific mix of lead artists and support artists are involved in PRESS PLAY. One of the objectives of PRESS PLAY is to involve artists living and working in the area and to connect them more to the local community and vice versa. We also have two young videographers hailing from Ballymun and Finglas on board as videographers/photographers and are capturing the whole process through a collection of short PRESS PLAY films.



Project Advisory Group
axis Ballymun, Project Manager, Press Play
Emma Connors, axis Ballymun, Arts Development Manager
Iseult Byrne, Project Director, Dublin’s Culture Connects
Aisling Murray, Senior Librarian, Ballymun Library
Lorraine Comer, Head of Education, National Museum of Ireland
Phil Kingston, Community & Education Manager, Abbey Theatre
Sinead Connolly, Arts Officer, Dublin City Council
Mary Taylor, Area Manager, North West Area, Dublin City Council
Aidan Maher, Assistant Area Manager, North West Area, Dublin City Council
Larry Dooley, North West Area Coordinator, Dublin City Council

Dublin City Libraries
Dublin City Libraries’ mission is to maximise opportunity for all – individuals and communities – through guided access to ideas, learning, literature, information and heritage resources supported by cultural programming.

National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History
The National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History is a branch of the National Museum of Ireland located at the former Collins Barracks in the Arbour Hill area of Dublin, Ireland. The main focus of the galleries is on arts, craft and wares, including exhibits on: Irish coins and currency, silverware, furniture, folk life and costumes, ceramics, and glassware.

Abbey Theatre
The Abbey produces an annual programme of diverse, engaging, innovative Irish and international theatre and invests in and promotes new Irish writers and artists.

They do this by placing the writer and theatre-maker at the heart of all that they do, commissioning and producing exciting new work and creating discourse and debate on the political, cultural and social issues of the day. Their aim is to present great theatre art in a national context so that the stories told on stage have a resonance with artists and audiences alike.

Dublin City Arts Office
The City Arts Office assists artists and communities to enhance their contributions to and experiences within the arts. The City Arts Office is part of Dublin City Council’s Culture Recreation Amenity and Community Department. The City Arts Office works in partnership with other Dublin City Council sections, and in particular with those concerned with arts and cultural programming and provision. It holds a specialised remit to practice the arts, participate in the arts, develop audiences for the arts, and work with other City Sections to maximise opportunity for the public to engage in the arts, and particularly to improve access to the arts.
It holds a specialised remit to:

        • Practice the arts – for example, by supporting artists and arts organisations.


        • Participate in the arts – support individuals and groups who want to develop an arts project, whether community-led or otherwise, or who want guidance in learning about the arts.


        • Develop audiences for the arts – whether in schools, communities or in business.


        • Work with other City Sections to maximise opportunity for the public to engage in the arts, and particularly to improve access to the arts.

Dublin North West Local Area Office
The North West Area is one of 5 administrative areas used by Dublin City Council to co-ordinate the delivery of services in the city. This area includes Cabra, Ashtown, Finglas, Ballymun, Santry, Whitehall, Glasnevin, the Phoenix Park and parts of Phibsborough.



PRESS PLAY is a project designed for the north-west area of Dublin – specifically taking place across Cabra, Finglas, Whitehall and Ballymun.

PRESS PLAY projects and events are taking place in people’s homes, secondary schools, community groups, GAA centres, youth projects, outdoors, local libraries and shopping centres.

PRESS PLAY events and visits are also happening in National Cultural Institution partners – Abbey Theatre and The National Museum of Ireland.