(Y)Our Story


Did you know that there are 185 languages spoken in Dublin by 182 nationalities? With Dublin City Council, we’re working with communities in Ballyfermot, Drimnagh and South Circular Road and artists on a series of projects centred on the theme of storytelling. The projects relate to telling your story, then sharing and co-creating ‘our’ story, supported and inspired by the collection and programmes at the National Concert Hall and the Chester Beatty Library.

Stephen James Smith is working with a range of other artists, engaging communities from both theatre and Traveller backgrounds through spoken word and poetry. The musician Sam Kavanagh is working through music and film with 10-14 year olds from both Irish and Filipino heritage based in the Bosco Youth Centre. They working on mapping their area through sound and will both make a film and compose the soundtrack. Two women’s groups from the South Circular Road area – the Islamic Foundation Amal Group and the newly formed Local Women’s Craft Group from the F2 Centre are working with visual artist Helen Barry and videographer Hanan Dirya with key input from story teller Xanthe Gresham.



Helen Barry– South Circular Road

Helen Barry is a Dublin based Visual Artist, Arts Educationalist and Early Years Arts Practitioner. She has been working with children, adults and families in communities, museums, galleries and educational contexts for almost 30 years. Her vision is driven in her belief that creativity is crucial to the holistic wellbeing and emotional development of every individual and community. Helen’s collaborative work is an intrinsic part of her practice.

Helen has received a number of commissions and awards and is currently working on a number of new initiatives including ‘Virtually There’ – Kids’ Own, Artists Teachers Partnership – The Department of Education, Creative Practitioners – DLRCC. Helen’s work with early years has been supported by the Arts Council since 2013.

Xanthe Gresham – South Circular Road

Xanthe Gresham Knight has been telling stories for over 20 years.  She has been Storyteller in Residence for the Chelsea Physic Garden London, Harvard University and is currently Storyteller in Residence for Psychologies Magazine.  She is currently touring her own adaptation of the Shahnameh the Iranian Book of Kings written a thousand years ago and The Goddess Tales a series of shows that contemporarise myths of the sacred feminine.  Xanthe summons deities not from some long forgotten past but from here and now, emanating from you and me.

She unfolds each tale like the petals of a lotus.  At the end, you leave with something beautiful created in your own mind. British Theatre Review.

Hanan Dirya – South Circular Road

Hanan Dirya is a Dublin based director, originally from Somalia. She holds a BA (Honours) in Film and TV Production from the National Film School in Dun Laoghaire. She also has a Diploma in Film and TV Production from Dun Laoghaire College of Further Education.

Dirya’s graduation film, Diving Within, has been selected for international film festivals in Ireland and abroad, such as Guth Gafa International Documentary Festival (2015) and won second place in the Next Generation, Female Eye Film Festival 2016 in Toronto, IFI Documentary Film Festival 2016 & Southampton International Film Festival 2016.

Sam Kavanagh – Drimnagh

Sam Kavanagh is a composer, conductor and pianist whose professional activities stem from the philosophy that ‘music is for everyone’. Sam is the founder and conductor of The Lalala Choir, a group of more than fifty singers who produce story based projects using choral improvisation techniques. In its second year, The Lalala Choir has performed at festivals both in Ireland and internationally, including: Electric Picnic, Body and Soul, The Night of Choirs Festival (Budapest) and Ballymaloe Litfest; as well as producing its own sold­out show in Smock Alley Theatre. Sam’s teaching practices and research focus on social engagement and the development of self-motivation among students. He has worked with the National Concert Hall, Music Generation and Walton’s School of Music, and is currently working on a new research project with the HSE, assessing the effects of choral singing on mental health. Sam holds an MA in Music Pedagogy and a Diploma in Piano Accompaniment from the Kodály Institute of the Liszt Academy of Music in Hungary. He is the editor of The Dublin Jazz Book, and his choral compositions are published by NoteNova Publishing.

Dave Kelly – Drimnagh

Dave Kelly is the Training Officer for the National Association for Youth Drama. He is responsible for the co-ordination and implementation of the annual training programme. Dave is also the co-ordinator and tutor of ArtsTrain, NAYD’s fulltime drama facilitation training programme. He is the author of “Laying the Foundations”, an introductory workshop resource book for Youth Theatre. Dave Kelly was a member of the freelance facilitation team with the Abbey Theatre Outreach Department and has worked for Team (Dublin) and Graffiti (Cork) Educational Theatre Companies. Dave has also worked as the lead facilitator for Calipo Theatre and Picture Co-Ordinator on all of their Sharp Focus film projects. He has a Diploma in Arts, Drama and Theatre Studies from NUI Maynooth and is currently the Artistic Director of Dublin Youth Theatre.

Slick – Drimnagh

Slick work with individuals, group and communities to develop and produce rich and engaging video and audio content that tells a story.

Stephen James Smith – Ballyfermot

Stephen James Smith is a Dublin poet and playwright central to the rise of the vibrant spoken word genre in Ireland today. Stephen is co-founder of LINGO Festival (inaugural festival in 2014), Ireland’s only spoken word festival, and is poetry curator for the annual First Fortnight Festival. The recent video for his poem Dublin You Are, which was commissioned by DCC, went viral receiving 250,000 views in 3 days. His Dublin Fringe Festival play Three Men Talking About Things They Kinda Know About (2011), co-written with Colm Keegan and Kalle Ryan, was shortlisted for the Bewley’s Little Gem Award. Arise and Go!, his debut album with musician Enda Reilly, was selected by Hot Press as one of the best albums of 2011. His awards include Winner of the Cúirt International Literary Festival Poetry Grand Slam (2010). Stephen founded The Glór Sessions in 2009; a weekly poetry and music event which ran for 3 years and is considered instrumental in establishing Ireland’s spoken word movement.

Stephen has performed at Irish festivals including Dublin Writers Festival, Cúirt International Literary Festival, Electric Picnic, Dublin Fringe Festival, Festival of World Cultures and Spirit of Folk; and across the globe in New York, Chicago, Iowa, Montreal, Ottawa, Paris, Glastonbury, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Utrecht, Ljubljana and Warsaw. He was invited to perform for the Irish Olympic team in London 2012. His work has been translated into Irish, Spanish, Slovenian, Polish, Dutch and Italian. His poetry videos have also been screened at film festivals at home and around the world, and he has featured in programmes and documentaries for television such as RTE’s IFTA Award Winning documentary WB Yeats: No Country for Old Men; The Works (RTE); News Today (RTE); and Like a Virgin (RTE). Stephen’s poetry is included on the syllabus at Western Connecticut State University and he conducts poetry workshops in secondary schools around Ireland.

Myles O’Reilly – Ballyfermot

Multi-award winning music video and documentary filmmaker Myles O’Reilly unintentionally began his career by combining three previous and not so rewarding vocations to form a new hobby while unemployed in a global recession. A gofer with Irish national broadcasters RTE, a photographer and photographic printer, and experience as a recording artist signed to Sony Music Publishing and V2 records UK, in 2009 Myles borrowed a video camera to document local musicians’ performances and upload the footage to YouTube. Since then, multi-tasking O’Reilly has filmed, directed and edited over 100 music videos and 20+ music documentaries of Irish musicians at home and abroad, including Bono, Glen Hansard, Villagers, Imelda May, The Script, James Vincent McMorrow, Sinead O’Connor, Lisa Hannigan, Mick Flannery and Julie Feeney, alongside other international artists such as Hollywood soundtrack virtuoso Topley Bird, The Staves, Tegan and Sara and a long arm list of many rising and emerging artists, all available to view from his blog Arbutus Yarns.

Megan Killeen – Project Documentation

Megan Killeen is a Dublin based photographer currently studying a BA Hons Degree in Photography in IADT Dún Laoghaire. Her work is a collection of images cultivated during her studies and professional development as a visual artist. Her images are varied as a result of this as they reflect her emerging and developing artistic view and skill as a photographer.

Visiting Artists include

  • Eithne Ní Catháin
  • Enda Reilly
  • Fiach Moriarty
  • Glen Hansard
  • Mo Price
  • Sinead Lynch (Landless)
  • Ye Vagabonds


Project Advisory Group

Louise Osborne – Project Manager, (Y)our Story
Iseult Byrne – Project Director, Dublin’s Culture Connects
Una Gomez – Senior Librarian, Ballyfermot Library
Jessica Baldwin – Head of Collections, Chester Beatty Library
Jenny Suing – Head of Education, Chester Beatty Library
Nigel Flegg – Head of Education, National Concert Hall
Sinead Connolly – Arts Officer, Dublin City Council
Miriam Flynn – Ballyfermot Community Officer, South Central Area, Dublin City Council
Patrick Teehan – Crumlin Community Officer, South Central Area, 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.

Chester Beatty Library

The Chester Beatty Library is the pre-eminent Irish institution promoting the appreciation and understanding of world cultures and the engagement with the peoples whose cultures are represented in their collections. The Library contains some of the finest treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world, bequeathed to the Irish people and entrusted to the care of the State by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875–1968), a successful American mining engineer, collector and philanthropist.

Since its move to Dublin Castle in 2000, the Chester Beatty Library has gone from strength to strength and today is one of the nation’s most favoured National Cultural Institutions, attracting over 350,000 visitors in 2016. Through international collaborations, it has brought extraordinary temporary exhibitions to the public, by drawing from the permanent collection (with exhibitions such as Dürer, Muraqqa and Shahnama) as well as by borrowing from international collections (exhibitions such as Leonardo, Rembrandt and Matisse).

National Concert Hall

The National Concert Hall sits proudly on Earlsfort Terrace in Dublin’s city centre and is home to the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Choir Ireland, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Music Network and Music Generation. Next door to the picturesque Iveagh Gardens and in the heart of a commercial district now known as the National Concert Hall Quarter, it hosts over 1000 events per annum. Its mission is to foster and celebrate the appreciation, knowledge, enjoyment and pure love of music as an integral part of Irish life.Visitors are inspired by the world class performances on the stages, and can equally experience and enjoy the iconic building tours, early breakfast, afternoon tea or simply, quiet inspiration from walking through the Iveagh Gardens.

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.

Dublin South Central Local Area Office

The South Central Area is one of 5 administrative areas used by Dublin City Council to co-ordinate the delivery of services in the city. The area has a population of approximately 105,000 and is located in the south-west quadrant of Dublin City, south of the Liffey and stretching from Lower Kimmage Road / Sundrive Road/Clogher Road to Chapelizod.

It has many well-established communities and neighbourhoods including the Liberties, Inchicore, Chapelizod, Ballyfermot, Bluebell, Drimnagh, Rialto, Crumlin and Walkinstown.


(Y)our Story is taking place all across the South Central region of Dublin. You might catch us roaming the streets of Drimnagh collecting sounds to create songs for our musical or you could smell the delicious treats baking in the mosque on the South Circular Road at our Wednesday coffee mornings! If you hear the faint sound of music carrying on the breeze through Ballyfermot, it is probably our Friday sessions at Labre Park featuring a whole host of Irish musical talent! As well as the communities of the region opening their doors to their neighbours and National Neighbourhoods artists alike, we have been kindly hosted by the National Concert Hall and Chester Beatty Library for fun-filled days of storytelling, laughter, song and of course the occasional cup of tea!