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The Story so Far

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Over the past few months, communities in Ballyfermot, Drimnagh and South Circular Road including the Islamic Foundation of Ireland Amal Group, Labre Park women’s group and Bosco Youth Centre, have been working together with artists to tell their stories, exchange cultures and skills, and co-create a new telling of ‘our’ story. These stories are supported and inspired by the collections and programmes of The National Concert Hall and Chester Beatty Library.


Stephen James Smith has been working with women in Ballyfermot to express stories through poetry and spoken word while filmmaker Myles O’Reilly has been working with the wider community to create a documentary of life in Labre Park, Ballyfermot. Helen Barry has been creating work with women from various community groups along the South Circular Road with film-maker Hanan Dirya. Xanthe Gresham is writing an original story about her experience of working with this creative community of women to be performed at the closure of the project. Meanwhile in Drimnagh, Sam Kavanagh, Dave Kelly and Slick film productions have worked with a group of budding young musicians, actors and playwrights to produce both a mini musical and film piece.

Bosco Music Project participant, creating rhythm and sounds, Bosco Youth Centre, 14 Nov 16. Photo by Megan Killeen (1)
Bosco Music Project participant, creating rhythm and sounds, Bosco Youth Centre. Photo by Megan Killeen

As the projects have progressed themes of stories that have been lost over time or voices that have gone unheard have emerged through conversation and sharing many cups of tea together. In Labre Park we learned of songs that would have been shared around camp fires in days of old, and were treated to the spine-tingling tales of the Banshee that would keep you awake at night. In Drimnagh we have been given an insight into the life and times of children and young people living in the area. We have walked the streets with the local young people as our tour guides and collected the sounds and stories of the canal, the Luas tracks, the football field and of course, the local sweet shop. The participants have opened our eyes to the triumphs and challenges of growing up in Dublin in 2017.

Meanwhile, the communities on the South Circular Road have recounted tales of times gone by; countries left behind, flats demolished, buildings changed and communities shaken. In this area the story of resilience and strength in numbers has been powerful. We have laughed and cried over the stories of suffering and celebration from a community in constant flux and have enjoyed many a cup of tea while revelling in the power and potential of groups of women when they work together. Across the region we have experienced an embarrassment of riches in relation to the amount of awe-inspiring stories nestled in the hearts of our neighbourhoods; and (Y)our Story has just begun…

Come and join us celebrate the tales of our communities at events taking place across the city. These events include:

– A final showcase for all groups at The National Concert Hall on 20 February of the films and performances created

– A public story-telling event at the Chester Beatty Library with Xanthe Gresham

– A celebration and display of all the pieces created including the crafts by the IFI – Amal Group women at the Chester Beatty Library on 22 February

– A performance of the musical created by the Bosco Youth Centre in Drimnagh

– A singing session at Labre Park


Two young boys from the Islamic Foundation community, creating stories at the National Concert Hall, 2 Nov 16. Photo by Megan Killeen
Two young boys from the Islamic Foundation community, creating stories at the National Concert Hall. Photo by Megan Killeen


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