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People of the Tolka River Valley

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‘People of the Tolka River Valley’ is a performance of songs and artwork created by communities in Cabra and Finglas including a celebration of Irish Sign Language, which takes place on April 25th at 1pm at the National Museum, Collins Barracks. The project is the culmination of a partnership project with Dublin’s Culture Connects The National Neighbourhood, The Deaf Village, and local communities and schools working with artists Susan McKeown, Jane Groves and Claire Halpin. Join us to see Clarke Square light up with sights and sounds inspired by local treasures of Dublin 7 and the Museum’s collections!

The event will include performances by the Deaf Choir from Holy Family School for the Deaf and by the CDETB Forever Young Chorus and guests, including new songs written specially for them by Grammy Award winning artist Susan Mckeown. One of the special guests on the day is Sharon Murphy who famously sang on The Voice UK had more than a million hits on YouTube with the song ‘Forever Young.’ The audience will all learn how to ‘sign’ along to the song in Irish Sign Language. They can also sing along with the bodhran players from Holy Family School for the Deaf with bodhran player Brian Fleming in their first ever public performance.

Artwork by St Malachy’s National School in Finglas with Deaf Village Ireland, made in collaboration with artist Claire Halpin will be on display on the day, as will work by Cabra For Youth, made with artist Jane Groves. There will be one more chance to see the Broom Bridge Mural, made with Jane in October 2017 by Cabra Sketchers, Cabra For Youth, Cabra Educate together, Scoil Bharra, St Decaln’s and the Holy Family School for the Deaf.

St Malachy’s also drew inspiration from the collection at the National Museum of Ireland which they visited at the Collections resource Centre in Swords, where Brenda Malone, curator expert on the collection and Helen Beaumont, Education and outreach officer with the museum showed them the carts and crafts that were used around the river in the past and records of the different occupations people in tingles had 100 years ago. They also met Michael Burke from Dublin City Council’s Parks Department and learned the secrets about the underground river beneath their school and how the Tolka cleans itself. They even helped Michael plant some more trees in the park. Watch our video above to see what they got up to!

With the National Neighbourhood, we want every neighbourhood to know and “own” their city’s cultural resources so we build cultural projects in community settings. We connect artists, groups and villages with libraries, museums and creative places to deepen their understanding of each other and themselves.

The National Neighbourhood spans the Dublin City Council region, and brings together Dublin City Council’s City Library & Archive, the area offices, the City Arts Office and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, in partnership with National Cultural Institutions (The Abbey Theatre, The National Museum of Ireland, The National Library of Ireland, The National Gallery of Ireland, The National Concert Hall, The Chester Beatty Library, The National Archives and The Irish Museum of Modern Art).

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