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Lordmayor Speech


As Lord Mayor of Dublin, I have today received the most wonderful news for this great city of ours – The Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has informed me that Dublin has been formally designated a UNESCO City of Literature, part of the Creative Cities network. In her letter to me, confirming the designation, The DG said ‘I am confident that the city of Dublin…will play an active part in the network’s joint activities and I know that I can count on your city’s innovative capacity and on its spirit of solidarity with cities in developing countries…I look forward to a fruitful cooperation between UNESCO and the City of Dublin’

Dublin is only the fourth city in the world to receive this sought after – and, I believe, thoroughly deserved accolade - which we now share with Edinburgh, Melbourne and Iowa. The application process for the designation, led by our City Council Library Service in association with a steering committee representing most of the relevant agencies in Dublin, has been a long and arduous journey and congratulations are due to all who have been involved in the process.

This is a fantastic opportunity for Dublin to capitalise on its international reputation as a great literary city and I want to encourage all the partners in this endeavour to work together in maximising the value of this rare honour. Now that the designation has been received, it is up to all of us to ensure that the aims of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in championing cultural excellence, and in our case, literary excellence - are met in full in the years which follow.

Those of us who are intent on developing Dublin’s credentials as a cultural tourism destination will also understand and value this opportunity to increase our city’s visibility in a highly competitive market. The range of literary and cultural activities which Dublin already hosts is evidence of our commitment in this area and I am certain that the added impetus of the UNESCO brand will galvanize new and exciting initiatives in time to come.

Finally, may I draw your attention to the Dublin UNESCO City of Literature website which is being launched today and which will act both as a channel for all that the City plans to do in support of its new status - and as a focal point for all those interested in connecting with Dublin – The City of Literature.


Notes for Minister Hanafin


I am delighted to welcome the news of this wonderful recognition from UNESCO. We all know that Dublin is a City of Literature - it is heartening that the world recognises this.  Irish cultural activities are world-renowned and have brought many kudos to our country. As demontrated at Farmleigh last autumn, the extraordinary profile and continued excellence of our artistic output is undeniably beneficial to our country in terms of cultural tourism, international reputation, esteem and goodwill – not to mention the revenue it raises and the direct and indirect employment it creates. This designation will give added vigour to our creative industries and the artists who enrich our society.

Dublin is now part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and there will be numerous opportunities to develop lasting relationships with sister cities. I echo UNESCO Director General, Irina Bokova’s comments on Dublin’s “innovative capacity and on its spirit of solidarity with cities in developing countries”. Like her, I also will look forward to and work actively on fruitful cooperation between UNESCO and Dublin.

A steering group has been formed to help develop this designation which includes representation from the Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Dublin City Council, Culture Ireland, Dublin Tourism, Failte Ireland, The Arts Council, The Abbey Theatre, The National Library, the media, the universities, literature organisations and writers. I am confident that there will be many more wonderful developments to come from this designation and I look forward to many more celebrations.


Cathair Litríochta de chuid UNESCO – Lá bródúil do Bhaile Átha Cliath!


Maidin inniu, fógróidh Ardmhéara Bhaile Átha Cliath, Gerry Breen, in éineacht leis an Aire Turasóireachta, Cultúir agus Spóirt, Máire Ní Ainifín T.D., gur roghnaíodh Baile Átha Cliath go hoifigiúil mar Chathair Litríochta de chuid UNESCO, ceann de cheithre chathair ar domhan a bhfuil an gradam seo acu. Fógrófar é seo sa spás poiblí taobh amuigh d’Amharclann na Canála Móire, Faiche na Canála Móire, Baile Átha Cliath 2 ar 11.00am. Meastar go bhfreastalóidh roinnt daoine clúiteacha den aos ealaíon agus litríochta ar an ócáid freisin.

Cuireadh Ardmhéara Bhaile Átha Cliath, Gerry Breen, ar an eolas faoin ngradam seo go hoifigiúil agus dúirt sé “Tá ríméad orm maidir leis an éacht seo – dearbhaíonn sé rud a thuig muintir Bhaile Átha Cliath ar feadh na mblianta – gur cathair í seo a ghin scríbhneoirí móra - agus a ghineann i gcónaí iad.”

Ard-stiúrthóir UNESCO a bhronn an gradam seo a bhfuil an-tóir air, agus tugann sé aitheantas do phróifíl chultúrtha Bhaile Átha Cliath agus dá stádas idirnáisiúnta mar chathair litríochta den scoth.

Seirbhís Leabharlainne na Comhairle Cathrach, a bhí chun tosaigh sa ghrúpa stiúrtha agus bainisteoireachta, a chuir mioniarratas chuig UNESCO i mí na Samhna na bliana seo caite, agus cuireadh an t-iarratas úd faoi dhianscrúdú. Bhí baint ag ionadaithe ó eagrais liteartha leis an aighneacht, chomh maith le daoine ó réimse an chultúir, na n-ealaíon, na turasóireachta, an rialtais, na meán, agus institiúidí oideachais ar fud na cathrach agus na tíre.

Tugann an gradam seo mar Chathair Litríochta, cuid de Ghréasán Chathracha Cruthaitheacha UNESCO, ardán uathúil do phobal liteartha Bhaile Átha Cliath agus cabhraíonn sé leis an gcathair a sciar den mhargadh a mhéadú, mar cheannphointe an ghnó agus na siamsaíochta – agus Éire mar náisiún cruthaitheach, beoga, agus spleodrach. Tá féidearthachtaí ollmhóra ag baint le Baile Átha Cliath, Cathair Litríochta de chuid UNESCO, i dtaobh na dtionchar tairbhiúil cultúrtha agus eacnamaíoch, ní hamháin sa phríomhchathair, ach i bpobail timpeall na tíre. Thacaigh Fáilte Ireland go mór leis an iarratas ón tús chun an gradam seo a ghnóthú, agus tuiscint aige ar thábhacht Bhaile Átha Cliath agus a oidhreacht liteartha i gcur chun cinn na turasóireachta cultúrtha.




Dublin was today designated a UNESCO City of Literature, one of only four in the world. Formal notification was received by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Gerry Breen, who said

‘I am absolutely delighted about this achievement  - which confirms what Dubliners have known for years - this is a city that has always produced - and continues to produce - great writers’

The sought after accolade was bestowed by the Director General of UNESCO and recognises Dublin’s cultural profile and its international standing as a city of literary excellence.

Detailed application was made to UNESCO last November by a steering and management group led by Dublin City Council’s library service and was subject to a rigorous vetting procedure. Partners in the submission included representatives from literary-related organisations as well as culture, arts, tourism, government, media and educational institutions across the city and country.

The designation as City of Literature, part of the UNESCO Creative Cities network, provides a unique platform for Dublin’s literary community and enables the city to increase its market share as a destination for business and pleasure - and Ireland as a creative, exciting, and vibrant nation. Dublin, UNESCO City of Literature has enormous potential for beneficial cultural and economic impacts not alone in the capital city, but in communities across the country.


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