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LoveD8 – a celebration of Dublin 8’s culture and urbanity

Love D8
William Morton with Lord Mayor of Dublin, Niall Ring in St.Patrick’s Cathedral photo credit: Injae Kang

LoveD8, a showcase demonstrating the best Dublin 8’s community has to offer, took place on February 26th in St Patrick’s Cathedral. The event included over 100 community groups, schools, businesses and agencies, each demonstrating their contributions to this bustling and expanding community.

For the event, the iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral was reimagined as a lively and active community fair which celebrated Dublin 8’s unique culture, community and urbanity.  

The exhibition was separated into six different zones, with each zone representing a different aspect of life in Dublin 8. The zones included LearningD8, CommunityD8, WorkingD8, Healthy D8, Clean&GreenD8 and CulturalD8.

Mc for the night, Eric Lalor, immediately suggested that all people should get involved. He encouraged them to view the numerous stands around them, each stand bursting with information about life in D8.

Stands ranged from local businesses showing what they offer to the community, to information stands promoting fire safety in your home. Each stand had its own unique contribution to life in D8, and all of them came together in supporting this great, expanding community.

One stand that stood out was ‘Shannon’s Hopeline’, an organisation with the mission of “supporting and educating young people on the importance of looking after their mental health.” The organisation was set up after its founder, Sandra Kelleher, lost her daughter to suicide and it aims to prevent suicide by creating a sense of strength, hope and confidence in young people.

Another stand that sparked attention was the “best homeless charity you’ve never heard of”, ‘Sophia’. A fitting name for an organisation that’s been operating for 20 years and houses 300 adults and 200 children across Ireland. It has projects all over Ireland and began right here in the Liberties.

Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, William Morton, praised the event as an opportunity for locals to “explore life around them.” He gave thanks to all those involved in its organisation and said it couldn’t happen without the “infectious enthusiasm and energy of our community.”

A wide range of musical performances took place throughout the evening, each demonstrating Dublin 8’s musical culture and talent. Performances took place in the Nave, the centre of the makeshift market. Masamba Brazilian drumming ensemble were the first of the musical performances, followed by The Iveagh Trust Community Choir and then students from Dublin 8’s music college BIMM.

The live entertainment didn’t stop there, with a variety of speakers giving fascinating talks in the Lady Chapel. Historian Cathy Scuffil gave a talk on Dublin 8’s rich local history, and Marja Almqvist spoke passionately about the Suffragette Hat Project.

LoveD8 was a fitting celebration for this growing community. It allowed the community to give back to the one thing that makes it special, the people. Niall Ring, Lord Mayor of Dublin, put it best in his speech when he said, “great people make great communities.”

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