Remembering our roots: historic information boards in Dublin 8

In recent months, there have been historic information boards installed around the Liberties in Donore Avenue and Dolphin’s Barn.  

Counceller Marie Devine of Sinn Féin expressed her concern about the lack of appreciation for local history and suggested that the information boards be installed around the area. 

Cathy Scuffil of the Dublin Historians in Residence programme, put herself forward to create the boards and with the help of others, the historic information boards were installed in late March.  

“It was done within months,” Scuffil says. “When you think of all the moving parts that had to align, it was just brilliant.”  

She adds: “Because of the reaction to them, every section of the council that played a part is quite rightly taking the pat on the back – because it’s a nice little addition.” 

The information boards tell the back stories of what are now key points in the Liberties. The information board at Dolphin’s Barn tells the story of the name of the place, relating to David Dolphin, a knight of Kilmainham. It also highlights the original purpose of the Celtic cross across the road, and also the original uses of the canal, while giving the time line of the expansion of the building. 

“They’re not heavy going,” Scuffil says. “You’d stand and read it in five or ten minutes and yet you’ll find something that you did know and something that you didn’t.” The information on the boards is offered in Irish and English.  

“The locals are absolutely delighted and everybody likes a little bit of recognition and everybody likes to feel like they’re the link in the chain. We didn’t parachute in and invent Dublin 8, it’s been there for so long and has a rich, vibrant history and it’s reflected in the community that are there today.”  

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