Bloomsday in the Monto 2017, by Irene Crawley

A fantastic day was had by all bringing Joyce back to the North Inner City. The event was organised jointly by H.O.P.E. and the North Inner City Folklore Project with the generous help of many volunteers. We combined the traditional ‘Madame of the Monto Wedding’, with scenes from the ‘Night-Town’ chapter in James Joyce’s Ulysses. First and foremost, I would like to offer a big thank you from myself to Terry Fagan, it was a pleasure to work with you, as always.

We would like to extend our gratitude to Former Lord Mayor, Christy Burke and his beautiful “bride” and H.O.P.E. volunteer, Connie Murphy. Mick Rafferty and his troupe of actors gave a great performance of scenes leading up to the ‘Night-Town’ chapter. Dublin City Council provided great support; a stage, gazebos, tables and chairs. Anto Kelly of Kelly’s Carriages graciously donated his time to pick up the bridal party and deliver them to the wedding. The community Garda from Store Street and Fitzgibbons Street were on hand to support the event. Conor O’Mearáin was our professional photographer and did an excellent job capturing the festivities. Susan Porter spent several weeks tirelessly browsing charity shops for the great costumes. Elaine Hilliard did the hair for all the ladies who looked wonderful. Glenda Guilfoyle came along with her mobile costume unit, which was great fun. Gerard O’Neill volunteered his DJ equipment and services which added greatly to the atmosphere of the day. Delicious sandwiches were provided by George O’Brien. Carmel Cosgrove and Theresa Brady from our Management committee volunteered their services for the day. Also, serving our refreshments and helping out for the whole day in their fantastic costumes were Sandra Byrne, Shauna Byrne, Megan McEvoy, Bart Hoppenbrouwers (thank you for the photographs too), Michael Burke, Paula O’Connor, Celine Gifford, and Marilyn Molloy.

All of our staff pitched in for weeks of preparation, David Brown and Alison Grey were a huge help with everything from shopping, set up and planning – Alison also did the make-up and David is our IT Guy who organised all our promotions for the event. Finally, yet importantly, from the staff, thanks to “Father” Joe Dowling who was hilarious, as usual.

I would like to thank IMPACT for giving a grant towards the running of this event.

We would also like to thank our local representatives Maureen O’Sullivan TD (Independent), Councillor Ciarán Cuffe (Green Party) and Mary Fitzpatrick (Fianna Fáil) for coming along.

As well, we would like to thank the Irish Times for covering the event in three articles online, Live Images of Bloomsdaya video-clip of the event & a write-up on Friday 16th June 2017  and an amazing half page spread in the Saturday 17th June 2017 print edition.

Finaly, a big thanks to everyone for coming along! We hope next year to make the event bigger and better, with lots of community engagement.
-Irene Crawley, HOPE Manager

“Bloomsday in the Monto”

From Bloomsday 2017. Posted by HOPE Hands On Peer Education on 6/19/2017 (76 items)

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“Does Kieran Mulvey have the answers to street dealing?” The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk, Thursday 2nd February 2017

Does Kieran Mulvey have the answers to street dealing?

The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk, Thursday, 2nd February, 2017

Last week, the Pat Kenny show on Newstalk returned to the subject of social inequality and drug fuelled gang warfare in Dublin’s north east inner city. H.O.P.E. manager, Irene Crawley, had her say on the topic of street dealing and the overall situation suffered by the north east inner city.


Full show – click here

Deprivation of Dublin’s inner city

The prevalence of prescription drug-dealing and the severe lack of drug-free recovery centres in Dublin’s north inner city are some of the challenges facing the area, according to its community leaders.

“We held a community brainstorming session to inform the government taskforce that’s being set up to address the issues of deprivation in the north inner city,” addiction counsellor at Hope, Irene Crawley, told the Irish Examiner.

The session followed a visit by Taoiseach Enda Kenny to the area last week, where he promised that a taskforce for the north inner city would be established.

About 100 leaders including TDs, councillors, activists and volunteers, came together yesterday to discuss matters such as policing, housing, and addiction and recovery.

Long-time community activist and former Labour minister Joe Costello said there was one issue above all that plagued the north inner city.

“Mountjoy Prison is the biggest drug treatment facility in the country and there is no link-up when a prisoner comes out. It’s a nightmare,” he said.

“This is the issue that deserves the most immediate attention. There is a probation service there but there is nothing that connects the prison with clinics, services and local authorities.

“It’s all fragmented, there is no co-ordination.”


North Inner City Investment

Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking to Joe Dowling from the Hope Project and Terry Fagan of the North Inner City Folklore Project after meeting with local community groups to discuss new measures for north inner city Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times
Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking to Joe Dowling from the Hope Project and Terry Fagan of the North Inner City Folklore Project after meeting with local community groups to discuss new measures for north inner city Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

HOPE is very excited to hear about this attempt to solve the difficulties of drugs and gang related violence facing the area. The high levels of social inequality suffered by the communities of the NIC have been growing for decades. This investment – which has been dedicated to local sports facilities, street and building maintenance and recovery projects – is long overdue. While this endeavour has come at a great cost to the NIC communities, it is with great excitement that we welcome this new government led initiative.

Enda Kenny, Frances Fitzgerald and a number of other ministers attended the meeting at St Laurence O’Toole National School.

Enda Kenny, Frances Fitzgerald and a number of other ministers attended the meeting at St Laurence O'Toole National School.
Enda Kenny, Frances Fitzgerald and a number of other ministers attended the meeting at St Laurence O’Toole National School.

The North Inner City has been victim to high levels of social inequality, which has become the centre of national media’s attention in the light of numerous criminal fatalities suffered by the community in the recent months. In the aftermath of these criminal fatalities, the four parishes that make up the community of the North East Inner City, marched together as one, in an attempt to speak out collectively against the recent surge in violence. This march, however, had fallen on deaf ears and the community suffered another criminal fatality within mere days. With the surge in criminal violence came vast swaths of media attention and a public outcry for the government to step in.

HOPE Senior Project Worker - Joe Dowling, An Taoisigh - Enda Kenny, & Manager @ HOPE - Irene Crawley
Joe Dowling, Enda Kenny & Irene Crawley

Last night, Monday 16th June 2016, Government ministers descended on the North East Inner City to open a dialogue with the local support groups in an attempt to develop a structure and a strategy for a new community task force. H.O.P.E. was present advocating abstinence-based recovery and the facilities required to provide such a service. Also present were the North Inner City Older Person’s Group advocating support for the older persons of the community and promoting tourism and vitality in the community was Terry Fagan detailing his own project, the Community Folklore walking tours.

RTÉ has reported a positive result from the Taoiseach, although the cabinet has yet to meet to discuss the results of yesterday’s meeting. Whatever their decision, the community is already preparing for the next step in developing the new Government-run task force. Next week, there will be a public meeting. All members of the community are invited to take part in the brainstorming session in an attempt to formulate options for the new community task force. The event will take place next Wednesday morning in O’Connells School, School Hall, North Richmond Street, Dublin 1. Registration will begin at 09.30 and everyone is invited. Please stay tuned for more information.

RTÉs report here.

Pat Kenny Show Segment – Friday 3rd June 2016

In this segment, John Drennan joins Pat in discussing the North (east) Inner City. After a comprehensive survey of the area and some of the various non-profit organisations (The North Inner City Older Person’s GroupHands On Peer Education Ltd., and Terry Fagan’s North Inner City Folklore Project) that represent smaller groups within the community, Drennan highlights the high levels of social inequality suffered by the community.

The whole show can be listened to on the News Talk website, please find the link here.


North Inner City Older Persons Group Seeking Sponsorship


According to the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland, ‘‘Social engagement is key for the health, well-being and independence of older people’’. Further, ”Community projects that cater to the needs of diverse groups of older people are important in encouraging social engagement and interaction’’.

North Inner City Older Persons Group
Chair Person – Tony Dunleavy, Member – Mary Byrne, Secretary – Irene Crawley, Committee Member – Maggie O’Dea, Treasurer – Joe Dowling.

The North Inner City Older Persons’ Group is a voluntary organisation that holds a biannual day out in the summer and in the winter. Every year, around one hundred and fifty older people from the tight-knit community of the north east inner city descend on the Waterside Hotel in Donabate, North County Dublin. Over the years the group fund-raised amongst themselves and small local organisations. Through collections and raffle tickets the group funded each event themselves. This year, they would like to get funding through sponsorship.

“One of our biggest fundraisers – the late Paddy Behan – he’s gone.”–Tony Dunleavy

Each event costs in and around seven thousand euro. With transportation, food, drinks and entertainment for the evening, it works out to about 40 to 50 euro per head. A staggering amount for those only in receipt of the O.A.P. These are people who are mostly living in isolation, with little to no family. A lot of the older people in the community have lost their families to drink and drugs. All they have is themselves and their neighbours. Subsequently, for most of these older people, this is their only form of social outing!

Committee Member, Maggie O’Dea, describes how the wheelchair bound are brough up for a dance.

We would like to close with a great big thank you to everyone that has supported the group’s event in the previous years. Through the hard work and dedication of the community, we have been lucky enough to host this biannual event. This year, however, the hard work of the community is not enough and we need to go further to ensure the older people of this community can still have their day out.

The North Inner City Older People’s Group are looking for direct sponsorship or donations to help fund the biannual day out for the older people of the North Inner City. Donations can be made out to ‘The North Inner City Older People’s Group’, AIB Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin 1. NSC: 931136. ACC.: 04486042. No amount is too small, and remember, a little help can go a long way.

Joe Dowling; Treasurer, N.I.C. Older People’s Group. 018 878 404

Article in the Herald June 6th

If you or anyone you know (older persons) is at risk of isolation or loneliness, there are a number of organisations that can help.

The Senior Help Line is a confidential listening service run by older people for isolated or lonely older people for the price of a local call anywhere in Ireland. The lines are open every day from 10am to 10pm, Lo-call: 1850 440 444

ALONE supports vulnerable older people providing temporary or permanent housing and combatting isolation and loneliness in society. Volunteers and staff work with older people in ALONE’s dedicated housing projects and in the community. 016 791 032

Friends of the Elderly is an Irish charity that brings friendship and social opportunities to the elderly, especially those who live alone. Its volunteers visit the elderly in their homes in the Greater Dublin area. 018 731 855

As well, the Citizen’s Information website details the various groups working in consideration of Ireland’s older people.

Article in the Herald June 6th

and the beat goes on…

Article in the Irish Times 28th May 2016

Life, inevitably, goes on. So too does the fear and anguish fostered by the recent criminal fatalities suffered by the community of the North Inner City. Our own Joe Dowling tells the Irish Times how the community has become uneasy. Further, Irene highlights how this sudden media spotlight could move on very quickly, while the high levels of social inequality suffered by this community will remain.

Article in the Irish Times 28th May 2016



The North Inner City

This article in the Examiner quotes the North Inner City, specifically the area between Croke Park and Busarás as a ”no-go zone”. Irene, the manager here at HOPE provides insight as to why the area is considered a no-go area.

Article on the Friday 27th May 2016

“We’re more interested in looking at the root causes. For me there are three main ones. There are the poor Garda relations with people in this community, they’re not developing relationships with the young people, the guards are often seen as the enemy.

“The other thing is about recovery. There is no supply without demand. The reason drugs gangs take effect is because there is demand. We feel the only way to get rid of supply is to get rid of demand.

“The third one is opportunities for young people, youth clubs are very under-resourced. There needs to be counselling for kids, proper drug and alcohol prevention, youth clubs that offer training for kids and better access to third-level education,” she says.

Article on the Friday 27th May 2016