Dublin Port Diaries
was launched by Roddy Doyle at Dublin Port Company
in November 2019.
Published as part of RCE Dublin's partnership with the creative writing organisation Fighting Words
, this anthology focuses on the changing face of Dublin's docklands, and the lives of the communities living there. The collection has been created by members of the Dublin Dock Workers Preservation Society, with retired dockworkers and their family members recording their experiences through the evolution of the area and the city more broadly.
Members of the Dock Workers Preservation Society and contributors to the book were invited to participate in a performance as part of Dirty Water (Uisce Salach)
, a collaborative sound art project about contested water issues in Ireland. At the event in Liberty Hall, a number of the contributors read from their work, with musical accompaniment.
The pieces featured in the anthology originated in workshops at Fighting Words, with volunteers capturing the stories of the retired dockworkers. The stories, poems, songs and artwork shared in these sessions highlight the rich history and heritage of the Port and its communities. The publication also includes a Dockers' Dictionary and a list of nicknames. Having the retired dockworkers work with children from local primary schools allowed the children to learn about the history of the area while also considering their neighbourhood in the present and future - what is has become and what it might be. the centrality of storytelling to the lives of Dubliners - young and old - was clear in all these meetings.
In addition to documenting a past that has changed and evolved, this collection aims to encourage debate and dialogue among Dubliners about their city as it continues to change, evolve and renew.
“An image that stayed with me from a story told by one Docker about the Russian ships coming in with cargos of timber with snow still frozen on the boards and in the snow the imprint of bare feet of the women who had loaded the cargo back in Russia. As bad as things got somebody else always had it worse. The footprints have long disappeared but the stories remains.”
John Grogan, Introduction
Published by Fighting Words and Dublin Port Company, copies of Dublin Port Diaries
are available here