Dublin City Council and the arts

Council is seriously committed to culture and the arts

A chara, – I refer to Una Mullally’s article “Dublin City Council wants to kick out artists and display the Lord Mayor’s coach instead” (Opinion & Analysis, September 26th).

It was disappointing that an article would focus on one building, out of context, where Dublin City Council (DCC) has moved quickly to house artists. The temporary use of Chatham Street by artists, while the long-term future of the building is considered, is precisely the type of initiative that we are asked to undertake in response to the deficit of affordable artists workspaces in Dublin. No decision has been made in relation to the long-term use of this building and options will be considered by a working group.

Dublin City Council is responsible for some of the most important arts infrastructure nationally (outside of the national cultural institutions), whether it is the landmark buildings and housed arts organisations of Temple Bar, through to the city-owned Temple Bar Cultural Trust, or in numerous other buildings such as the Hugh Lane, the Lab Gallery, the Lab and Dance House, artists’ residences at Albert Cottages, St Patrick’s Park and Temple Bar, and the Irish Architecture Foundation. The Dublin City Council Culture Company leads two major heritage buildings at 14 Henrietta Street and Richmond Barracks, and its programme at these buildings and in the community is award winning. This work emphasises a long-term commitment to the arts and desire to promote it wherever possible.

There are new Dublin City Council initiatives to provide new artists’ workspaces at Filmbase, and at new buildings at Artane Place. A major capital development for 40 new artists workspaces at Bridgefoot Street and Merchants Quay is under way.


As your columnist points out, it is DCC research that led to the Arts Council’s initiative at the Port. These initiatives will be a vitally important resource for artists.

We work closely with the Department of Culture, Arts, and Media and the Arts Council on an artists’ workspace committee, led by our elected members. Although quick fixes are sometimes possible, such as at Chatham Street, it is the long-term impact of the new draft development plan that will continue to embed cultural, creative and community use in new city developments. An arts infrastructure policy and a toolkit for new developments are under discussion and in preparation. The culture department of DCC has led on these initiatives.

Dublin City Council is not an arts organisation, it is a local authority, but focuses on supporting the arts as an important part of the quality of life enjoyed by residents and visitors.

From city festivals to Culture Night to arts buildings, the financial support that Dublin City Council provide is in excess of €10 million annually which underscores the serious commitment and priority given to this activity. It is only fair that this should be acknowledged. – Yours, etc,


Assistant Chief Executive,

Dublin City Council,

Civic Offices,

Wood Quay,

Dublin 8.