Speech by Cllr Emer Costello, Deputy Lord Mayor on 17th October 2008
I am delighted to be present here today in my capacity as Deputy Lod Matyor.
Dublin City Council is proud to be associated with the annual commemoration and the Lord Mayor is always represented at this ceremony In 2004 I had the honour of deputising for the Lord Mayor at the 17th October event. I was so moved by the ceremony that I proposed that Dublin should follow the lead of other European Cities and erect its own World Poverty Stone at the Famine Memorial, the location of the annual 17th October commemoration. The motion was passed unanimously by the City Council. Following the adoption of the motion at City Council, I brought the proposal to the Council of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, as one of the City Council representatives on that Council.
The support of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority was crucial and there was a strong and excellent collaboration between Dublin City Council and the DDDA to ensure the successful delivery of the project. Special thanks must go to Jack Gilligan, the Dublin City Council Arts Officer and Mary McCarthy, Arts Officer with the DDDA who both embraced the project with enthusiasm, and directed the project in an extremely efficient and professional manner.
The annual commemoration of the UN World Day for the Eradication of Poverty gives expression to the thousands of people who are living in poverty.
As a Councillor for the North Inner City in Dublin I work on a daily basis with many communities which did not benefit from the excesses of the Celtic Tiger and are now suffering the effects of the recent economic downturn. I never fail to be impressed by their resilience, their ability to cope with their situations, and hope for the future.
The erection of the World Poverty Stone at this location will link the struggles of Irish people living in poverty today with the struggles of the past. It will serve as a reminder to Dublin’s citizens that poverty knows no borders, is timeless and enduring, and is a global issue.
The stone crafted by Irish artist Stuart McGrath bears the following inscription in in English, Irish and French:
"Wherever men and women are condemned to live in poverty, human rights are violated.To come together to ensure that these rights are respected is our solemn duty."
After this event, I will be proposing to the Association of City and County Councils that all other local and municipal authorities throughout the country follow the example of Dublin by commemorating the 17th October event on an annual basis and that they too would erect their own World Poverty Stones at appropriate locations.