Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dublin Pride - June 2010

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Emer Costello led Dublin City Councillors at City Hall to review the Dublin Pride Parade.

Speaking at the parade the Lord Mayor stated "I am delighted to lead the review of the Dublin Pride parade this year. I want to congratulate the Grand Marshall Lydia Foy on her recent victory for legal recognition of her gender. which is a significant breakthrough for transgendered people.

Last year the Dublin Pride Festival was one of my first official functions as Lord Mayor of Dublin and I am delighted to have the unique opportunity to be here again for a second time.

I stated the night I was elected Lord Mayor that it is my intention to work towards making Dublin an inclusive City that cherishes the many diverse communities living within its boundaries.

I congratulate the organisers on a wonderful and successful programme - with over 20,000 participating in the parade this year Dublin Pride certainly has taken its place an important festival for the City


Wheels in motion for new Alfie Byrne Park motocross track- Turning the Sod at Scrambling Track, East Wall - 28.06.10 158

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Emer Costello, will perform a sod turning ceremony at the long awaited motocross track in Alfie Byrne Park on Alfie Byrne Road, Dublin 3 at 11 a.m. on Monday 28th June 2010.

Speaking about the facility the Lord Mayor said “I know how welcome this new motocross track will be in the north inner city area where the demand for this leisure activity is great. The track will be a wonderful resource for young people in the area and a very valuable social and sporting outlet. When the track opens young people will be able to practise motocross in a controlled and safe environment. The project is the result of extensive co-operation between local communities, Dublin City Council and the Gardai and has the full support of all.

Alfie Byrne Park will have the first motocross track in Dublin city and I am delighted to be able to set this project in motion, especially as it is one of my final tasks as Lord Mayor of Dublin. I wish all those who may use this facility well and I know it will bring much enjoyment to the youth of this area.”

The use of the motocross track will be organised through Dublin City Motocross Club and any enquiries should be made directly to Brian Hart at 086 3853407. It is anticipated that the track will be ready to hold a first event in mid-July 2010.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Lord Mayor Performs 522 Year Old "Castin of the Spear Medieval Ceremony at Dublin Port

Medieval Tradition Re-Enactment by Admiral of Dublin Port Highlights Significant Commercial and Cultural Links between the City and the Port

Admiral of the Port, Spear Casting - 21.06.10 564

Monday, 21st June, 2010: The Lord Mayor of Dublin and Admiral of Dublin Port, Cllr. Emer Costello, today performed the 522 year old “Casting of the Spear” ceremony at Dublin Port.

The “Casting of the Spear” dates as far back as 1488 when the then Lord Mayor, Thomas Mayler set out on his horse to ride the city’s boundaries. Historical records show that he rode out onto the strand as far as a man might ride and from there he cast a spear into the sea. At that time, casting the spear demonstrated the extent of the city boundaries eastwards. From that day onwards each year the Lord Mayor of Dublin re-enacts this medieval ceremony.

The ceremony was re-enacted this morning when the Lord Mayor travelled out into Dublin Bay onboard a Dublin Port tug boat and launched a spear deep into Dublin Bay’s cold waters, and once again marked the position of the city boundaries eastwards.

Dublin Port, as an organisation, has a long and remarkable history also, dating back over 300 years. There have been many famous moments and famous visitors in that time.

Captain William Bligh (of "Mutiny on the Bounty" fame) has left a lasting legacy on the port and city. Bligh conducted a study of the tidal flows in Dublin Bay, which led to the construction of the Great South Wall. This construction has resulted in the formation of the present Bull Island, which did not exist in 1800. This amenity is now home to among other amenities two golf courses and an internationally renowned bird sanctuary.

Another interesting historical link with Dublin Port is the tale of the ‘Ouzel Galley’, an Irish merchant ship that set sail from Dublin Port in 1695. After failing to return for three years it was presumed lost at sea. In 1698 a panel comprising the city’s most eminent merchants was set up to settle the question of insurance. The panel’s ruling was that the ship had indeed been lost and that its owners and insurers should receive their due compensation. The galley’s complement of thirty-seven crew and three officers were declared dead and the insurance was paid out.

However, after a further two years had elapsed, she mysteriously reappeared with her full complement of crew and a valuable cargo of spices and exotic goods. By this stage the insurance had been paid out on the in some cases the ‘widows’ of the sailors ‘lost’ at sea had remarried!
Speaking at the ceremony to mark the tradition of ‘Casting the Spear’ Lord Mayor of Dublin and Admiral of its Port, Cllr. Emer Costello, said: “It’s a tremendous honour, as admiral of Dublin Port, to take part in such a treasured, time-honoured local tradition. Over the course of the last 500 years, Dublin Port has played an instrumental role in the development of our capital city. Having Ireland’s biggest port so close to the city, in the heart of our capital, adds a great competitive advantage. As a gateway to European and international markets, Dublin Port continues to play a central role in supporting the country’s return to economic growth”.

Responding to the Admiral of the Port, Dublin Port Company Chief Executive Mr. Enda Connellan said: “Dublin Port is immensely proud of its heritage, its long links with the City and the contribution it has played in the life of this city and country. This ceremony reminds us of where Ireland’s largest city has come from over the last 500 years and how the port has played its role in its development, facilitating €35 billion of trade per year and supporting 4,000 real jobs.”

For further information:

Brenda Daly, Dublin Port Company – 01 887 6846 or 087 915 3965
Niall Quinn, Gibney Communications – 01 661 0402 or 086 827 4829

Notes to the Editor:

About Dublin Port Company:
Dublin Port Company is a self-financing, private limited company wholly-owned by the State, whose business is to manage Dublin Port, Ireland’s premier port. Established as a corporate entity in 1997, Dublin Port Company is responsible for the management, control, operation and development of the port. Dublin Port Company provides world-class facilities, services, accommodation and lands in the harbour for ships, goods and passengers. The company currently employs 162 staff.

Located in the heart of Dublin City, at the hub of the national road and rail network Dublin Port is a key strategic access point for Ireland and in particular the Dublin area. Dublin Port handles over two-thirds of containerised trade to and from Ireland and 50% of all Ireland’s imports and exports, making it a significant facilitator of Ireland’s economy. Dublin Port also handles over 1.3 million tourists through the ferry companies operating at the port and through the cruise vessels calling to the port.

About the Ouzel Galley:
The Ouzel Galley was an Irish merchant ship that set sail from Dublin in the late seventeenth century and was presumed lost with all hands when she failed to return within the next three years; after a further two years had elapsed, however, she mysteriously reappeared with her full complement of crew and a valuable cargo of spices, exotic goods and, it is said, piratical spoils. The ship has entered Irish folklore, and her unexplained disappearance and unexpected reappearance are still the subject of a number of conspiracy theories.

The facts, so far as they can be ascertained, are quite straightforward. In the autumn of 1695 a merchant galley called the Ouzel sailed out of Ringsend in Dublin under the command of Capt Eoghan Massey of Waterford. Her destination, it was supposed at the time, was the port of Smyrna in the Ottoman Empire (now İzmir in Turkey), where the vessel’s owners - the Dublin shipping company of Ferris, Twigg & Cash - intended her to engage in a trading mission before returning to Dublin the following year. The Ouzel, however, did not return as scheduled; nor was she seen the year after that. When a third year passed without any sign of her or her crew, it was generally assumed by the people of Dublin that she had been lost at sea with all hands.

In 1698 a panel comprising the city’s most eminent merchants was set up to settle the question of insurance. The panel’s ruling was that the ship had indeed been lost and that its owners and insurers should receive their due compensation. The galley’s complement of thirty-seven crew and three officers were declared dead and the insurance was paid out.

Two years later, however, in the autumn of 1700, the Ouzel made her unexpected reappearance, sailing up the River Liffey to scenes of both disbelief and wild jubilation. Capt Massey later described how the ship had fallen victim to Algerian corsairs on its outward journey. The crew were taken to North Africa, where they were forced to man the ship while their new masters engaged in acts of piracy against merchant vessels returning from the Caribbean or plying the lucrative Mediterranean shipping lanes. After five years of captivity, however, Capt Massey and his men took advantage of a drunken carousal to free themselves and retake the Ouzel, which they then promptly sailed back to Dublin, its hold still full of the pirates’ booty.

It was not long before rumours were circulating around Dublin to the effect that the trading mission to Smyrna had been a blind all along and that it was Capt Massey and his crew who had been engaged in piracy on the high seas. The tall story of Algerian corsairs and a five-year captivity in North Africa, not to mention the fortuitous escape of the entire crew, was considered too far-fetched to be true.

In the late eighteenth century it was illegal for Irish ships to trade in the West Indies, so it is quite possible that Smyrna was falsely declared as the ship’s destination and Capt Massey sailed to the Caribbean with every intention of trading honestly. In those days the West Indies was notorious for its piracy, and Irishmen are known to have engaged in the practice, both willingly and unwillingly.

Whatever the truth of the matter, the ownership of the Ouzel’s cargo became a matter of dispute. As plunder, it could not be legally divided amongst the crew. The arbitration body which had settled the question of insurance in 1698 was reconvened to inquire into the matter. Later accounts recall how the panel decided that all monies remaining after the ship’s owners and insurers had been properly compensated should be set aside as a fund for the alleviation of poverty among Dublin’s “decayed merchants”.

For several members of the crew this outcome only exacerbated the straitened circumstances in which they found themselves, for many had returned to Dublin only to discover that in their absence their wives had remarried, or their estates had been divided among their next-of-kin. It is even said that some of the returning shipmates found new children awaiting them at home. To this day in Ringsend, children born in unorthodox circumstances are referred to as “ouzelers”

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Burma Action Reception to mark 65th Birthday of Aung San Suu Kyi

On the day Aung San Suu Kyi, the Leader of Burma’s National League for Democracy, celebrates her 65th birthday, Dublin’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Emer Costello has called on the Military Junta in Burma, to immediately release Aung San Suu Kyi, Freeman of the City of Dublin, Nobel Peace Laureate, from house arrest.

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Emer Costello, met with representatives from Burma Action Ireland at the Mansion House this morning, where she presented Burma Action with a Mayoral Scroll in support of Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma.

According to the Lord Mayor, “Aung San Suu Kyi is a global icon of heroic and peaceful resistance in the face of military repression, and she takes her rightful place in history amongst other great civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King and Mahatma Ghandi who I know inspired her. As Lord Mayor of Dublin, I am calling on the Military Junta in Burma to immediately release Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest. ”

I, like, many people throughout the world was outraged when I learned of the outcome of the Kafkaesque showtrial in Burma last year, where she was sentenced to three years hard labour which was subsequently commuted to eighteen months house arrest for a non-existent crime.

Last year, one of my first actions as Lord Mayor was to open a Book of Solidarity as Dublin’s response to Aung San Suu Kyi own powerful plea to people around the world to join the struggle for freedom in Burma when she said ‘Please use your freedom to promote ours’.

Aung San Suu Kyi was conferred with the Freedom of Dublin City on March 18th 2000, by former Lord Mayor, Councillor Mary Freehill. She has yet to sign the Roll of Freemen of the City, where a space has been left for her to sign.

For further information contact Emer Costello 086 3831805
Photo available at

Friday, June 18, 2010

LMCE Report Launch - 15.06.10 251


Lord Mayor’s Commission on Employment
Tuesday 15th June 2010: The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr. Emer Costello, will present the Report of her Lord Mayor’s Commission on Employment (LMCE) to Mr. Conor Lenihan T.D., Minister for Science, Technology, Innovation and Natural Resources today at 1.45 p.m. in the Mansion House. During her term as Lord Mayor, it was a priority of the Lord Mayor “to ensure that the Members of Dublin City Council play a pivotal role in the development and promotion of economic recovery and job creation in the City.”

Lord Mayor, Cllr. Emer Costello, says “I established the Lord Mayor’s Commission on Employment in September 2009 to examine how Dublin City Council can facilitate growth in the economy by protecting existing employment and creating new job opportunities. I am delighted with the outcome of many months of hard work by all those dedicated individuals who, collectively, have made this report possible. I look forward to seeing the recommendations contained in the Report implemented in the future.”

Mr. Conor Lenihan, Minister for Science, Technology, Innovation and Natural Resources, says “I am delighted to receive this Commission Report from the Lord Mayor”. The Minister added “the past ten months has witnessed the Commission engage in extensive research and public consultation by taking submissions, meeting with organisations and communities, visiting projects and holding workshops to come up with innovative and creative ideas for boosting the City’s economy, protecting and creating employment and improving our competitiveness.”

The Report being launched today highlights the main findings of the LMCE in the course of the last ten months work. Recommendations have been put forward under the interlinked themes of Dublin city a Working city, a Learning city, a Creative city, an Open city, a Global city and a Liveable city with three key outcomes being announced as follows:

The LMCE has successfully joined forces with Tipperary Institute to secure 20 places for Dublin in an exciting project CESBEM (Competence Enhancement in Sustainable Building Through European Mobility) II, which is a european funded project under the Lifelong Learning, Leonardo Da Vinci (People in the Labour Market) Programme. The CESBEM II Project is aimed at those in the construction Sector and provides upskilling in the field of energy efficiency in buildings.

The LMCE has liaised with Ulster Bank who will partner with Dublin City Council to provide a dedicated Business Support Programme for new Start Up businesses in Dublin. The Programme includes a €10m fund to support Start Up enterprises, current account and ancillary services, business planning and mentoring aids and other aspects of start up assistance as appropriate to the individual business. Ken Murnaghan, Regional Director Business Banking at Ulster Bank said; “We are delighted to partner with Dublin City Council in this valuable new enterprise support initiative and endorse the Lord Mayor’s Commission on Employment’s series of recommendations.”

Following work by the LMCE a study is now being carried out to identify the location of vacant commercial properties in the entire City Centre area initially along the Quays and Thomas Street. It is intended to database that information and match vacant units with persons or groups in the cultural and artistic arena seeking temporary premises. This would have the dual effect of uplifting areas with high vacancy levels while giving emerging cultural groups access to high visibility shop fronts.

The Report will be distributed at today’s launch and will be available to view on www.dublincity.ie from Wed. 16th June or phone 01 222 6200 to request a copy.


For more information

Dublin City Council Press Office: (01) 2222170/086 8150010
Notes to the Editor:
The LMCE is comprised of Councillors on a cross-party basis, external advisors and officials from Dublin City Council. The LMCE met on eight occasions and undertook fieldtrips across Dublin City as well as to Limerick and Tipperary looking at models of best practice. In addition two working groups have assisted the LMCE with its work. A public ‘Call for Ideas’ was issued in 2009 and over one hundred submissions were received. In January 2010 the LMCE hosted two workshops entitled ‘Promoting the Cultural and Creative Industries’ and ‘Promoting Dublin as an International Student City’ and the output from these workshops have been incorporated into the Report.

In April 2010 the LMCE organised a one-day Conference in Croke Park entitled ‘Dublin – A City that Works’ to bring together Dublin’s key players to frame a plan of action for Dublin’s economy. Speaking at the Conference Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation & Science said “It is very clear to me that Dublin City Council is taking the issue of innovation very seriously and that this is a central component of your future jobs strategy. We need to innovate if we are going to create smarter, cleaner and greener jobs into the future”.

LMCE Members are:

Cllr. Paddy Bourke, Cllr. Mannix Flynn, Cllr. Mary Freehill, Cllr. Paul McAuliffe, Cllr. Ruairi McGinley, Cllr. Rebecca Moynihan, Cllr. Eoghan Murphy, Cllr. Aodhan O’Riordan, Cllr. Maria Parodi and Cllr. Nial Ring.

Outside Agencies include Mary Began FÁS, Fiona Corke Leargas, Edel Flynn Digital Hub Agency, Philip O’Connor Dublin Employment Pact, Dr. Declan Redmond UCD., Dermot Ryan DHR Communications, David Treacy CDVEC.

Dublin City Council Officials – Michael Stubbs, Declan Wallace, Lorna Maxwell, Kieran Rose, Paul Kearns, Nial Dully, Helen O’Leary and Jamie Cudden.

Benefits of the CESBEM II PROJECT

As a result of completing the programme the participants will;

Acquire new theoretical and practical knowledge in energy efficiency in buildings,

Have been upskilled so that they can apply the new construction techniques in line with new buildings regulations and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive(EPBD).

Be in a position to maintain or develop new employment opportunities in the construction sector in Ireland.

Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion from Tipperary Institute, the Europass Mobility Document and the German partner’s Certificate of Completion in sustainable Building. Further support will be provided through a specific CESBEM Web Portal where follow on support and information will be provided to participants.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Mexico Celebrates 200 Years Of Independence

Plaque Unveiling for Bicentenary Mexican Independence- 4.06.10 096

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Emer Costello, in the presence of Alicia Kerber Palma, Chargeé d’affaires for Mexico, at 11am on Friday 4th June in the Mansion House, will unveil a plaque celebrating the Bicentennial Anniversary of the Independence of Mexico and the Centenary of the Mexican Revolution.

“Ireland has a long association with Mexico dating back to 1642 when William Lamport from Wexford helped to establish the Independent Mexican state. In more recent times Captain John Riley from Galway led the St. Patrick’s Battalion in the Mexican-American war. It is a privilege to be associated with the unveiling of the plaque celebrating Mexico’s Independence and Revolution” said Lord Mayor Cllr Emer Costello.

“Mexico is a young country but a very old nation. Our roots go back thousand’s of years. However, 2010 is an especially significant year for Mexico. On the 16th of September, we will celebrate 200 years of being proudly Independent and proudly Mexican, while on the 20th of November we will be celebrating the Centenary of the Mexican Revolution a Revolution whose ideals of Justice and Democracy shaped the destiny of current Mexico. The Embassy of Mexico is deeply grateful for the recognition that the City of Dublin gives to these important dates” said Alicia Kerber Palma, Chargeé d’affaires for Mexico.


Speech by Lord Mayor of Dublin Cllr Emer Costello

Your Excellency, distinguished guests it gives me great pleasure to welcome you here on this glorious sunny morning to the garden of the Mansion House. We gather to honour a nation and a people and to acknowledge the bonds that connect us. The nation is Mexico and today as we unveil this plaque donated to the City of Dublin by the people of Mexico we celebrate with Mexico the bi-centennial of their independence.
Although Ireland itself only gained independence less than 100 years ago, Irish men and women have been key actors in the independence of many nations across the globe. People who have left our shores have built new lives in nations from the Americas to Asia . They have played an important role in the educational, political, civil and military lives of their adopted lands. This year marks the 200 years of independence for many Latin American Nations. I am proud of the role that the Irish played in the independence of the nations of Latin America. From the River Plate in Argentina to the Rio Grande on the Mexican-US border many Irishmen fought for independence . . I am certain that they inspired those who gathered here to proclaim Ireland’s independence in 1919.
We are bound together by shared history written in the lives of those who left our shores . . Today Mexico has the sixth largest Irish Community in the world. I understand that there are over 300,000 people of Irish descent living in the capital city of Mexico alone. In the Northern states of Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, and Durango, Irish names such as Bay, Lamport, Byrne, Walsh, Foley, Hayes, and O'Leary are very common,
Probably the most famous Irishman in Mexico was William Lamport, better known to most Mexicans as Guillen de Lamport, precursor of the Independence movement and author of the first proclamation of independence in the New World. In fact I believe he was the inspiration for Johnston McCulley's Zorro,
Of course every Mexican knows of the St Patrick’s Brigade and their brave contribution to Mexico’s freedom. The San Patricios have entered Mexican folklore. The bond that they forged in blood between our people has found expression in music. The musical souls of our two nations, have been entwined through the music of the Chieftains album San Patricio. Music is a shared bond between us. Today Dublin is the home for the Mexican guitar virtuosos Rodrigo y Gabriela who played for President Obama (another Irishman) in the White House
I have to mention also three more recent people of Irish descent who contributed to Mexico namely ;
Álvaro Obregón (O'Brien) who was president of Mexico in 1920 and who has a city and airport named in his honour.
Actor Anthony Quinn ..
And the recent Mexican President Vicente Fox who visited Dublin in 2002 when the sculpture “Waiting for the Sailors” was unveiled in Sandymount .
Today we are linked not by war and freedom battles, but by the blood of previous generations and through the links between our economies. and our people. Mexico today is Ireland’s 19th largest trade partner, with total trade valued at €938.2m.
So it is both timely and appropriate that we unveil this commemorative plaque in honour of Mexico’s 200 years of freedom. On behalf of the Ireland’s capital I thank the Mexican Embassy and people for honouring us through this plaque. Let it stand for all time here at the home of Dublin’s first citizen in testimony to the friendship between our nations and people, and in the hope that we will grow closer over the coming years.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Lord Mayor Attends Protest Against Gaza Flotilla Attack

The Lord Mayor of Dublin Cllr Emer Costello has expressed her horror at
the attack on a flotilla which was carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza.
The Lord Mayor will be attending and speaking at the protest this

“I will be joining my voice with that of the citizens of Dublin to
express my outrage at the unprovoked attack on the flotilla. I extend my
sympathies to the families who lost loved ones and to those who were
injured. I was extremely concerned to learn Irish citizens were on the
flotilla and our thoughts and prayers are with them. Investigations by
the EU and UN need to be completely as quickly as possible and it makes
the search for a permanent solution to the middle-East crisis all the
more compelling and urgent.”

Protest March for Palestine - 31.05.10 058