Drimnagh Community Network had a good turn out for their Business & Community collaboration event held in the Bosco Youth Centre last night. Roughly 30 people turned up for the event.

Drimnagh Network Business & Community Event

The audience was quite mixed with 12 community activists/leaders, 6 business traders, 6 Community/Public service workers & 5 politicians. The purpose of the  evening was to find out how Drimnagh people could work together to improve the social & economic issues of Drimnagh.  Contact me if you would like a list of attendees.
Dublin Lord Mayor Gerry Breen

Dublin Lord Mayor, Cllr. @gerry_breen was the first speaker & he provided a very focused talk about business in the community. He talked about how “business is an activity” & whilst “we are all guilty of paralysis at times” there is a need to remain active in providing our local services & promoting eachothers services. Also, it is not always possible for the smaller shop traders to compete on price with the likes of Tescos, Aldi & Lidl but it is possible to compete in other ways.

He went on to talk about the “Your Village, Our City ” workshops that he & his team have been working on during his term of office at the mansion house. There are roughly 31 villages in Dublin & Drimnagh could look at getting the “hybrid between the private & the community sector pulling together” to bring a village feel to the area.

Prof. Mary Corcoran

Next up to speak was Professor Mary Corcoran, an urban sociologist from Maynooth college. Mary gave a really great talk which focused mainly on how gaining a “sense of place is crucial” for a community to survive.  She gave great examples from her urban research that had been taken in other areas like Leixlip & Lucan. To understand what an area is about you need to see “what’s embedded in peoples imaginations” about their area & what their area means to them. One of the slides as featured below described someone talking about their area in Kilmainham where they said…”and Drimnagh wasn’t yet built

Drimnagh Talk of olden days

Drimnagh has a wealth of stories & characters that could be recorded & used in helping people gain an understanding of what is like to be from Drimnagh & why most people who live there like it so much. Some of the audience talked about ways this could be done & I hope it may set the ball rolling for a bit of historical recording & filming.It would be great to have a central offline, a book & an online home for all of Drimnagh’s wonderful stories.

It was also good to hear Mary say that their research findings demonstrated that social capital which is the capacity to feel safe is still quite strong in Ireland. Mary did have some excellent insights which I hope we will be able to share with you in another post as there was really a lot to take in from what she said. The slide most people seemed interested in was around what makes a community succesful & I have requested a copy of it from Mary.

I guess the key takeaways for me from the night around collaborating within the community were

1) We must gain “a sense of place” capture what Drimnagh is about, whats it’s people are about & what is on offer.
2) Remember the champions of Drimnagh, the people figuring out things, bringing people together, the high energy individuals who keep pushing.
3) That although local gov has a vital role to play in communities they will never deliver what we need they may facilitate sometimes but not deliver. So Drimnagh community needs to take owndership & rely on their own will & resources to keep their community thriving.
4) It is essential to get the Business & Community people working together.

Thank you to all who came last night. It was a great bunch of people & there was a nice buzz in the room. Special thank you to Lord Mayor Gerry Breen & Professor Mary Corcoran for providing great insights to how local business traders & community people can collaborate to promote their area.

So to anyone who was there. Did I miss anything? What was your take on the evening? Worth leaving the house for? What steps will you take to help move this project along?

Ger, Brian & Ruairi

About the author

Pauline Sargent Pauline Sargent is the founder of Drimnagh is Good a hyperlocal community website bog for the people of Drimnagh. Connect with Pauline on Google + me on Google+

  1. Fergus Parkinson on Thursday 27, 2011

    I was at the event and I have to say it gave me food for thought about what can and should be done in the area to promote a more socially engaged community. The speakers were great. Hopefully something positive for both the businesses and the communioty will come out of the event.

  2. Vera Hussey on Thursday 27, 2011

    Delighted to hear how well the evening was a great success. All the best to those involved :-)

  3. siobhan on Thursday 27, 2011

    what Vera said!

  4. KARL on Thursday 27, 2011

    i hope all goes well in drimnagh i am 4000 miles away but drimnagh will always be in my heart