Launch of Dublin City Sports Archive
As part of Archives Awareness Month events at Dublin City Archives, The Dublin City Sports Archive was launched by Lord Mayor Gerry Breen, with special guest speaker Ireland's Olympic Gold Medallist, Ronnie Delaney, at 3.30 pm on 11 September at Dublin City Library and Archive, 138- 144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. The Sports Archive was launched to mark Dublin's term as European Capital of Sport, 2010.
The Dublin City Sports Archive is an initiative of Dublin City Archives which aims to collect and preserve archive material from clubs, sporting organisations and individuals relating to the city.
The Sports Archive will focus on local clubs across a wide range of sports, and is accepting donations of archive material which reflects Dublin's rich sporting heritage. This could be programmes, photographs, flags and banners, cups and medals, - or it could be a scrapbook, or correspondence, or the minutes of club committees.
City Archivist, Dr. Mary Clarke said "We set up the Sports Archive so that Dubliners would have a memory bank of sporting thrills, victories, near- misses and even losses
to draw on - so that they can write history. It's also intended as a legacy of Dublin's term as European Capital of Sport - something tangible which will continue on beyond 2010"
The Sports Archive has received the support of one of Ireland's greatest ever sportsmen and ambassadors on the world stage, Ronnie Delaney, who has donated a signed copy of his autobiography. At the launch Ronnie Delaney said "I commend Dublin City Library and Archive on this timely initiative, whilst sport continues to play such an important part in the everyday life of Dubliners. Sports history instills pride and continues to inspire and motivate the athlete, the sports person, to even greater effort"
The Sports Archive has already received the archives of the second-oldest hockey club in Ireland, Three Rock Rovers, which date back to 1894. A selection of sporting images from Dublin City Library and Archive is available online on Dublin Public Libraries Flickr account.
The launch was preceded by a day long seminar at Dublin City Library and Archive titled "Sport and the City" organised in association with the Sport and Recreation Unit of Dublin City Council, and the Sports History Ireland Association. The seminar celebrated Dublin's sporting history with talks on the Maids of the Mountain Hockey Club, Bohemians football club, Dublin's historic playing fields and stadiums, the GAA and the Irish Revolution in Dublin and how Dublin saved hurling-the 1880's, and the making of the modern game. Key note speaker was commentating legend Jimmy McGee whose talk was titled "My life in Sport" and included reminiscences of Dublin's sporting heroes across a multitude of sporting disciplines.
A number of the talks and presentations from the "Sport and the City" Seminar are available to download as podcasts or to read on www.dublinheritage.ie.
Ellen Murphy, Dublin City Archives.