Dublin was named as UNESCO City of Literature today, following a campaign to the Creative Cities Network by Dublin City Council.
The announcement seems particularly welcoming, given the dire straits of the country at present, finally the government seem to be doing something right to actually help our economy and receive international recognition for the country. I’m probably being a bit too optimistic but hopefully the accreditation will increase tourism and then create more jobs – YAY!
Hopefully the City Council and Dublin Tourism will capitalise on the recognition which only three other cities in the world can boast – Iowa City, Melbourne and Edinburgh. Dublin already features a significant amount of literary attractions for bookworm tourists, such as writers museums, walking tours and literary pub crawls, but there is still a gap in the market for a Beckett museum or interpretative centre and something a bit more permanent on WB Yeats (that National Library exhibition won’t last forever!)
Hopefully the announcement might encourage Irish people to read more also. I was mildly amused by the Lord Mayor’s comments in the Dublin City Council press release today:
‘‘I am absolutely delighted about this achievement – which confirms what Dubliners have known for years – this is a city that has always produced – and continues to produce – great writers’.
It’s true, Dublin has produced amazingly talented writers and Dubliners are very proud of that, but it’s a pity that you would struggle to find a Dubliner who has read Dubliners.
Edinburgh have really used their accreditation to promote the city as a hub of literary talent and appreciation, so hopefully we can be inspired by their marketing and inspire more booky tourists to visit Ireland.