Poetry Ireland launches final fundraising campaign for Poetry Ireland Centre

28th February 2020

Adrian Dunbar and Marie Heaney with Lottie O'Dwyer and Harley Haslam, pictured at the fundraising campaign launch

Poetry Ireland has announced the launch of a final fundraising campaign for the development of the Poetry Ireland Centre at 11 Parnell Square East. 

In recent months, Poetry Ireland and its partner, the Irish Heritage Trust, have secured a commitment of €3.86 million from the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund towards the development of the building, which will house a significant cultural hub for the north inner city, incorporating the Poetry Ireland Centre. 

Poetry Ireland’s fundraising campaign for the remaining target of €1 million was launched at 11 Parnell Square with actor and director Adrian Dunbar, writer Marie Heaney and spoken word artist Felicia Olusanya amongst those advocating for donor support to help make the Centre a reality. 

"I'm delighted to be supporting this campaign to help realise the long-held dream of the Poetry Ireland Centre," said actor and director Adrian Dunbar. "It's very exciting to see this next chapter in No 11 Parnell Square's rich history - as it becomes an all-island centre for poetry open to visitors from all over the world." 

Chairperson of Poetry Ireland, Ciarán Benson, said the funding commitment meant the non-profit organisations are now much closer to the reality of a significant cultural hub for the north inner city, incorporating the Poetry Ireland Centre, opening its doors to the public. 

“With the achievement of funds from the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund, the  transformation of the beautiful eighteenth century Georgian townhouse is now a step closer,” he said. “The long-held dream of having a permanent home for Irish poetry is clearly on the horizon and we are asking for people’s support and generosity to help us get to the final line.” 

Chairperson of the Irish Heritage Trust, Clare McGrath, said, “No. 11 Parnell Square is an integral part of the Parnell Square cultural cluster and we look forward to seeing this historically significant building taking on a new and exciting role and increasing public access to No. 11 to the widest possible audience. 

“We would like to thank Fingal County Council for granting the Trust a long term lease for No. 11, and our valued partners Poetry Ireland for all that we have achieved together to date. We look forward to building upon these strong foundations in helping us to build an enduring legacy for our communities through outreach and education.” 

The fundraising campaign includes various elements that make it easy for people of all backgrounds to get involved. These include making a donation online, in person, or by texting to donate (details below). Everyone from individuals to corporate partners and philanthropists is being encouraged to support this fundraising campaign. 

Poetry Ireland has been located at 11 Parnell Square East since 2016, joining the Irish Heritage Trust which has been based at No. 11 since 2009.  Together, they have developed plans for a conservation-led refurbishment of the building, which will open up this important historic building as a public amenity and shared heritage space for events and activities for the widest possible audience. 

The centrepiece of the new centre will be the Seamus Heaney Poetry Library, which has been generously donated by the Heaney family. The centre will also house a café, garden and bookshop along with elegant workshop and performance spaces. 

The Poetry Ireland Centre will bring a vital focus to the importance of poetry as an artform and will further build Ireland’s reputation as a centre for literature. It will also greatly contribute to revitalising a key area in Dublin’s north inner city. 

See www.poetryireland.ie/fundraising for more information. 

Text to Donate campaign – text “Poetry” to 50300 to donate €4. Texts cost €4. Poetry Ireland will receive a minimum of €3.60. (Service provider: Like Charity. Helpline 076 6805278).