From Kingstown to Dun Laoghaire

First broadcast: Sunday 5th June 2022 at 6pm on RTÉ lyric fm. Re-broadcast 21 January 2024.

Listen back here or download as a Lyric Feature podcast.

Gerald Dawe on Dun Laoghaire’s east pier

Gerald Dawe explores the social and cultural history of Dun Laoghaire, where he has lived for over 30 years, in poetry and conversation.

Gerald Dawe first moved to Dun Laoghaire in 1989 and over the years has written poems that were inspired by the town’s history, its streetscapes and its location on the southside of Dublin Bay. In From Kingstown to Dun Laoghairehe meets friends and neighbours to explore their evolving impressions of Dun Laoghaire, charting along the way some of the social changes the town has undergone from its ‘Kingstown’ past to its multicultural present.

Broadcaster Brendan Balfe tells him about moving to Dun Laoghaire after he got married and discovering the numerous local links to actors, musicians and writers. Literary agent Jonathan Williams reveals a link between the great North American novelist Henry James and Dun Laoghaire’s Royal Marine Hotel, and Gerald reflects on those who have left Ireland in the past, and those who have arrived in recent years, with contemporary author Melatu-Uche Okorie, a former student of his at the Trinity Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing. Eimear O’Connor remembers the impact of seeing the art work of Imogen Stuart in a local church, and librarian and historian Marian T Keyes talks about the nostalgia for ‘Kingstown’ in some quarters, recent social changes, and the impact of the Lexicon Library.

Throughout the programme Gerald Dawe reads poems from various poetry collections (published by The Gallery Press) which have been inspired over the years by living in Dun Laoghaire.

From Kingstown to Dun Laoghaire was produced by Rockfinch Ltd for RTÉ lyric fm and funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland from the Television Licence Fee. The producer for RTÉ lyric fm is Eoin O’Kelly.