Reflections on The City 200 – What Does Being A Dubliner Mean To You?

Posted 9 months ago in Design

As we publish our 200th issue, we glanced back at the ever-evolving landscape of Dublin and interviewed well known faces around town about their experiences in the city.  

“My creative work is constantly influenced by Dublin and its history.”  – Orla King 

Q: What does being a Dubliner mean to you?


Orla King, Graphic Designer

It means a lot. My creative work is constantly influenced by Dublin and its history.

Sometimes I have days where Dublin wrecks my head but I really do love the city. I was born and reared here. My mam, my dad, my grandparents and their grandparents were all born and reared here.

It is part of my identity.



Ayuba Salaudeen, Tola Vintage

I grew up in Smithfield and played football for O’Devaney Gardens and every weekend we would walk into the city centre, walk around and shop.

I have always loved the city centre it reminds me of growing up.



Zoe Redmond, Designer, Stylist and Maker

It’s hard to choose words to describe the feeling I get…



Tara Kumar, DJ

For me it’s about the music, culture, food, fashion and storytelling and the PEOPLE who make it what it is.

Having grown up as an adult here it will forever be my home.



Zoe Ardiff, Photographer

It means always having a connection to Ireland no matter where you go in the world.



Barry Sun, Chef

The thing I love most about Dublin is the people – they are so warm, friendly and open.

I’m from China but moved here in 2002 and have always felt very welcome, and that has helped me to feel like I am a Dubliner now and part of this great county I live and run a business in.



Jordan Hearns, Artist & DJ

Hard to say, I’m from Portlaoise! 😉



Jialin Long, Photographer

I wasn’t born in Dublin, but came to Dublin in my early 20s. I think the place you spent your childhood is always considered as your first home. And the place you live as a grown-up, the place to have your own family is the second home.

Dublin is where I got married, to have children, where my new life begins.

It’ll be an honour if people call me a Dubliner.



Colm Keane, Chef, Owner of Daddy’s

Being a Dubliner is having pride in the city and giving others a big welcome! I love when people visit the city – friends of mine or friends of friends or guests in the café.

I march them around the place showing them all the interesting, historical and unique parts of the city, and, of course, the best places to get a Guinness.



Aoife Ní Thuama Keogh, Designer

I’m so proud to be a Dubliner, and I think a lot of people from Dublin would say the same. I don’t think there is anywhere in the world with a more eclectic mix of people.

It feels like a massive part of my identity, so I’ve naturally branded myself with a big BÁC tattoo, it seemed the appropriate way to represent where I’m from regardless of where I go. You could go into a pub anywhere in Dublin and see people of all ages sitting around having a chat and I love that!



Grace Enemaku, Designer and Illustrator

Being a Dubliner is being woken at dawn by seagulls every morning.



Shaylyn Gilheaney, Stylist

Although I spent almost all of my school years in Leitrim, I feel such a strong connection to Dublin.

I think anyone who’s spent a significant amount of time here does. It’s definitely the people that make it.



Aisling Phelan, Artist

Maybe it’s a symptom of Dublin being so small, but there’s a friendliness and closeness to people in the city that I’ve never felt anywhere else. It’s not often that I’d leave the house and not end up seeing someone I know. It really feels like you’re only a few degrees of separation away from most people.

Even with strangers, little interactions as simple as smiling at someone on the street are so welcomed, and often reciprocated. I think being a Dubliner means being part of that ecosystem.



Shane Daniel Byrne, Comedian

I think it’s something about a city that feels like a village. You’ll bump into someone you know at any time, day or night. I LOVE giving directions to visitors. We still speak to strangers.

It’s that small town feel that sets Dublin apart from other capital cities and it’s that kindness that I hope sticks around forever.



Eric Ehigie, Podcaster

Although I am a proud Longford man, being a Dubliner today, to me, means being a resident of a modern, pluralistic, multicultural yet deeply Irish city, that represents a lot of the great potential, but serious challenges that our nation confronts.



Killian Walsh, Creative Director

As a proud Dundalkian, I do love Dublin also, and think it’s a great capital city, where lots of my friends and family live. I lived there for many years and it’s a beautiful place, in parts. I always look at it from the perspective of a visiting tourist and can see its appeal through their eyes.

I think Dublin is nicer the further you move away from the very centre, and out towards the coast and hinterlands.


Reflections on the city 200 – As a Creative, How Important is collaboration in Dublin?

Reflections on the City 200 – What’s The Biggest Change in Dublin since 2004?

Interviews: Kerry Mahony & Eric Davidson

Image Credits:

Jialin Long by Raisha Dong

Colm Keane by Al Higgins

Aisling Phelan by Samuel Jay Patrick

Shane Daniel Byrne by Brian Teeling


The key to the city. Straight to your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter.


National Museum Exhibitions MPU English


The key to the city. Straight to your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter.