‘Dockers and Demons’ is a Halloween festival ‘for Ringsend / Irishtown/ Docklands which was launched in 2017.  The aim and mission of the Festival is to forge greater links between the Irishtown, Ringsend and Docklands communities in order to alleviate the pressure during the Halloween period on the community and policing bodies on Bonfire night by offering alternative activities in the lead up to October 31st and on the night itself. This project is strongly committed to the inclusion of groups and individuals from all generations and backgrounds including those who are sometimes bypassed in community efforts and can find themselves outside community inclusion projects and social funding structures. 


This project was influenced and grew roots from an initial project in the area called ‘ALIGHT’ led by Culture Connects. This storytelling, dance, art and performance project was choreographed by Muirne Bloomer and visual artist Vanessa Daws and linked with Declan Hayden DCC South East area Community Development manager and wider DCC bodies for coordination. Following this project Declan Hayden approached Muirne Bloomer to engage on a new Halloween project for the area and they drew on the initial core values that the Culture Connects National Neighbourhood and the creative community aspects that were sparked by the process of conversations and engagement.


Dockers and Demons aims to augment already existing support structures in the local area and to work in harmony with them to promote civic respect and pride, local cultural activity and forge new participations in the development and celebration of arts and culture. It aims to give a greater voice and choices of activities to those who often feel bypassed and not heard. The festival’s creative team will also engage with the many diverse communities and individuals both resident and connected to the area.


The soul of the festival are the local groups and people we engage with. Partnering with Ringsend & Irishtown Community Centre, Spellman Centre, Riccy’s Youth Cafe, GALS, Ringsend and Irishtown Tidy Towns, St. Matthews Church, St. Patricks Church, The Chapel of Ease, Sea Scouts, Ringsend Tech, St Patricks BNS &  GNS, Lord Mayor Deke and the Youth group, CYMS, All Older Persons organisations and clubs, local estates such as Whelan House, Rahilly House, George Reynolds etc Boat clubs, Ringsend Library, all local shops and businesses in Ringsend, Irishtown, Docklands and Beggars Bush area are coming together each year to build the success.  


Dockers and Demons aims to reflect the growing multi- cultural population in the community and to ensure that their culture and interests are reflected and catered for and also encourage co-operation between indigenous and new communities in the Ringsend, Irishtown and the Docklands communities. These diverse and multi- cultural communities living and involved locally add to the richness of an ever developing culture in the area and they will also influence and enrich its history, hence the importance that their cultural interests and influences are promoted, acknowledged and supported by the festival.  This engagement will include new communities living in social and private housing in the area and also the Sikh community who gather locally at the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar Temple on Serpentine Avenue.


The festival aims to bridge the generation and age gap with projects that encourage and support the recording, protection and promotion of a rich oral history and cultural heritage by the passing on of traditions and stories about local life in the past and the investigation of local folklore and traditions to the younger generations.


The creative team will develop a cohesive programme for the community in the area at this time of year, re-establish connections with the historic and cultural significance of ‘Oiche Samhna’ and assist in the prevention of anti-social behaviour, littering and damage to public property from illegal bonfires etc.


Dockers and Demons will work with a wide number of organisations and individuals who come together in partnership from the area to develop and link in with core partners, artists, creative directors and event managers for this event.





  • To encourage cross pollination of cultural activity in the different communities. 

  • To promote respect, understanding, tolerance and co-operation in the various neighbourhoods and to celebrate the wonderful landscapes, history and vibrancy of the area. 

  • To encourage and facilitate and promote connection between the communities and their strengths and what the citizens have to offer each other.

  • To promote a sense of inclusion and pride in community. 

  • To introduce and utilise the wide range of expertise already existing in the neighbourhood of artists, educators and community workers and activists to the wider community and community groups to enhance the cultural landscape and make art an inclusive endeavour open to all. 

  • To forge links between the local community and high level cultural and artistic bodies, events and practitioners already in existence i.e.:  Lir Academy; NPAS.  There is a plethora of artists who come from or are living in the area who work on lighting design, sound design and music, costume, set designers, writers, composers, choreographers, playwrights, directors, and visual artists. The Festival has previously commissioned and borrowed costumes designed by renowned designer Sabine Dargent from St Patricks Festival and plan to commission her to design a signature costume for one of the performers for Festival 2018.

  • To produce and promote multi-cultural events and exchange between the indigenous and new communities who are resident in the area, which in turn will assist in greater understanding, tolerance and inclusion for all Ringsend, Irishtown and Docklands communities regardless of cultural background and race.



  • To create a festival which will develop and grow to promote, support, represent and nourish the rich history, culture and artistic talent in Ringsend, Irishtown and the Docklands area.

  • The exploration and preservation of the rich local history, culture, stories and folklore, which could be in danger of being forgotten

  • That greater understanding, tolerance and respect is realised between individuals and groups living in the area

  • That greater appreciation in cultural pursuits by residents in their local community is achieved by their participating and spectating of events in the festivals calendar

  • Increased pride for local community in their village and greater respect shown between all local residents towards each other and their environment

  • Less damage to property and violence during the festival time and during the year as youths begin to be more involved in their community

  • Less emphasis on lighting unsafe bonfires and thus a safer environment for celebrating Halloween

  • The development of strong community cultural structures which support and promote the investigation, promulgation and preservation, both historic and emerging of culture locally.

  • The connection of local colleges and businesses to the indigenous community and the garnering of mutual respect and the development of greater contact between them.

  • The production and recording of world class community and professional theatre, dance and art works.

We would like to thank Dublin City Council for funding our festival.

Dublin City Council logo.jpg