This Being Where We Live students create book about Clondalkin

By Taylor Gleeson

As Dorothy once said, “there’s no place like home,” and this rang true when local Clondalkin students teamed up with writer Nathan O’Donnell to create This Being Where We Live.

This Being Where We Live is a new book featuring writing, pictures, archival materials, collective manifestos and protest posters that represent the authors’ ideas of what Clondalkin means to them.

clondalkin book launch 1

Debbie Reddin, Nathan O’Donnell and Daniel Breen, contributers to This Being Where We Live

O’Donnell has been working with students who are part of Inklinks, a writing group for young people that is based at Collinstown Park Community College. 

The book was started in 2017, and was about two and a half years in the making. It is part of The Mill, a project commissioned by the South Dublin County Council public art programme ‘In Context 4- In Our Time’. 

Focusing on the history of the Clondalkin Paper Mill and the strikes that occurred, O’Donnell said that the history of the mill and the politics behind it were part of what inspired him to start this project. “Initially, I was interested in the paper making history,” O’Donnell said. “Clondalkin was one of the last paper mills in Ireland to make paper.”

“Young people now are thinking politically,” O’Donnell said. “Young people are really engaged in protest and are interested in the left activism of Clondalkin.” 

The book launched on Saturday, June 29 at the Clondalkin Library as part of Clondalkin Arts Festival. A reception was held where the creators of the book read their work to the audience.

According to O’Donnell, the young people were in charge of programming the event. He had them decide who to invite to speak at the festival. Two spoken word poets, Natalya O’Flaherty and Sky Burn, read some of their poetry out loud, and two of the Inklinks members read their work to the audience as well.

O’Donnell said he worked very closely with graphic designer Clare Bell, who created the graphics of the book while he did the editing.

This Being Where We Live is available for free at both the Round Tower Visitor Centre and the library in Clondalkin. It will soon be available for purchase in bookstores around Dublin.  

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