Recently Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring helped to shine a spotlight on some of these inspirational individuals from South Dublin when he unveiled a selection of specially commissioned portraits which are a part of the first of its kind cultural project, Local Heroes. This is a project, created by the recently established Dublin City Council Culture Company that aims to, through art, shine a light on some of the people who play such a vital role in the community where they live. Seven artists, including dancers, musicians, poets, animators, and photographers, were commissioned to create “portraits” of 21 extraordinary Dubliners, people who have made a big impact on their local communities. Three of the Local Heroes are based in Dublin Sr. Bernadette (Crumlin), Paddy Drac Finlay (Tallaght) and Esme Lewis (Sandymount).  Paddy Drac (Finlay) who is pictured with the Pale, hails from Tallaght. Paddy is a well-known and well-loved fixture in the community, affectionately known as Paddy Drac. He has been delighting audiences for the last 50 years with his masterful appearances as Dracula. A permanent fixture in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade since 1968, Paddy also uses his ghoulish impersonation to entertain children and adult to raise money for children with special needs.

Speaking about the Local Heroes project, the Lord Mayor said: “This is a very special event honouring, in such a creative way, just some of the many great people across our city, and I am privileged to be a part of it. It is the people of Dublin that make this city great and this project perfectly demonstrates that. The dedication to fellow citizens and passion for their community of these Local Heroes, and the creativity and imagination of these artists, all contribute to making our city a great place to live. This project has not only produced a unique set of artworks, but has allowed those involved to share stories, know each other better and met new people from different walks of life with who they share this wonderful city with.”

The seven artists are dancer Emma O’Kane, musicians The Pale, poet Kerrie  O’Brien, photographer Philip Arneill, animator Una Gildea, illustrator (and more) Neil O’Driscoll, and  poet, photographer, and painter Geoff Finan aka The Poet Geoff. They also unveiled the individual artworks to each of the local heroes in their community, celebrating these individuals and sharing their stories of determination and dedication. Dublin City Council Culture Company invites the public to nominate the Local Heroes they would like to see honoured in 2019. If there is someone making an impact in your local community, someone exceptional and inspiring we want to hear about them. For more information visit www.dublincitycouncilculturecompany.ie