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Brendan Dowling

Spirited Voices / Level 1

Awardee 2005

Spirited Voices / Level 1
Tara Cunningham
John Redican

The project aimed to assist individual citizens in saying what they want to say – to be heard by those who can influence the situation and to stimulate positive and energised change in society.

Brendan originally wanted to develop a Citizen’s Toolbox where numerous tools, resources and media would be available to citizens. At the time, websites and the internet were quite novel and not everyone knew how to access them. Brendan saw a number of great ideas and initiatives available throughout the world and wanted to try and draw them together in one resource in order to make them accessible. However, the idea never really came to be implemented successfully, due to lack of funding.

Brendan was Chair of the Whitefriar / Aungier Area Community Council for ten years, and heavily involved in community development at a city level. He previously served as a Board member of the Dublin City Development Board representing the Community and Voluntary Sector via the Community Forum. As part of his function as a CDB member, he also sat on the Dublin City Social Inclusion Measures Committee and the Dublin South East Social Inclusion Task Force.

He now works at a much more grassroots level, and  volunteers full time with the Whitefriar / Aungier Area Community Council, working on every aspect of local development.

The Community Council moved premises a year ago from a renovated corporation flat to a larger building on Cuffe Street, where it can host a wider range of classes with more participants. A number of activities take place throughout the day, such as meditation, yoga, archery, martial arts and education-focused classes. Younger children from the area attend in the morning for a breakfast club, while teenagers come in the afternoon to practise martial arts and take part in other activities. Classes open to the whole community are held in the evenings. They are provided free of charge and any donations from participants go towards the community council.
Trips to a center in Mayo are regularly held for young people where they can engage in a number of outdoor activities.

Brendan is a National Coach for Martial Arts and in 2004 was elected as the President of IMAC (the National Governing Body for Martial Arts in Ireland). Brendan sat on the Dublin Sports Network and, as Chair of the Dublin Sports and Recreation Council, spearheaded numerous initiatives around inclusion and education in Sport. He has been centrally involved in the Dublin City Community Forum since its establishment in 1999 and was a founding member of the Dublin Sports and Recreation Council.

Brendan Dowling, Impact Award, 2005

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