23 November 2023

‘Solidarity: The Dockers of Dublin Port’ Launches at Dublin Port

Dublin Port Company proudly welcomes ‘Solidarity: The Dockers of Dublin Port’, a compelling exhibition curated by The Little Museum of Dublin to its Substation for a three-month stay.

The first-ever exhibition at the Substation, Dublin’s latest cultural hub, was launched by Lord Mayor of Dublin Daithí de Róiste.  The showcase – which includes never-before-seen photos – provides a poignant glimpse into the lives of the dockers, a vibrant and resilient community integral to the history of Dublin Port.

‘Solidarity’ delves into the rich tapestry of Ireland’s industrial subculture, spotlighting the dockers’ narrative characterised by hardship, camaraderie, and unyielding resilience. From the challenges of casual labour to the advent of containerisation, the exhibition vividly illustrates the evolution of this dynamic community.


Lord Mayor Daithí de Róiste commented on the significance of the exhibition, stating: “The dockers of Dublin Port have played a crucial role in shaping the city’s history. ‘Solidarity’ is a tribute to their enduring spirit and a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who toiled on the docks. This exhibition not only preserves their legacy but also invites us to reflect on the vibrant tapestry of Dublin’s industrial heritage. I would like to congratulate Dublin Port Company and the Little Museum of Dublin for coming together to put on such a wonderful exhibition.”

Barry O’Connell, CEO of Dublin Port Company, remarked: “We are proud to support this insightful exhibition from the Little Museum of Dublin that brings to life the untold stories of the dockers. ‘Solidarity’ provides a unique perspective on the challenges and triumphs of this remarkable community, highlighting the crucial role they played in the development of Dublin Port. It is a testament to their resilience and the enduring legacy they have left behind.”


‘Solidarity’ invites visitors to explore the profound traditions rooted in family ties that defined the dockers’ lives. Many dockers followed in the footsteps of their families, embracing a life of physically demanding and unpredictable work. The exhibition meticulously examines various facets of the dockers’ lives, including docker’s reads, the button system of preferential hire, the tools of the trade, and the indispensable role of cranes. Additionally, the exhibition delves into the social aspects of a docker’s life, juxtaposed with the daily dangers faced on the docks.

Free of charge for all, ‘Solidarity: The Dockers of Dublin Port’ is open to the public at The Substation, Alexandra Road, Dublin Port every Thursday-Sunday 11:30am-3:30pm until early February.


Dr Rhona Mahony, Chair of the Little Museum of Dublin, added:We were thrilled to work alongside Dublin Port Company to bring this engaging exhibition to the port. Dockers would have gathered in their hundreds next to the Substation every day seeking work on the docks so there couldn’t be a more appropriate venue. A lot of time and hard work went into this exhibition, and I would like to pay tribute to the Dockers who shared their memories with our curation team enabling them to create this exhibition.”

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