Dublin has been awarded the prestigious UNESCO City of Literature award. Dublin joins Edinburgh, Iowa City and Melbourne to become the fourth city in the world to receive this accolade.
The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural organization (UNESCO) created the award as part of it’s Creative Cities Network. The network was designed to promote the social, economic and cultural development of cities in both the developed and the developing world.
Speaking about the award. Mary Hanafin T.D., Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport said "Dublin has been awarded this accolade because of the rich historical literary past of the city, the vibrant contemporary literature, the variety of festivals and attractions available and because it is the birthplace and home of literary greats".
She added, "Names such as Swift, O'Casey, Wilde, Shaw, Behan, Beckett and Joyce are synonymous with Dublin and there are reminders of their great literary works throughout the city - which captures both scholars and tourist imaginations when they visit the city."
Man Booker prize winner Anne Enright said: "In other towns, clever people go out and make money. In Dublin, clever people go home and write their books."
Dublin-based Scottish author Irvine Welsh, best known for his Trainspotting novel, said: "It's difficult to think of any place on the globe more appropriate for the Unesco City of Literature designation."
Ms Hanafin added: "Being one of only four cities in the world to achieve the status of Unesco City of Literature will enable Dublin to increase its market share of tourists and attract more people to both the city and the island of Ireland."