Dara Quigley’s death last year at the tragically early age of 36 was a loss, not only to her devastated family and friends, but to Dublin, to Ireland and to everyone who cries out for justice and whose voice is ignored. Through her blog and her writing in Broadsheet, The Dublin Inquirer and elsewhere, Dara cast a light into the corners where many of us live and struggle, but where others prefer not to look. A gathering on Saturday the 14th of April will mark the first anniversary of her death by focusing on what Dara left to all of us when she died – her powerful words.
Dara died, but her voice is still with us. She wrote to us from dark corners where they tell us there’s nothing much worth seeing or hearing going on. She wrote about the struggles, the strength and the spirit of people who are supposed to not matter very much: people who struggle with addiction and poor mental health, survivors of sexual abuse who see their torturers protected by a society that closes ranks around the powerful, kids from the suburbs far too easily dismissed as “useless scumbags” and the voices of popular protest smeared as “a sinister fringe.” To Dara, we were “natural diamonds…formed under extreme pressure and time…a generation of diamonds who sparkle because of their flaws, not in spite of them.”(1)
Dara’s death has left us with many questions, especially around the sharing on social media of Garda video footage of her arrest and the exploitation of her distress as entertainment. Those questions have to wait for now, as various investigations take their course. In time we hope there will be Justice For Dara, but right now, there is no justice, there’s just us – Dara’s friends and admirers and readers and comrades in the apparently never-ending struggle. We will gather at 8pm on Saturday 14th of April, upstairs at The Hut in Phibsboro and we will celebrate what Dara gave us and continues to give us and what nothing, not even her death, can ever take away – Dara’s glorious words.
“They tried to bury us,” Dara wrote. “They didn’t realise that we were seeds.”(2) Dara’s words were seeds, and among those gathering at The Hut to water those seeds and give new life to them will be: Dorothy Murphy, Harry Browne, Loki (by video link), Richard McAleavey, myself, Costello, Eamonn Crudden and Nay McArdle. Other fans of Dara’s writing who would like to contribute should get in touch (but please note time is limited and contributions should be short.) Admission is free, but we’ll be accepting donations for a favourite charity of Dara’s on the night.
The venue is small, so it would be good if you could let us know at the Facebook event page linked here that you’ll be coming so we can try to make whatever overflow arrangements are needed. If you can’t join us in person, you’ll be glad to hear that the event will be livestreamed by Mark Malone.
The most up to date information about the event can be found at this Facebook page.
“They tried to bury us and it worked for a while.” – Dara Quigley (1980-2017)
The beautiful portrait of Dara above was painted by her good friend Dorothy Murphy.