October 21st 2021: The IFI (Irish Film Institute) is proud to announce that a plaque marking abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass’s 1845 visit to Eustace Street has been unveiled. The plaque, unveiled today by the Lord Mayor, is mounted to the entrance of the IFI.
Frederick Douglass, the anti-slavery leader who visited Dublin in 1845, has been honoured by a Dublin City Council Commemorative Plaque, mounted to the entrance of the Irish Film Institute, formerly the Friends’ Meeting House. The plaque has been unveiled by Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland.
Born into slavery in 1818, Frederick Douglass escaped and in 1845 published his autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself. He was a guest of Dublin’s Quaker Community, and in 1845 Douglass spoke at the old Friends’ Meeting House in Eustace Street, now the IFI.
Speaking on the significance of Douglass’s legacy, Professor Margaret Kelleher, Chair of the Board of the Irish Film Institute, said, ‘On 9th September 1845, in this building which is now home to the IFI, Frederick Douglass delivered a stirring oration against slavery and in defence of human liberty. We at the IFI are very proud to mark today not only such a historic event but also his continuing legacy and inspiration.’
At the unveiling of the commemorative plaque on the building, Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland remarked, ‘I am proud that Dublin City is honouring the memory of Frederick Douglass here today, with a plaque that tells all who see it that back in 1845, he found himself welcomed with, in his own words, ‘a total absence of all manifestations of prejudice…’ and was treated ‘not as a colour, but as a man’.’
IFI is principally funded by the Arts Council.
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The IFI is supported by The Arts Council