Roddy Doyle Launches Art & Poetry Exhibition by Dublin Simon Clients


Dublin Simon Community is launching its 10th Annual “Scrappy but Happy” exhibition with the help of Dublin native Roddy Doyle, who helped to launch the inaugural “Scrappy but Happy” back in 2011. In previous years, the exhibition has been hosted by Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, but has gone virtual for 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions. This year’s exhibition will go live this afternoon, the 11th November during a special online ceremony honouring the artists involved. Prints and originals of selected artworks will be available for purchase, with all funds raised going towards the clients and services of Dublin Simon Community.

The “Scrappy but Happy” exhibition features a selection of artwork and poetry created by clients of Dublin Simon’s Client Development service, which provides art classes and writing workshops for people experiencing homelessness and addiction. Copies of each exhibit are arranged and published in a small book which is also launched at the exhibition. To commemorate the project’s 10th anniversary, “Scrappy but Happy 10” will see the publication of a special hard-backed anthology, which will also be available for purchase.

Speaking about “Scrappy but Happy 10”, Author Roddy Doyle said,

'Whenever I'm told, 'This will make you laugh', I know it won't. I don't even smile; I sometimes groan. So, I'm always wary when I see the word 'Happy' in a title. 'Shiny Happy People' is a terrible song, 'Happy Holidays' makes me want to cry, 'Happy Gilmore' is near the top of my list of the worst films ever made. But reading this new edition of 'Scrappy But Happy' did, actually, make me happy -because of the quality of the writing. The writing is thought-provoking, varied, lively, intriguing, funny, distressing – and brilliant. And if the writing is brilliant, so are the writers. Writing is a solitary occupation. We're alone in our heads as we write. But as I read 'Scrappy But Happy', I knew I was in very good company. And that, too, made me happy.'

Sharon Keogh, Client Development Manager at Dublin Simon Community said,

"We can't believe we are celebrating ten years of Scrappy but Happy and we're so grateful to Roddy for coming back to mark this special occasion with us. Scrappy but Happy is such a special project because it celebrates both the talent and bravery of our clients and residents. Tapping into our creativity allows us to explore, express, reflect and understand our thoughts, feelings and experiences. It is by no means an easy thing to do and often requires great courage. Year after year, as our clients put pen to paper or pick up a paintbrush, often for the first time, I am consistently struck by the amazing, unique and beautiful artworks they create."

For a preview of the virtual Scrappy but Happy 10 exhibition, please click here.

If you would like to purchase a copy of "Scrappy but Happy 10", or would like to make a donation, please visit

If you are interested in purchasing an artwork, please contact us on 01 635 4884.