Ireland has an interesting fan history, with Northern Irish fans breaking into the world scene in the late Forties, led by legendary fanzine editor Walt Willis and writer James White. ‘Irish Fandom’, as this was known, had a direct connection with later iterations of fandom in Ireland, with White being supportive of both incarnations of the Irish Science Fiction Association and also becoming a regular attendee at the national con; Octocon.
Octocon has been a constant in Irish fandom since 1990, and those organising it have also gone on to larger conventions including the two Time Warp cons, Shamrokon (the Dublin Eurocon), and now the Dublin 2019 bid. We were pleased to first announce our plans to bring a World Science Fiction Convention to Ireland at the closing ceremony of Octocon in 2012.
Annually Ireland hosts two literary SF cons and many multimedia, comic, anime, manga and gaming conventions including ArcadeCon, Eirtakon, Gaelcon, Warpcon and Nom-Con. In Northen Ireland there is also the famous TitanCon. We also have more niche groups such as the Emerald Garrison, a Star Wars cosplay group who have run Family Days attracting thousands of people. Finally, but by no means least, numerous college societies in Dublin host a wide variety of cons including Ireland’s longest running gaming convention; Leprecon.
Comics have an actively strong presence with indigenous publishers and a wide variety of conventions and markets.
At the recent Dublin 2019 site visit to the CCD, we welcomed people who joined fandom in the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and the 21st century. It is crucial to our plans for a Worldcon in Dublin to be as welcoming and engaging as possible to all science fiction-related activities and organisers. As such, our endeavour will require engagement across all communities in fandom. Likewise, Irish fans will warmly welcome and encourage international fans who wish to help by bringing expertise, experience, and support to an Irish Worldcon and this excellent community.