Before the Celtic Tiger of the 1990's, Dublin was a cultural backwater on the edge of Europe. Indeed, one German academic who visited famously commented "Hey, you weren't bombed by the Luftwaffe.... how is there so much dereliction?" Such was the state of the Dublin in the 1970's and 80's.
Anyway, apologises for the delay.... this project is turning into a nightmare. Trying to get the right buildings to grow, avoiding abandonment and getting the street grid vaguely correct is wrecking my head. So it is taking a loooong time. And in between work and education as well....so I will hopefully have another update sooner than previously.
O'Connell Street, 1965. This is the main thoroughfare of Dublin and the premier shopping street of the 1960's. The historic General Post Office, to the left is where republic rebels staged a rebellion in 1916 against the British - this eventually led to Irish freedom. Nelsons Column, in the centre of O'Connell Street, stands at 120 feet and has a viewing platform at the top.
The River Liffey dissects the north of south of Dublin. Looking south towards Westmoreland Street you can see the bulky O'Connell Bridge House, built in the 1960's. Through the 1960's - 1980's Dublin fine Georgian architecture was under attack by corrupt city officials and developers. This can be seen by the ugly office blocks on the south banks of the river. To the lower left is Liberty Hall, the highest building in Ireland.
O'Connell Bridge at night with the famous Heineken neon sign.
By the 1980's, parts of the northside of the city were almost in ruins. Developers bought large chunks of land and let them waste away, while other areas were purchased by the city council for roads that were never to be built. A stagnant economy didn't help matters.
This photo sums it up. No this isn't the 19th century, this is Dublin city centre in the mid 1970's! Nothing but dereliction all around.
Smithfield market square is one of the old industrial hearts of Dublin. As cheaper labour became available abroad, manufacturing in the city died off and areas such as Smithfield fell to ruin. The large building in the centre is the home of Jameson whiskey. Smithfield square is now a glorified car park, and is used for horse markets every first Sunday of the month.
A traveller camp at the northern end of Smithfield. The area effectively became a no go area after dark.
Much of inner city Dublin is made up of public housing projects. Many of the red brick terraced housing was cleared to make way for rows of flat complexes such as this one close to Smithfield. The heroin epidemic of the 1980's was soon to sweep through these housing estates.
Along the Royal Canal, on the northside of the city, some traditional industries just about survive. However over the years thousands have been laid off, causing massively high unemployment and huge levels emigration by 1990.
Light at the end of the tunnel. By the late 1980's, the government realised something seriously had to be done to stem the flow of youth out of Ireland and attract inward investment. The old docklands were to be transformed into the International Financial Services Centre. The project began in 1989 and would kickstart the transformation of Dublin.
Well thanks for having a look - any comments welcome!