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About this City Journal

A journey through a rapidly developing and historical capital city

Entries in this City Journal


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!


Apologises for the long wait everyone, I really have such little time at the moment - so progress is painfully slow. Oh to be a hermit 15 year old ago hidden away in my room!!

From the last entry - so much thanks everyone!

@LN X - Thanks so much, really means alot! Haha, sorry - I just enjoy a good story to go alongside City Journals :)

@cmdp123789 Cheers mate, and thanks for the support!

@takemethere Thanks alot, yes I enjoy redeveloping areas and urban renewal projects - which will feature alot in future posts :)

@michae95l Cheers, that's the NHP golf course pack - and I think the other is called the ArtGolf pack?! 

@nickitygeowge - They are the regular NAM roundabouts, but with 1x1 fillers, I'll try and find where I got them

So..full steam ahead! From Dun Laoghaire harbour we're sailing north to Dublin Port, entering along the large North and South Bull Walls (Which protect the flow of the River Liffey into Dublin, and designed by William Bligh of Muntiny of the Bounty fame.


The Port handles the majority of sea import and exports in Ireland. It lies to the east of the city centre and the majority of the port lies on the Northside of the River Liffey (the below photo is  facing southeast). Over the years the port has steadily moved further and further out into the Irish Sea - pretty much all the land here has been reclaimed. 


The Port hosts numerous ferry and Ro/Ro companies, such as Irish Ferries and Stena Line. Freight is also handled at a number of terminals dotted around the port, and new cars are also imported. 


Ireland imports the majority of its energy - and of course Dublin Port provides Oil and Gas terminals for tankers. Large storage areas are located on the northside of the Port. 


The port is still home to a number of more traditional industries - including agri-businesses such as Odlums, who export wheat and other grains from Dublin.


Traditionally the railway played a major role around the port - however the advent of containerisation resulted in many of the railways around the port being abandoned. nMXLBZD.jpg

Coming further along the River Liffey, towards the city centre, the East-Link toll bridge acts as the border between the modern port and the older, decaying docklands closer the city. It was built in the early 1980's as a bypass of the city centre - and remains heavily utilised today. ErLN2Qk.jpg

The old docklands have been in decline since the 1950's,and ships no longer dock along the quays - some industry remains. However the city council and government are eyeing up both the north and south side docklands as potential areas of urban renewal. SfP8f8v.jpgW3zJrm7.jpg

By the 1990's, the Grand Canal dock had become a notoriously polluted area, with decaying industry and derelict warehouses lying its banks. kDBKZYX.jpgqLs9fXT.jpg

The northside of the docklands - known as East Wall, is traditionally home to dockers and their families. The redbrick terraced streets are home to some of the oldest communities in Dublin. To the far left, you can see the encroaching modern development of the early 2000's. Numerous tax breaks are being offered to developers to rejuvenate these derelict areas. 6kxscQ6.jpgOCFiD7p.jpg

And, just a few more photos of the modern Port before I go!





Welcome back, and thanks for the all the love the last time, very much appreciated. This time around we'll be cruising around the suburbs of Dun Laoghaire, including Sallynoggin, Dalkey and Glasthule. Dun Laoghaire is one of the older suburbs of Dublin, and much of its growth was between the late 19th and mid 20th century's. 

Close to the town centre, there are many fine Georgian Squares with terraced housing -as can be seen below. These house a mix of high wealth residents however many have been sub-divided into smaller flats in recent years. 


The area expanded again the 1930's - 1950's as Dubliner's began to move out into the suburbs. Dun Laoghaire was a good location due the access to the railway, the town shopping and of course the lure of the sea. 


Below can be seen the Glenageary roundabout, one of the most congested parts of Dun Laoghaire. It links Dun Laoghaire with further flung suburbs and the M50 orbital motorway. Previously some small shops occupied the site but in recent years large offices have been built to cater for local demand. The road vertically across the photo separates the more upper class Glenageary from the working class council built estates of Sallynoggin. 


Dun Laoghaire golf club, founded in 1910 is the green lung of Dun Laoghaire and is today surrounded by residental development. Being positioned in one of the most sought after areas of Dublin, There are rumours of the land being bought by property developers in the near future so watch this space :)


Back to the harbour breifly, the old coal harbour continues to function as small scale fishing dock with some minor industry - mainly harbour maintenance. The local yacht clubs are clamouring for more space so surely it's only a matter of time before the Harbour Board approve the demolition of the old harbour and the construction yet more marinas?! Another part of old Dun Laoghaire lost forever....


Into the leafy suburbs of Killiney and Dalkey now, home to famous celebs such as Bono and Van Morrison. The quaint village of Dalkey, with it's small train station, is home to vintage shops, high end restaurants and traditional Irish pubs. It's especially popular for day tripping tourists. A private school can be seen to the left, most schools in this part of Dublin are private and rugby is the sport of choice. 


More of the Kiliney / Glenageary suburbs - home to accountants, lawyers and a large girls boarding school - seen to the left of the roundabout.


A view towards the southeast from Dun Laoghaire. As you can see the Golf Club takes up much land. It is intersected by Glenageary Road. Centre far right are the notorious flats of Monkstown Farm - don't risk strolling through there at night. Dun Laoghaire is town of divide - homes worth millions are just a few minutes walk from areas of abject poverty. As can be seen, the DART railway line cuts through the granite rock to the left. 


An full overview, looking north across Dublin Bay. The sheer size of the habour is put into perspective. The low rise nature of the suburbs are typical of Dublin, and Ireland in general. (and yes, I've yet to complete the seafront!)


Just a picture of the typical types of large semi deteched homes found in parts of Dun Laoghaire such as Sandycove and Glenageary - most built between the 1930's and 1950's. Glasthule DART station can be seen also in the photo. 



And a night scene, the "New Road" that links Dun Laoghaire to Killiney, Shankill and the M50 motorway. It's only a recent addition to the landscape of this historic suburb. The road is built on land that was reserved for road development in the 1970's but it was only built in the last decade. It was catalyst for the development of the dense office buildings seen in the picture. Previously there was light manufacturing, of which one or two businesses remain. 




So for now that's all - I guess I've got to work on my storytelling :P 




For now - I'll begin.

It is summer time, so many tourists arrive to Dublin on the car ferry from the United Kingdom. Traditionally, many arrived at the historic harbour of Dun Laoghaire (pronounced Dun Leary), 8km south of the city centre. Home to numerous yacht clubs and once the world’s largest harbour, ferry numbers have been dwindling in recent times and the Harbour Company are looking to attract larger cruise ships. 

The car ferry slows down as it enters the grand harbour, buffed by large granite piers built in the 19th century using rock from nearly Dalkey quarry. The harbour is extremely popular for sailing so caution must be taken by the captain as they prepare to turn and land at the car ferry terminal.


As the cars and trucks disembark onto the run down and derelict Carlisle Pier, locals gather to view a French tall ship that has docked at the East Pier. On the opposite side, construction of a new cruise terminal is just about visible. b0vxFE4.jpg

The harbour area is undergoing rapid transformation, from a busy ferry port to one focused more on recreation and tourism. Dun Laoghaire train station, was the terminus of the first railway in Ireland in 1894. The railway previously linked up to the ferry pier, however the old station, seen rusting on the pier, has long been abandoned. The Dublin Area Rapid Transport now provides a link to the city centre in 20 minutes.


Two sailing clubs are visible, on the left is the Royal St. George and on the right the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Both are very exclusive, and cost thousands per year for membership.TsiOzbB.jpg

Dun Laoghaire County Council Offices, with a modern early 2000’s extension can be seen opposite the train station.RmcnKXf.jpg 

The hideous Dun Laoghaire shopping centre was build atop of a delightful Georgian terrace in the 1970’s. It sits alongside the famous Royal Marine hotel, which offers stunning views over Dublin Bay.XUZNEkM.jpg

The town centre has suffered due to out of town shopping malls, the recession and draconian parking laws. Many shops are boarded up, however the main street retains its charm and there’s many bargains to be found. St Michael’s church is the focal point of the town centre.

 Thanks for reading so far, any help and tips are greatly appreciated! I don't have the best laptop, and I have to play on software mode due Intel Iris graphics so I miss out on some plugins due to graphic issues. 

Hope you enjoyed and I'll be back soon with a drive through the town of Dun Laoghaire and its leafy well-to-do suburbs :)




So I've been a long, long time player of SC4. I've messed around for years and never fully jumped in - mainly due to the lack of a decent PC or laptop. But in the past year the idea of recreating my home city, Dublin, has appealed to me. 

At first, the negatives outweighed the positives - the medieval city & suburban winding streets, the unsustainable (in SC4 terms) suburban sprawl, the lack of Dublin landmarks, getting the scale right and finding the right plugins. 

I quickly gave up the first time, due to the amount of time it was consuming. However I persevered in the past few months and so far I've 3 complete city tiles (still a hell of a lot more to go). The biggest drawback is having to make almost every building "historic" as to keep within the city character. This is particularly annoying when building sprawling monotonous housing estates - spend ages going through it all only to have a feckin mansion pop up later on in the centre of it.....GRRRR!!

Anyway, I'll rant more in the future. Tips and help are greatly, greatly appreciated. 


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