Dublin Docklands – April 2011
Image by infomatique
Dublin Docklands is the area of the city of Dublin, Ireland, on both sides of the River Liffey, roughly from Talbot Memorial Bridge eastwards to the Point Depot.
During the so called Celtic Tiger years (1997–2007) as a result of low corporate tax rates, low ECB interest rates, Ireland joining the Eurozone and other factors the Irish economy expanded rapidly and there was a really massive property boom.
Here is an extract from an article published in 1997:
"The transformation of Dublin’s largely dormant docklands into a hi-tech living and working community is envisaged in a plan aiming to create up to 40,000 jobs and 10,000 homes in Dublin Bay.
The project is the largest single urban development project in Ireland since the country’s independence. The draft master plan, which goes on public display today, amounts to a blueprint for a technology-driven new town on 1,300 acres along the north and south waterfronts and their hinterlands, until recently a wasteland.
The regeneration marks a turnaround for an area, which, like the London Docklands two decades ago, had long been in decline. Schools, adult-learning facilities and job-training programmes are planned; other elements include tax incentives, new transport links, hotels and a shopping centre. The draft plan can be viewed on the Internet: www.dda.ie from 11 September."
Because development was taking place at a very rapid pace many old buildings were disappearing and I felt that it would be good idea to document the changes using digital photography and so the "Streets Of Dublin" project was born. It was my intention to document the changes in the built environment and I had assumed that the many improvements in infrastructure would continue well into the future. Almost every day a new exciting project was announced so I visited the area at least once per week in case I missed anything.
Suddenly, almost over-night, things began to go wrong. The tower cranes were stationary, building work slowed and then ceased, cafes closed and broken windows were not being replaced.
The decline is now becoming all too obvious.
I must admit that I did not expect to be documenting the 21st. Century decline of Dublin Docklands.