Friday, January 09, 2004

The other evening I was meeting a friend from Spain. Working as I do in the city centre I decided not to bother going home and making my way back into the city. I got something to eat then went for a wander around. It had been quite some time since I'd done this at night. Usually I'm tearing around running from one spot to another.

What particularily took my fancy was the Liffey. The bridges which span our river sparkled. The river itself was illuminated and the reflection of the bridges in the Liffey would have been a photographers delight. I stood entranced at the beauty of it all. It's always the case that you take for granted whats on your doorstep. Yes in many instances the city has improved its image but at what expense?

Can you recall for years the derelict buldings that overlooked the Liffey? Anything would be an improvement. The appartments which replaced them are nice but are they part of a vibrant city? In my opinion they are not.

Before the old houses were bought up and left for years to rot those houses were home to people, to communities. Ok you may say that they were dangerous and you were giving the people who lived in them a new start by transplanting them out into surburbia. The thing is the housing estates in Dublins surburbia were badly planned with no amenities. Communities were sundered and the result was social degredation on a massive scale.

Years later we have a housing boom and the era of the Celtic Tiger (RIP). The city centre is developed piecemeal and the quayside is filled by soul less appartments. Those property speculators who sat on the houses and allowed them to rot thrive while others remain in poverty.

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