O' Connell Street, Dublin

O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Thu Jun 19, 2003 8:15 pm

I think O' Connell Street is finally deserving of a thread of its own.

Now, what to begin with...oh I know, I was reading the O' Cll St IAP last night (now there's a coincidence) and I came across this little gem of a quotation.

Just before it, its in relation to the Bank of Ireland building beside Clery's, arguably the finest of the 'tall & narrow' buildings on the st, thats been sold to the high class Paddy Powers bookies, and they've also applied for permission to erect satelite dishes on the roof, which will be visible from the street.

The extract:
"There are indications that some of the banks (on the st) plan to rationalise. It is important that quality new uses are found. ...There must be a pro-active approach to ensure that any new uses complement and work with the character of these fine buildings"

Rather than whinge etc about this blatent bending of the IAP, does the CC have any control AT ALL, as to the uses of bldgs on the st? Other that the tax incentives etc, it doesnt appear to.

I've also come to a final conclusion as to why all of O' Cll St is in the state its in.

O Cll St, unlike other city centres in Western Europe has a community living around it. Wheras in other cities, the centres are pretty much built for tourists with large expensive stores, cinemas, theatres etc, and with an office/business core surrounding it, O' Cll St does not. Citizens of other cities rarely go into the city centre because of the class of services, stores etc which simply arn't suited to daily life.
But O' Cll St is being used and exploited by the communities around it 'from the flats' as it were, for EVERYDAY USE. Its the place they go to get their evening takeaway, to buy their weekly shopping, to get their toilet rolls and shampoo.
It isn't being used as a distinguished capital city street, acting as a showcase for the whole of Ireland, it is being used a bog-standard Main Street, that you'd find in any town or village around the country.

This is its fundamental problem, and the surrounding streets, it simply is'nt profitable to have any other kind of store/service in this area, there is a much greater demand for 'pile em high and sell em cheap'

Its going to be exceptionally difficult to change, and as a result the street's architecture is suffering, there is'nt money in these establishments for lavish refurbishments.
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Postby GrahamH » Thu Jun 19, 2003 8:20 pm

To be frank, you can change the buildings and paving but you can't change the people.

I know it's terrible to stereotype, but its so true, its on the tip of every CC offical's tongue but they just can't say it.

Its a genuine concern that the upgraded elements of the st are just going to be trashed with chewing gum, late night brawls, urine, urine, urine etc
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Postby sw101 » Thu Jun 19, 2003 10:59 pm

i've always had pride in my country, travelling far and wide and stressing my southern accent when it suits to make new friends. i've lived in dublin for four years, always north of the river, and the only occassion i have to feel shame for my heritage is when i walks the streets of my capital. its disgusting. the ppl are dispicable, the authorities are out of all order, and improvements are blocked by anal members of a defunct state. bring on the next recession so i have an excuse to take my filthy degree and leave in a blaze of wake-induced vomit.

and just so i'm not accused of leaving the topic of the thread: O'CONNELL STREET IS A BIG SMELLY KIP
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Postby Peter Fitz » Thu Jun 19, 2003 11:43 pm

its disgusting. the ppl are dispicable


what a rubbish generalisation, you're referring to a million plus people, re read your post, some reason wouldn't go astray.
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Postby sw101 » Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:59 am

you're a rubbish generalisation :)

walk down o'connell street and through temple bar at 3am tomorrow nite then tell me i'm wrong.

obviously i dont think every one of the million dublinians are dispicable. i cant even spell the word properly for gods sake. it is an impression one sometimes get and thats it, an opinion. one i share with many, including unlucky or observant tourists. i'd defend dublin as well as anyone when it is called for, but dublin is not improving as the capital of a strong capitalist state. its more a sign of buracracy than the mindset of this country, and thats what makes my blood boil.

e.g spains building and repairing 10 stadia for the price of our one. the spike shambles. the issues with the new bridge. the woefully inadequate efforts to restore o'connell street. the failed living over the shop scheme that could, with proper management, have brought some dignity back to areas like capel street.

think what you like of o'connell street, and i'd like to hear your and everyones opinions, but i find it difficult to see good points about the city centre.

incidentally, no offence intended to anyone from dublin,obviously i wasnt referring to you. anyone who attended a school of architecture or has enough interest in it to look at this site is no doubt above all the peons who roam those fetid footpaths
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Postby Andrew Duffy » Fri Jun 20, 2003 9:12 am

Portugal, not Spain. Thanks for bringing up the living above the shop scheme - that really pissed me off! It was a great idea, but the price of the initial government sponsored offering was far too high. What are those three buildings doing now, anyway? They still look derelict, jut painted.
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Postby Peter Fitz » Fri Jun 20, 2003 10:02 am

“it is an impression one sometimes get and thats it”!


yeah exactley sw101, an impression one sometimes gets! the whole city centre is not a kip, and the vast majority are decent people going about their business ...

I go out every Friday or Saturday, and am often one of those people “roaming” the streets at 3am looking for a taxi home, sure there are scum bags out there, but you make it sound like bloody beiruit. Most people at 3am, while a lot of them are fairly hammered, are just out having a laugh and looking for a taxi. I have seen two fights in town over the last two years or so ( like I said I’m in town every weekend ) one of which was the one that took place in front of the Central Bank which RTE got on camera and have shown again and again and again and again and …

You’re right, O’Connell Street is a mess, but I’m prepared to wait until the IAP is finished and judge it then, its crap that its going to take till 2005+, but the north city in particular needs a lot of work and its not going to change over night …

You’re calling the city a kip now, do you not remember the 80’s ??? think about how much its changed since then when Dublin was nothing but the centre of a depressed economy and it really showed.

I’m as pissed off as you are with the delays, objections, crap infrastructure blah blah blah but most of these problems are problems of success, and I’d take them any day over being forced to hop on a boat to england.

cheers !
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Postby Rita Ochoa » Fri Jun 20, 2003 11:17 am

sw101, "e.g spains building and repairing 10 stadia for the price of our one." ?
Sure you don't mean Portugal ?
Again, Portugal is not Spain or part of it. They are 2 VERY different countries, being Portugal about 300 years older...
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Postby GregF » Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:11 pm

......the gas thing about all these problems that have been mentioned that exist regarding Dublin City et all...... is that they are all rectifiable.
If people just used their common sense at the end of the day.
The way to a cleaner, better, efficient and attractive city starts with oneself really and one's environment; in your home and immediate surroundings.
(that begging bowl culture is a millstone for us Irish too).
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Postby sw101 » Fri Jun 20, 2003 2:19 pm

sorry rita. i imagine i'd virtually slap you aswell if you had said this was britain.

and no peter i dont remember the 80's, i was only born the second year in. however you do seem to remember, but please dont use that to excuse any of the crap you have to put up with these days. its a very governmental angle to take, look how shitty it used to be? count yourselves lucky. and what on earth is a "problem of success"?

the 3 buildings on capel street have been extensively refurbished, while maintaing the same arrangement and floor plan. i think their reinstatement is a lot better than the typical approach in the last 10 years which was to gut the whole lot, facade and all, and stick in a monstrosity like no.1 jervis street or jervis place apartments around the corner
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Postby AndrewP » Fri Jun 20, 2003 3:01 pm

I don't think it's a 'governmental angle' to remind ouserlves how bad things were not too long ago. It's important to get a bit of perspective on this - the city has been transformed in 10 years. Totally. Unrecognisably.
Anyone remember the quays looking like Dresden after the blitz for more than a decade?
Every public building permanently covered in black soot? No cool restauarnts/ bars/ clubs/ markets. Now that was a kip.
Most of the new stuff is good, some of it is very good.
It's frustrating that major projects like O'Connell Street still take longer than they should to get finished, but look at how much has been done since the start of the 90s and lets wait and see before beating ourselves up.
We may be still behind other Eurpoean countries in learning how to make our capital city work, but we've had a lot further to come since we got a bit of cash in our pockets. Sorry if this is before your time!
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Postby d_d_dallas » Fri Jun 20, 2003 3:12 pm

Lads - generalisations are always going to piss alot of people off. But generally speaking North of the Liffey is not a nice place, and saying this having lived north for quite a while. The people being despicable remark is obviously a generalisation - but not being a Dublin native - I can say in MY experience that a higher proportion of people in that area compared to others may not stray too far from that description.
I think too many people are being self congratulatory... poor Ireland is rich now etc... Look how far Dublin has come etc... But check out cities in countries that by the "rich" definition are most definitely not rich. Dublin doesn't compare that favourably. And if we are to measure our city by O'Connell St - well... we do indeed have a long way to go.
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Postby Peter Fitz » Fri Jun 20, 2003 3:13 pm

and what on earth is a "problem of success"?


problems associated with a successful economy - i.e traffic, pressure on infrastructure, resulting from huge numbers travelling in and out of the city centre to work /shop every day, transportation of goods blah blah blah

better than mass emigration, mass unemployment, a depressed economy, a disillusioned & falling population ... problems associated with economic failure.

I'm not saying accept shite government, I'm just saying don't be oblivious to how far we've come & the pace of change ... you might not remember the 80's but does 20% unemployment & a currency crisis in 93 ring any bells? its not long ago

we have a lot of catching up to do, believe me I'm not defending the government, i doub't they're capable of organising a piss up in a brewery ... well brennan seems to be showing some promise, so you never know we might have a few decent infrastructural projects on the go in a few years time, we'll just have to wait and see.
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Postby d_d_dallas » Fri Jun 20, 2003 3:19 pm

In terms of government - there seems to be a lack of leadership. There always seems to be some minister squabbling over the plans of another cabinet member. The government needs to stand up and say what they believe in and FOCUS! Remember College Fees? Bertie couldn't even say what he actually thought... and he's supposed the be the leader of this country!!! If we can't sort something like that out then obviously city centre regeneration isn't going to have the prpose and vision we'd all like (so long as Fagan's gets a lick of paint!)
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Postby AndrewP » Fri Jun 20, 2003 4:39 pm

d_d_dallas, you've got one thing right - generalisations ARE going to piss people off, particularly sweeping ones based on some dubious alleged first-hand knowledge.

"Generally speaking, north of the Liffey is not a nice place"... give me break. If you can dismiss half of Dublin that easily, you can't know much about the place...
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Postby StephenC » Fri Jun 20, 2003 4:45 pm

Here, here... I am a Northsider and proud of it. And there are plenty of fantastic features on the Northside. There are also plenty of very nice areas as well. And surprise surprise just like our wealthier brethern down south there are plenty of crumby areas and lots of room for improvement.
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Postby d_d_dallas » Fri Jun 20, 2003 4:46 pm

"Alleged" - not at all.

OK - I did generalise, but in MY experience the generalisations about North Inner City Dublin made earlier in the thread had some truth in them.

Hmmm - tensions are running high on all threads today!!!
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Postby AndrewP » Fri Jun 20, 2003 4:59 pm

Well it is very warm today...
One point - the north inner city is not the same as north of the Liffey! You can't talk about inner-city slums and places like Howth or Malahide in the same breath.

Just noticed I've become a "Senior Member"!
Well, there goes the neighbourhood! I'm off for the evening now to rob all yizzer gaffs.
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Postby d_d_dallas » Fri Jun 20, 2003 5:38 pm

Ok - my bad for not being more specific - but North Dublin in this case wasn't meant to be North Dublin County...

Ah the sunshine...
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Postby doozer » Fri Jun 20, 2003 6:01 pm

AndrewP how come your a senior menber now ....................oh the injustice.
<stamps ground>
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Postby doozer » Fri Jun 20, 2003 6:03 pm

oh wait it must be a 100 posts thing.....
dammit there's only so much pretensious wittering I can do.
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Postby doozer » Fri Jun 20, 2003 6:04 pm

although.....<evil glint> I could just keep posting these 'talking to myself mails<evil glint>
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Postby GrahamH » Fri Jun 20, 2003 8:10 pm

Now that everyones let of steam, back to O' Cll St.
I used not to be remotely concerned about being on the st, but now I am always nervous on it, and during the day.
And everyone I know says the same, 'just don't make eye contact with anyone' 'steer well clear of any scangers or shady people etc'.
Is'nt it just terrible, so sad, that you feel concerned for your safety during the day & that you avoid eye contact with people.
I never walk down the st without seeing anti-social behavior, people yelling across the st at each other, girls with buggys ramming them into the backs of pedestrians infront, people sitting on the ground outside of Mc Donalds with piles of crap beside them, people littering, people coming up to you asking for food, money, the coat on your back etc.
Its really not worth going onto the st at all.
This must change, but how?
Any change that occurs only happens as part of 'national strategies' rather than plans tailored to suit excusively the needs of O' Cll St, eg are more Gaurds to be deployed as part of the IAP? No, indeed any mention of guards on the st at all is non-existant, and so we have to wait 4 years for the 'extra 2000 guards' Bertie keeps promising.

A FULLY integrated plan of the st is necessary, and indeed for the city centre as a whole.

There is never ANY radical thinking in this country, a Grand Master Plan for all of Dublin City Centre should be drawn up, dealing with every concievable aspect of the place.

Whereas the IAP is very comprehensive, it is very vague in some of the most important areas such as security.
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Postby doozer » Mon Jun 23, 2003 12:03 pm

It was my understanding that there is a masterplan in existance that is being phased in gradually. For example the regeneration of Henry Street, the spike etc. Granted, this may not be extreme enough to transform O'Connell Street into the country's first avenue but its not quite the chaos that it appears and it is in the middle of development.
A gradual upgrading must be preferable to an over night clean sweep that may not be so well considered. I was living just off O'Connell Street last year and we all got a copy of the plan in our post boxes. It seemed fairly reasonable, nothing earth-shattering, but then I suppose the Spike is the coup-de-grace.

As for policing, Graham I think your right, that's more of a city wide issue. Singling out O'Connell Street for tougher measures may cause more problems than it solves
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Postby StephenC » Mon Jun 23, 2003 12:18 pm

A masterplan does exist....two actually. One is called the Dublin Development Plan, which is DCC driven and focuses mainly on planning and development. The other is the City of Possibilities, a DCC plan launched last year focusing on the social aspects of the city.
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