Re: Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany
I think they mean the deal to assist Liam Carroll’s office block plans in return for the gift of land (which would become their canal), using their ‘best endeavours’.
That was the only, very oblique, reference to the ‘Liffey Island’.
Can we assume that that particular, light coloured, elephant has left the room?
Oblique indeed. In fairness to DDDA, what you suggest might be true. That white elephant seems to have been, well and truly buried in the back acre.
I believe John McLoughlin’s phrase that night in May ’08 was, ‘We are working with developers . . .’ At many opportunities in the talk, he did refer to the fact that DDDA owned very little land. In contrast to Ali Grehan’s experience at Ballymun, where the authority owned most of it. And s****, that seems to be the major fault with Bono too, the fact he didn’t own enough of a patch to accommodate the base of the tower he got Norman Foster to sketch up. (Major loss of face) While I have some sympathy for DDDA, I don’t have any for Bono who was made of cash, back when Sir John Rogerson’s quay could be had for buttons. I should have bought it myself, but no use crying over spilt milk now. I can understand the DDDA’s desire, as a would-be, vibrant public body to get into the action. With some control over a piece of land. How that desire became so great, as to push them beyond the limits of their statutory authority. The Docklands Authority were developing a vision akin to London’s Thames riverside, and that of the Seine in Paris. To increase the greenery and soft nature in the area.
It is hard for us to remember now, how burning hot the property fever was back in the days of 06/07. The sky, quite literally seemed to be the limit. Like Beijing city in 08/09, post and prior to their Olympics. There were some very ambitious projects on display that evening of the May ’08 lecture. McGarry Ni Eanaigh, designers of the award winning Liffey boardwalk, presented a scheme commissioned by Harry Crosby to run a sky high cable car down the length of the river Liffey. In order to give city dwellers a different experience of the river. (Even that was a semi-realistic project) A very nice looking project was the one proposed for the banks of the canal and areas around Spencer Dock station. What John McLoughlin’s whole presentation did emphasise was the shere duration of history and activities associated with the river banks. Going right back to the Viking age. How the decline of the importance of the river, for the city, is only a recent phenomenon. The challenge being to re-assert its importance for the city as a social and economic generating form. The RTE report on prime time, cuts out this relevant context also.
But what the broadcast by RTE really doesn’t manage to do, is highlight the blatant poor performance of the DDDA, in delivering basic stuff. Namely, the shere lack of progress by the Docklands Authority, from a hard nosed project management point of view. Whatever disfunctionality seems to exist within DDDA and DCC, they seem incapable of deciding on anything. The RTE report only highlights the latest chapter in a long drawn out saga. Perhaps taking a leaf from the Beijing local authorities would be a good thing. The building of some simple roads on land that they ALREADY control. Several developments have been completed and are sitting idle for a few years waiting for a bit of tarmac to arrive at their doorstep! After developers have personally funded water mains and other critical infrastructure!
But compare this lack lustre performance, to that displayed by the Dublin Airport Authority, another 100% government owned, non-government funded ajency. Which could organise 130 different projects, amounting to 2 billion Euros in costs, without closing down a busy airport of 20 million persons/year capacity. In fairness, I would hurl all the Docklands Authority out on their ear, and simply expand Dublin Airport Authority’s project management team, to deliver the few basic road projects that were promised in the original DDDA masterplan. I think that would save everyone a considerable amount of money, right there. The RTE documentary didn’t dig this deep though. It is a hard won lesson, but a valuable lesson, on the difference between seductive CG imagery and hard nosed engineering/project management.
Brian O’ Hanlon