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A different Bríd of politician

Bríd Smith, a TD for Dublin South-central, is a committed left wing political activist. Along with another five TDs from Solidarity – People Before Profit, she’s part of a fledgling socialist force that positions itself firmly in opposition to the current centre-right executive at the Dáil.

While she is based primarily in Ballyfermot, she has a close connection to the Liberties. Her mother, who recently turned 89, was born and raised in a tenement at the current site of the Jury’s Hotel at Christ Church.

Brid Smith // Facebook

She has worked with local councillor Tina MacVeigh on projects around the Liberties such as the recently developed park in Bridgefoot Street. She says: “We’ve been campaigning for the Marrowbone Lane Depot to be made into a sports complex for the area.

“Lately, we’re trying to do something about the terrible shame that is the Iveagh Markets lying empty, and not being used for community gain. It’s being used by a developer to develop into a private market.

“It’s a beautiful place. I remember, as a kid, going into it. It was a great place to have, a bit like the English Market in Cork. If they had it now, it would be a fantastic tourist facility,” she continues.

There has been a notable upswing in property purchases in the Liberties area, something Ms. Smith isn’t overly fond of: “I hate the gentrification of old parts of cities.

“I think we should keep it, as best we can, as close to the original as it’s supposed to be. The Liberties is very much the working class heart of Dublin.”

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