Locals object to Dublin 8 makeover

Local residents are opposed to the “docklands style” makeover set to happen in the Liberties, according to People Before Profit (PBP) councillor Tina MacVeigh.

It was reported earlier this year that a number of sites in Dublin 8 are set to be redeveloped, as well as more student accommodation built, in what was called a “docklands style” makeover on the area. 

However, MacVeigh says that locals aren’t in favour of the “profit and tourism” led development. “The issue is that there’s a lot of development happening in Dublin 8, but they feel it is the wrong kind of development,” she said.

Diageo plans to transform James’s Gate into a new urban quarter comprising 500 new homes, hotel and leisure space including the transformation of historic spaces near the Guinness brewery, while co-living specialist the Collective are planning to turn 55 Fumbally into its first shared accommodation in Dublin. 

MacVeigh, along with PBP TD Brid Smith, arranged a public meeting in late September to discuss the “ruination of Dublin 8” with the area’s residents. 

“One of the suggestions that was made was to respond to the proposal for even more student accommodation at Newmarket Square,” said MacVeigh. “The residents want to put in observations and objections to that, so we met with an urban planner who advised us.

“People want housing, but what they don’t want are luxury apartments that are built to rent which are going to cost a huge amount of money and won’t be available to anyone in the community. They don’t want luxury student accommodation that isn’t fit for purpose.”

Another big issue for the residents is the plans for the Fumbally co-living accommodation. “There are many people who are fundamentally opposed to the concept,” said MacVeigh, “but on the other hand we need to acknowledge the fact that some people think this is better than nothing; if co-living presents some kind of an option, then they feel that while it may not be ideal, it provides us with accommodation.”

Many residents also felt the makeover was catering for tourists rather than the community, and instead of giving them amenities such as affordable housing, green spaces or sports facilities, the developments focused on tourist attractions and hotels. However, MacVeigh believes that locals should not “accept the unacceptable”.

A makeover for the tourists rather than the residents? Photo by Zoe Ardiff.

“We will continue to unite as a community, and to fight this type of development and the wrong kind of makeover,” she said. 

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