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Progress on renovating the Liberties

The area is the heart and soul of Dublin, and it has had its fair share of wear and tear over the years. Long-promised development projects should finally be happening – but are they markers of gentrification?

In March, Dublin City Council (DCC) announced that there would be €53 million worth of funding for urban regeneration in the Liberties area.  

“A lot of the projects that have been put forward were previously developed projects that were just waiting for much needed resources,” said Stephen Coyne, a DCC coordinator of the Urban Renewal and Development Fund (URDF).  

“A regeneration of the Liberties is about making it a liveable city for people to inhabit.”

Stephen Coyne, a DCC coordinator of the Urban Renewal and Development Fund (URDF). 

Newmarket, Dolphin’s Barn and Meath Street are among some of the areas that are being marked out for redevelopment.  

“The rationale for these projects was essentially a regeneration of the Liberties and about making it a liveable city for people to inhabit,” Coyne said.  

There are a number of different projects that are currently underway already under the URDF, such as the Francis Street Environmental Improvement Scheme, which aims to provide a pedestrian friendly environment through the busy street.  

Plans for public realms and parks are being drawn up for areas in the Liberties such as Meath Street and Dolphin’s Barn.  

“Another exciting project that will soon be put into place is the addition of a cycle track from Kevin Street up to Grangegorman,” said Richard Shakespeare, assistant chief executive in the council.   

This aims to help reduce traffic pollution in the area and encourage more people to use bikes to travel through the city.  

There are also plans for a number of new houses to be developed in Dublin 8.

“Vacant or unused land as well as derelict buildings are not a sight we want to see in our cities, particularly in the midst of a housing crisis,” said Darragh O’Brien, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage.   

Meath Street, showing the widening of the footpath envisaged for the street. Image courtesy: Dublin City Council

The Liberties is an area that is steeped in history. Many people that live there go back generations, so many are wondering if these schemes will mean that the area will be gentrified and lose that dynamic spirit that it possesses.    

“It’s really all about community cohesion,” said Shakespeare. “These places are known to be great trading areas with a very tightly knit community.  

“And at the end of the day, this is their community so it’s all about working together to make it a more liveable community.”  

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One Response to Progress on renovating the Liberties

  1. Pingback: Francis Street revamp gets green light - The Liberty | The Liberty

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