Stoneybatter’s journey through gentrification

From working class roots to a ‘creative quarter, vibrant Stoneybatter is a neighbourhood in Dublin rich in history dating back as far as the 18’th century – and in more recent times it has a progressive and inclusive reputation. 

Stoneybatter is a bustling eclectic neighbourhood with trendy cafes, hot yoga, and bohemian bars. But under the surface of this, its cobblestone streets and old terrace houses tell us the story of its working-class roots. 

Originally, Stoneybatter was a residential area for workers in nearby industries in Dublin city. The market at Smithfield and the cattle market at Hanlon’s Corner, on the North Circular Road, also made their mark on the area.

Although cattle used to be a common sight in this area, you now have a better chance of coming across a designer sausage dog in the local coffee shops and even bars.

Neighbourhoods change over time, and in this case, a middle-class population replaced the poorer residents. Stoneybatter always had a strong sense of community, but it’s easy to romanticise the past. Long-time resident Therese Carolan says the area has blossomed since she moved here in the mid 1980’s, when, she says, there was “little sense of community, and many shops closed or closing”.

Back then the only businesses that were holding up were lenders, pubs, and florists “Thirty years on and those businesses are thriving and new businesses have emerged along with a now vibrant international community of residents,” Carolan says.

The neighbourhood has a balance of local charm and city life – it is very walkable to the centre and has a lot of other desirable traits.

“In 2024 we have a vibrant and diverse community,” Carolan says. “People are engaged with a range of social and community activities.”

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