Sunday, September 20, 2009

171 Navan Road, Dublin 7

Someone said to me when they heard that I was back that I should photograph/document the "ghost estates" around the rim of the commuter belt, in the beyonds of Meath, Kildare, etc. Places that got built and then never occupied, or were almost finished but then the developer ran out of money. Fuck that! I like my derelict buildings with a bit of character. Even if those "ghost estates" were occupied, they'd still be full of zombies, brain dead from their daily two-hours-there, two-hours-back commute in gridlock. Oh those poor people, I read, the recession has left them with negative equity. FUCK. THEM. Thats what you get for wanting a house with 4 bedrooms and garden back and front, instead of living closer to where you work in an apartment, LIKE THE REST OF EUROPE DOES. Deal with the choices you made in your life. You're a stupid fucking Irish person who thinks they've above their station in life, with a widescreen TV and a new car, but you're actually commuter belt nouveau riche (and now pauvreté, or perhaps misère would be more appropriate) trash, its YOU thats responsible for the recession, not the bankers.

So after a brief hiatus, its back here again, with so much other fetid spam alongside us in the dole queue. But not for long (I swear, I hope), so I'll cram all the properties into the blog before operations are shut down again and moved to a tax exile island. I think I've reached this love/hate duality/dichotomy/juxtaposition status with Ireland at this stage in my life. I get dewey eyed about the green auld sod like any diaspora moron, no doubt given a few years away again I'll be a Continuity/Real IRA supporter from afar, have a strange hybrid accent, be a regular at my local paddywhackery "Oirish" bar harping on about how inauthentic the place is, act the drunken buffoon at the socially awkward Paddys Day workplace drinks for the amusement of my colleagues, and so on. Part of me does miss it - but again its a warped nostalgia, where the grass is greener on the other side. You forget the rain, the rain, the idiots who run the country and the idiots who voted for them (and the idiots who think the "opposition" are in any way ideologically different), the state of the place in general, the rain, the fact that now you're home you're not from Ireland any more - you're just a knacker as soon as you open your mouth to a stranger, and so on. So it'll be adios, again, sooner rather than later.

In the interim, enjoy these properties from the northside.

241 New Cabra Road, Cabra, Dublin 7

190 New Cabra Road, Dublin 7

52 Old Cabra Road, Cabra, Dublin 7

52 Mountjoy Street, Broadstone, Dublin 7

I think there used to be some sort of metalwelding business in the rear of this building, maybe a gate and fence manufacturer. It was used by junkies a while back but now its been boarded up again. Doesnt look like there's any current activity.

60 Mountjoy Street, Broadstone, Dublin 7

I really wish the council would stick a metal gate up at the entrance to the laneway at the side of this gaf, with keys given to the residents of Fontenoy Street. The laneway is constantly full of half burnt sofas, shopping trolleys, and other assorted shite.

23 Blessington Street, Dublin 1 (or maybe Dublin 7?)

This building has been getting progressively worse over the past few years. I'm not sure of the postcode of this part of the street, it might be either Dublin 1 or 7. I think it might be 7 because I have it in my head that Dorset Street is the boundary, but I could be wrong.

2 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1

I think there might be squatters in this one, its got that 'arrow' logo on the door, although it doesnt look occupied.

9 Rutland Street, Summerhill, Dublin 1

21 Rutland Street, Summerhill, Dublin 1

12 Buckingham Street, Summerhill, Dublin 1

I think it comes from reading too much Paul Williams articles in the Sunday Wuddled back in the day, but for some reason, and its only on this street, I get a little panicked when taking photos of buildings on Buckingham Street. I seem to have it in my head that every building on the street is owned by Gerry Hutch, who upon seeing me photographing one of his properties, will have me 'disappeared' for a few hours in the back room of some snooker club or windowless pub with a few guys well trained in the black art of fingernail pulling.

Maybe it wouldnt be so bad if I got to ride in the Hummer limo on the way to the venue.

Actually, I hate that fucking car. It would only add to the torture.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

This blog.

A friend of mine said to me before that "when you get older, you become what you hate". From reading this blog, you might think that here at Derelict Dublin, from our continual harping on about the causes and effects of dereliction in the city, that we hated the process and visible results of it. Far from it! It gives us something to bitch about and makes us open our eyes when we're wandering around the city. But, as you may have noticed in recent months, the level of postings has decreased dramatically. The blog itself has become neglected, unkempt, a bit of an eyesore. Much like many of the buildings described within.

So what's caused this then? Call it a general malaise. We're growing tired of this city, and recently having visited two other urban centres where the energy and noise (and sunshine) far exceeded anything that this miserable little place could generate. Its time to vacate the premises and move on somewhere else. There are many other derelicts we've come across which have been photographed and sniffed around, but never felt the need to document here. We'll see what happens with our new residence; whether it lives up to expectations. We might be back here sooner than we think. But hopefully not. Dublin is boring now. Even the recession is boring. We cant listen or read another article about how its somehow the 80's all over again. Give us a break. And when the recession is over (its all boom/bust/boom/bust, thats how capitalist economies go) its not as if somehow all the idiots in the city will have changed. They'll all be back in Dundrum en masse as if it never happened. For many it wont have anyway.

So thats all folks. We'll leave this blog here, vacant and decaying, as a little momento/historical archive for googlers to stumble across, but dont expect any updates any time soon. Over and out.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Thomas House, 86 Thomas Street, Dublin 8

One word: Ha! Never was there a more cautionary tale of Celtic Tiger excess than this place here. I passed by it recently and admittedly danced a little jig of schadenfreudic glee at its demise. What do you do if you have a cool, authentic, small, old, run down little pub, right next to an art college, with relaxed staff, music on every night of the week, with queues out the door at the weekend, with people like Andy Weatherall playing surprise DJ sets there, with people up dancing on the tables and chairs in a raucous atmosphere, having a great time, and pouring money into the tills of the pub? Why, you shut it down for a couple of years of course! Thereby alienating any of the regular clientele you had who felt they had a bit of ownership over the place by organising the music nights there, and then renovate it into a soulless, steel and black leather, generic boozer that you could find in any other part of the city, with zero character and zero atmosphere, build some equally generic apartments over it, and what do you get? A derelict pub! Here's a word of advice for any would be investors out there who think that gutting a pub and making it nice and new and fancy will suddenly bring in a load more business (another example at the moment is Walsh's in Stoneybatter) - LEAVE IT THE FUCK ALONE. Some of your customers might actually like the old tattered seats, the carpets, the welcoming smell of generations of spilled beer. The Thomas House tried to recapture its cool with DJs and the like, performing in the non-space of upstairs, and occasionally getting a crowd in downstairs in the miserable basement, but to be honest I'm glad its closed, may it stand as a shining example of the idiocy of killing the goose that lays the golden egg in early 2000's Dublin.

Friday, June 13, 2008

UPDATE: 134 Navan Road, Dublin 7 ("Cabra Farm")

Now you see it, now you dont. "Cabra Farm" got the chop recently, thanks again to P for the heads up. Apartments, apartments, apartments... They could have left some of the trees, couldnt they...?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sutton Cross, Sutton, Dublin 13

Every so often something happens that provokes a near-LSD like mental self-examination of what you're doing with yourself overall in life... or maybe just that day. I'd been out snapping pix of a couple of gafs in the two-digit postcode northern surbubs, tut-tutting about the general dereliction. The improving weather will hopefully mean improving regularity of posting here by the way (dont bet your house on it though). So there I was anyway minding my own business (if you call photographing other people's property minding one's own business), when next thing a part of one of my teeth fell out onto my tongue. Straight out of the blue. No warning whatsoever. I found myself looking in the wing mirror of a parked car to see the damage. And then it hit me - maybe this was some sort of evil karma coming back on me, that for the exposure of the derelict gafs around the city - ye gods were to spite me and turn my body to a crumbling, disintegrating mess. Just like the houses I'd been snooping around in. For a couple of days after this weekend this niggling paranoia persisted. Any ache or slight pain was ran through a roller coaster of potential catastrophic outcomes, from kidney failure to cancer to any type of STI I'd ever heard of. I was getting turned into a derelict house myself.

Bizarrely enough as well in the last two weeks, Superquinn continually appeared in some shape or form in my life. I rewatched Des Bishop's RTE series on DVD of him working in shit low paid jobs in Ireland - one of which was in Superquinn in Dundalk. An abandoned scorch-marked trolley from Superquinn keeps popping up in the laneway behind my house and in different places around the estate - even though there isnt a Superquinn for miles where I live. My current dark-skinned latina lover has the misfortune to work at the "Protein Counter" (i.e. meat+fish) in said supermarket. And to top it all off, on the day of the broken tooth, we came across this gem right at the junction of Sutton Cross - right next to the back entrance to, of course, Superquinn. What do you suppose it all means? Is Feargal Quinn employing some sort of cosmic energy to align these events as to make me change my usual Lidl, Tesco, and Dunnes habits? Are the pallets stacked in the back garden of this house belonging to the supermarket - or just happen to be there by random chance? And does anyone know a good cheap dentist?

Ballymun Road (St. Pappins Road junction), Glasnevin, Dublin 9

I guess its symptomatic of the blandness of todays students that a big derelict house can sit next to a university (DCU) with no sign of students either trying to squat it for housing - or even just break into it for a free place to have some sort of a wild booze and coke fuelled party with proper sexual experiences progressing beyond heavy digital petting during freshers week. I guess they dont need to crack out a crowbar seeing as how they all seem to be flush with cash. There isnt even any graffitti on the house! I just dont believe the stories that USI come out with these days when they say university students have it hard. All of them seem to be swanning around town in astronomically priced gear from the likes of Urban Outfitters that make me cry into my can of Dutch Gold when my pay cheque arrives. When I was a student (oh great, here we go, I hear you say) all anyone did was speed - the poor man's coke. Now everyone seems to do the rich man's coke - coke. This house is right next to the bus stop on the Ballymun Road entrance to DCU, the long avenue that hugs the north side of Hampstead Park. The house may be called Albert College House, but I cant be sure. No number on it. The estate to the rear of this house (a gate at the rear of the house opens into the housing estate) is called Albert College. Looks nice and spacious, as much as I can ascertain with the windows and doors completely boarded up and blocking my view that is... with an ample garden still in good condition not needing much hacking, slashing, and burning. Only one or two beer cans dumped in the hedges - and no used condoms! Hmm. Maybe students are actually studying these days.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

8 and 9 Luttrellstown Glade, Diswellstown, Carpenterstown, Dublin 15

Mirror images of each other in the distant, distant suburbs. Took a bit of time to find these two (thanks to B for the info). Buried in the depths of suburban commuter-ville, this is the type of place that features in the news because: the kids dont have a place in the local school, the buses and/or trains are crammed to the gills for one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening with local reps crying out for more (yet empty the rest of the time), or featuring in some wanky lifestyle piece by McWilliams about decklanders, dinkys, or whatever compartmentalisations he's dreamt up this week. These two spacious three (probably) beds are in a nicer part of the city, tagging itself with the Castleknock moniker even though its nowhere near it. Probably worth about three quarters, so why empty? Cant understand it. There was a little field next to them with a couple of cars up on bricks, maybe this may have scared off any timid owners - regrettably the memory card on the camera was full so I didnt get a pic of these, and there's no way I'm going all the way out there again. So still a bit of a mystery, especially since both of them at the end of the road are empty. Looks like from the lock on the back door of one of them that somebody was trying to make their way in with a crowbar, but didnt get very far. There's nothing in either house anyway. The area is very boring. Its probably influenced this boring post.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

35 Mountpleasant Square, Ranelagh, Dublin 6

Get your head around this one. One of the most expensive parts of the city (the fiefdom of the ex Minister for Justice, and the scene of many a gushing Celtic-Tiger gushing lifestyle piece, harping on about the wonderful selection of restaurants and cafes on the main street), and one of the most desirable addresses in that area - with a blistering eyesore of a derelict gaf sitting on its corner. I remember my mam telling me that when she moved to Dublin first in the 70's, this square had something of a shit name. I imagine it was probably all subdivided into flats for poor miserable bearded students, all paying overpriced rent into the hands of the same fat Garda who reputedly owned half of Dublin 6 up until the mid 90's (ok, possible urban legend). We really need to get our hands on a Thom's Directory here to name and shame the owners. This could be a nice large family home, and surely its worth a million euro or so, yet here it is sitting idly by, boarded up and turning slowly to shit. CPO! CPO!
(Thanks to S for the heads up on this one. Apologies for the delay but we rarely venture south of the river - the people over there speak with forked tongue, and it makes us feel poor)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

7 Myrtle Street, Broadstone, Dublin 7

I wonder if derelict houses have a gender. I imagine with some degree of certainty that the owners are inevitably male. This impression doesnt come from looking at the derelict sites registers and seeing the names are those of men; its more from a general sensation that without the loving, caressing, gentle female touch that the owners eventually stop giving a fuck about the things that they have, and find themselves (or their houses) falling down into this spiral of regret, decay, self-destruction, with scant regard for the concerns of others. Or maybe its not that the owners or houses are male, maybe its just that they're of either gender, but lonely and isolated in the city where they find themselves, in need someone to come and take them in their hands, reassure them that everything will be OK, that any surface damage or serious structural physical defects inflicted during a rough period of dereliction can be repaired, regenerated... that there is some love there still which can inject life and succour back to where there was once none... This small cottage is located in the little warren of streets near the Blessington Street Basin. Myrtle Street is the continuation of Wellington Street, off Dorset St.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

43 North Frederick Street, Dublin 1

Fuggin' typical... you wait for ages for a blog post and then two arrive at almost the same time... There's something I find incredibly inauthentic about squats run in the anarchist or "autonomen" tradition in Europe and the UK. You get the impression most of the people living there are doing so by choice rather than by necessity; a lifestyle decision primarily taken by kids of parents with comfortable existences rather than doing it through the urgent and very real need of a roof over the head. And this decision is taken as part of a greater all-encompassing plan to destroy authority, end all wars, free mankind, and whatever other utopian unachievables you're having yourself.. This building, about two minutes walk from O'Connell Street, although it has the recognised squatter logo subtly scrawled on the door, doesnt feel the need to plaster itself with circle-A slogans and have black-clad politicos tramping in and out of the entrance all day, dedicated to "smashing the state". Instead its just been taken over by people (AFAIK at present its controlled by mostly newly arrived Eastern European immigrants who splash down with little money and need a place to kip while they secure work) who recognise the immediacy of the situation requiring some form of action. In this respect, IMHO, places like this building and others like it dotted around the city (more of which will be documented here soon) are much more valid and interesting than the overtly polticised squats as mentioned above, who constantly feel the need to bark about their horizontal internal structures and supposed importance in the world. This four-storey over basement used to be a Bed & Breakfast called "An Stad" (the Stop) but has only very recently started to fall into disrepair, with several of the windows broken and not replaced.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

70 Blessington Street, Dublin 7

I met someone recently enough who said that they lived in Blessington Street during the 80's, when it was dilapidated and grim, populated by smackheads and the Special Branch looking for republicans. There's a good few buildings on the verge of collapse around here which makes you wonder if the street's been stuck in a bit of a timewarp. Perhaps its the location that gives it that misery -further down the road everyone knows O'Connell Street is rapidly approaching, and nothing sags the heart more than a plethora of fast food joints and sportswear shops... This building is a par for the course post-Georgian three storey over basement house, currently boarded up at ground floor and basement level. Was probably subdivided into flats (like the rest of the others on the street) and if ever renovated would probably stay that way, I cant see it being attractive to D4 types who would buy the whole thing for a family residence. Shame. Could be very nice, the constant stream of traffic at your front door would inevitably grind anyone down though...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

UPDATE: 142 Navan Road, Dublin 7

Apologies to you, dear reader, for another extended absence. But it was a bad month. A shocking unexpected very first self-harming episode, roller coaster emotional trips (from ecstatic erotic elation running through every pore of our bodies, to the black core of human darkness pitching us into extreme depression and continuous self-doubt), sliver blade gut wounds, overseas heart shredding, bone breaking binge bicycle rides.. not stuff you want to experience. Not stuff we wanted to experience either. L'amour fou will chew you up and spit you out like so much unwanted Wrigleys Extra. But what can you do? You persevere, you endure... You move on. Or you try. We've all been there... things change, they adapt, they get better... just like this building on the Navan Road. Of course we wouldnt dare claim credit for the building being fenced off, its windows properly boarded up and the overgrown jungle of a garden out the back being churned up and turned into a manageable space... but it would be nice to dream we had something to do with it, regardless of miniscule readership. No idea what's being done with it, a lot of work seems to have happened within a short space of time and then nothing again in recent days. Again these pix are from the mobile but in the course of the move from the burbs to the core, the piece of shit digital camera seems to have gone walkies and we're reduced to the grim washed out pixels of the nokia.. no fucking Leica thats for sure. But you get the general idea. Not everything has to be aesthetically pure for you to appreciate the essential essence of its being, or the transformation of it. Does it..? If it does, then we're all fucked...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

York Street Buildings, York Street, Dublin 2 (RIP)

Some more old mobile phone pix dug up from the archives, these were taken approximately two years ago before these buildings were demolished. I really liked these buildings, and even though they were done in the old 'tenement' style, they were actually much more modern than that.. although I am unsure exactly what year they were built in. One of the pix shows a plaque on the frontage stating that the buildings had undergone a facelift/renovation in 1991, but obviously within 15 years they were deemed unliveable and have now all been knocked. I think the RCSI bought the last two buildings off the Corpo, the two that were adjacent to the RCSI itself (the end closer to St Stephen's Green), and this injection of cash funded the current building that is going on there. The new units will all be social and affordable housing as far as I know. Shame they didnt keep the facade of the existing one though. Adios!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

4 Beresford Place, Dublin 1

Has it really been nearly four weeks since the last contribution..?? Humble apologies to our thousands of loyal readers, there have been other rather enjoyable "summer projects" and addictions that have eaten into our time here at Derelict Dublin. So we'll show this amazing little beauty to you. In a prime location, with Busaras just around the corner, and the LUAS on your doorstep, this is a four-storey over basement king size whopper not to be sneezed at. Whatever about the likes of the two-up two-downs in Cabra being temporarily blessed with the steel shutter treatement, a gorgeous redbrick like this being treated with the same level of neglect is just shameful. Perhaps the reason for its lack of human occupation is akin to the gorgeous redbrick on Clonliffe Road; here the neighbours are The Irish Catholic newspaper - rather you than me, brother. As per the Prospect Square properties, whoever has the keys to this gaf seems to think that slapping a lickle bit of nice primary colour paint onto the front door will somehow cover up all the other dilapidation of the building.

Slightly meandering here. A friend of mine with a keen but non-professional interest in planning matters and the like, once expressed a serious hatred for "facade retention". To him the other meanings of the word facade - a front for show or exhibition purposes but with nothing of substance behind it - was a perfectly fitting dual description of this practise. A good example of this is the retention of some old stone frontage at "Wallace Towers" aka The Italian Quarter as you cross the Milennium Bridge. You've got some nice brickwork propped up with nothing behind it - or in this case, some hyper-modern apartments and newly built from scratch Italian cafes and restaurants. Whats the point in keeping the front of the building, he said, if you're going to crush the rest of it into the ground? I wasnt sure I agreed with him, because for most people the memory of a building, especially private dwellings along the quays or Georgian residences, is what they see on the outside. Never or seldom the interior. What would FitzWilliam Street look like if they had kept the facade for the ESB HQ? Granted it wouldnt be the same, but it would surely be better than the current travesty.

Anyway. Food for thought. We'll try to be more regular with the posting in future. Honest. Try.
Here's a couple more pix to keep you juicy. Check out that ripped out wiring on the doorbell. Mmmm...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

3, 4 Prospect Square, Glasnevin, Dublin 9

Right next door to one of the best pubs in town, the Gravediggers, right outside an entrance to Glasnevin Cemetary. The pub itself is OK, would I be right in thinking that they only dragged themselves into the 1950's recently with the installation of a phone in the bar? Not sure if this is urban legend or what. How exactly would they have organised deliveries to the place? What makes it a good spot for me is the little green outside the front. When the weather is fine, there's a small sun trap there into the evenings, and you can bring your pints outside for some slightly more expensive than usual knacker drinking.

As for these two small houses next door to the pub, not sure about ownership or potential future plans. Possibly they might belong to the pub, because when I was taking photos of them at around midday on a midweek day, just as I was heading off on the bike a few grouchy looking punters (pints in hand, who are all these fuckers drinking during the day? Can I have your job please?) and a couple of bar staff emerged from the gloom, shooting me some serious evil eye, pointing fingers and muffled comments. They did a Cross Guns Bridge job on these houses - some cosmetic changes, but they're still on the verge of collapse, check out the roof. The "windows" and "doors" are actually cleverly painted panels. Its probably so the properties dont get put on the Derelict Sites Register, and hence subject to a percentage fine of the market value every year. I think its 4%. Check out the "front door" - wait a minute, there's no handle or keyhole!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Mountain View Court, Summerhill Parade, Summerhill, Dublin 1 (RIP)

Following on from the last post, I remembered I had a couple of old mobile phone pix of the last Mountain View Court block before it got demolished a few months ago, so here you go. A reminder of what Summerhill Parade used to look like. There was still remnants of graffiti from the CPAD/COCAD era sprayed on some of the steel panels at the ground floor units, e.g. pushers out, no drug sale today, etc.