All Dubliners have lived their entire lives with a city which is, to varying degrees, derelict.
Dublin’s dereliction waxes and wanes, moves from street to street, but has never in living memory been eradicated.
It’s the backdrop to the lives of Dubliners; they may not see it any more, like people who live next to sewage plants or landfill sites and stop noticing the smell.
That’s not to say it has no impact on people’s lives. The dingy atmosphere of neglect affects people’s perception of the city, of its value, of its safety, even if they don’t notice the number of tumbledown buildings and half-cleared sites they walk past every day – until that is, someone points them out, and then suddenly they seem to be everywhere.
We got a name and an address and we wrote to the individual and told him there were incentives available such as the Repair and Leasing Scheme… He just wrote back and said, ‘It’s my property I’ll do whatever I want with it and don’t contact me again’
— Francis Doherty, chief executive of the Peter McVerry Trust
“This one here, it’s been derelict at least since I started working for the trust in 2012,” Francis Doherty, chief executive of homeless charity the Peter McVerry Trust, says as he stands in front of what would have once been a very handsome Georgian house on Gardiner Street Upper, just off Mountjoy Square. The fanlight above the door has been boarded up, the windows too.
“We couldn’t find an owner registered anywhere, so we asked the neighbours, and we got a name and an address and we wrote to the individual