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nico last won the day on October 21 2014

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  1. Charlemont Street and its surrounding area is steeped in proud left-wing, working class history. From the early exploits of the Irish Citizen Army, which at one time had seized control of the Portobello pub, known then to the locals as Davy’s. But at the time, Davy was anything but pro-revolutionary himself. He was a landlord by trade, and West-British by nature. Many of his clientèle were resident soldiers from the neighbouring Portobello barracks, as it were known back then, now called Cathal Brugha, and generated much of his business. There’s a great little story about the pub at the time that involves an incident with the landlord himself, Davy, and one of the staff members from Grove Road by the name of James Joyce, no relation the the famous playwright, and it goes something like this… In the run up to the revolution, the Irish Citizen Army were preparing in the art of combat, with manoeuvres and training happening to fall upon a Sunday. A young member himself at the age of 35, unfortunately Joyce was left in an unpleasurable situation involving a Pro-British proprietor who refused to give him any time off work to join in the with the ongoing military drills. But more often than not, Joyce would call in sick from his twelve-hour-seven-day-a-week job, or just not turn up for work at all. On the day of the revolution, the revolutionary armed forces of the Irish Republic took up strategic points throughout Dublin. One of these points was Davy’s pub. Its position was perfect for holding off any advancing British troops from Portobello Baracks. As the story goes…upon seizing the pub, Joyce and several other comrades, led by a Sargent John Doyle, had quickly entered the premises, and as quickly as they had entered, Davy had giving Joyce his weeks notice, exclaiming: “You have missed one to many Sunday’s you can take it that you are on a weeks notice.” To which Joyce replied “You can take it from me that you have two minutes notice to get out. This premises are being seized in the name of the Irish Republic” Lowering his riffle in Davy’s direction, Joyce let a shot rip over his head and as it blew out the mirror behind the bar, sent Davy scarpering out the door with his tail between his legs. Not long after fortifying and barricading themselves in, a Constable Myles of the Dublin Metropolitian Police (DMP) happened to come upon the bridge and was immediately shot at, wounding him in the left wrist. It wasn’t to long before a force was despatched from Portobello barracks to dislodge the ICA men. Snaking their way up the canal, they soon set up a machine gun and peppered the place with bullets. After a few hours of spraying the building, the call rang out to cease fire when they realised there was no returning fire from within Davy’s pub; the resistance fighters had long since made their escape. One of the greatest Marxist revolutionary leaders of all time resided in Charlemont Street for a short while too. One of the greatest socialist thinkers of his time, a revolutionary trade unionist/syndicalist, a founder and leader of the Irish Citizen Army, and signatory of the 1916 Proclamation, a champion of the working class, former Charlemont Street resident, James Connolly. Connolly first came to Dublin in 1896 with his wife Nora and three children. The family lived in a one roomed tenement slum for a short while at 76 Charlemont Street. The building has long since been demolished, and in its place sit private apartments. Not even a plaque remains to mark the spot where this great man once lived, but hopefully all that will change soon! Next then we have Irish Citizen Army Chief medical officer, Dr Kathleen Lynn and her colleague, republican activist and feminist, fFrench-Mullen, both of whom were responsible for the establishment of a children’s hospital along the canal called, St. Ultan’s. Two Blocks of flats were named in their honour, both of which have recently been destroyed. The famous literary playwright, George Bernard Shaw, was born just 5 minutes around the corner, another great socialist thinker of his time. And all the way right down to the most historically important aspect of Charlemont Street; all of its residents and characters, past, present, and future…who once lived and continue to live, in and around the area. During the initial stages of gentrification, Martin Black’s (brother of famous singer Mary) famous bike shop was one of the first to go, along with the famous local pub, an Beal Bocht, and the slightly more infamous one, Terry Doolins. The remaining tenements day’s were numbered too, and all but one were destroyed, not even the historical house James Connolly resided in was saved in the end, another historical building fallen prey to the ‘development’ of capitalism. Soon all were replaced by sterile looking office blocks and private apartments. Now standing towering around the Flats, they remain an ever present reminder of just how far apart we stand from our opposing neighbours; class antagonisms attached firmly still. Connolly once wrote about the obstacle we all face in the rights of property, and about how we must first overcome this hurdle if we are ever to become the masters of our own City, He wrote… “Our cities can never be made really habitable or worthy of an enlightened people while the habitations of its citizens remain the property of private individuals. To permanently remedy the evils of city life the citizens must own their city.” ~ James Connolly So until we genuinely all become enlightened people and the masters of our own cities, can we ever be truly happy while what belongs collectively to us all remain in control in the hands of the few? http://savecharlemon...1/rebel-charlo/
  2. New website for all your latest news and developments on Charlemont Street. http://savecharlemontstreet.org/
  3. Like Moore Street, Charlemont Street is facing the loss of something of great historical importance, its People! Many working class districts around Dublin are facing tough decisions these days. Run-down neighbourhoods have impacted on peoples lives, and neoliberal urban policy initiatives have led entire working class districts to becoming completely gentrified. Working Class people are being driven out to the margins of the city, while their homes are destroyed to make way for massive office blocks, and middle-class-filled private apartments. Local indigenous communities are being displaced, confined, and their neighbourhoods completely decimated, by the unscrupulousness activities of big-time crooked private property developers. Even with all this building going on, no new opportunities ever present themselves in the long run for the local populations, who after a few years of living in newly built houses they received as payment for all their troubles, soon then find themselves back to square one, under an alien social structure, fighting for equal opportunities, and searching once again for decent, adequate housing, as has happened already around the country in the not too distant past. Social exclusion has had a major impact on the way we govern ourselves too. It has left us voiceless, all the while the major decisions in our lives are made, undemocratically, on our behalf. So we ask you, will you stand up, and support you local communities? Inner City Communities of Ireland Unite, You Have Nothing to Lose But Your Chains! Solidarity, Save Charlemont Street
  4. This image here clearly exemplifies the ongoing gentrification process in Charlemont Street. While the digger clears up what's left of a one time social housing unit block of flats, the massive private office block on the left, and middle-class-filled private apartments on the right, can now be seen encroaching the entire community.
  5. The Gentrification Of Charlemont Street P.II In recent years, Charlemont Street had become a hub of activity for rich outsiders keen to invest some of their fortunes in prime land, in and around the area. But with all this interest in land zoning came grave concern for many residents, and as consequence, the local indigenous working class communities were made to suffer as soon as the gentrification process took hold, and the rich outsiders started to turn the place on its head. It wasn't too long before the whole overall schema of things would soon unravel and with it the transformation and destruction of this once proud neighbourhood would begin. The affects of alienation, disillusionment, and vulnerability, would sink in straight away in for many, leaving a lasting grim expression for future generations to come. The gentrification process in Charlemont street can best be observed in the vacant land around it being turned into opportunities that enable profitable investment for rich outsiders, and entrepreneurs. It can be seen in the destruction of already existing working class homes, witch in turn, are then transformed into middle-class-filled-private apartments, and massive office blocks. The whole social structure of the area is changed completely. Observing the regeneration plans, one will find the spacial circumference of Tom Kelly Flats, as it sits now, is going to be directly divided in half; with one half going to middle-class-filled-private apartments, and a massive office block, and the other half giving to the local indigenous community, who subsequently, are forced then further back to the margins of the city; where there they are kept out of sight, and out of mind. In 1998, we observed how McNamara was giving the green light to regenerate the area. This manifestation of Private Public Partnership deals – (PPP's), had enabled regeneration projects to push through neoliberal urban policies. The PPP's were designed to maximise profits for real estate capitalists, and had hardly anything at all to do with decent housing for the locals. Almost immediately, people were dispersed from their homes, and buildings, one after the other, started to come down around us. Even the spectacular crash of MacNamaras PPP's wasn't enough to halt such mindless destruction, as Dublin City Council – (DCC) continued to wreak havoc upon the neighbourhood by laying ruin to our homes, and extinguishing all traces of human life from the area. Recently, we witnessed again, when two more structurally sound blocks of flats were raised to the ground, all the while the homelessness list steadily grows. This meaningless and unethical destruction of structurally sound housing while so many people remain homeless, is state sponsored vandalism; it's a crime against humanity! In capitalism, there is a theory that presupposes a trickle down effect will somehow help the 'bottom rung' of society. Basically, what they mean by this, is when the rich have exploited all they can from the working class, they can then feed the poor with the scraps from their spoils. Essentially, this is what Reilly presented in the original plans to the locals as his piecemeal development. The promise of new job growth for the entire area was extolled by the mighty idea of the middle class transforming our backward and underdeveloped little district, into a more attractable place for new businesses, enabling them to flourish and develop, and in return, would see the transformation of the local economy with the population greatly benefiting from the spoils of capital...however, as we have discovered...nothing more could have been further from the truth. Once built, many of the job vacancies were quickly filled by non-residents, and the new workforce were quickly put to work in their 9-5 jobs, stacking shelves for a minimum wage. The attraction of working a 9-5 for minimum wage was lost on most here, however, all most wanted was a job with a decent living wage. So unless we have jobs with a decent living wage, people will continue to look elsewhere for other means to procure an income, weather it's through available state provisions, or by other means of appropriating it against the wishes of state...either way, when people are hungry, they will always find a way to feed themselves. Unemployment is as rampant as ever for Charlemonts' residents, and a desperate lack of opportunities and prospects available have left lasting affects on many; demoralising an entire community who are left feeling exasperated at the long lasting affects of gentrification. No new opportunities on any scale of the imagination has ever come to fruition for Charlemont Streets residents. The continued lack of opportunities and prospects available have led to a sever increase in alcohol and drugs-abuse, and anti-social behaviour, and that's about it. It wasn't all that long ago when the community was able to stand on its own two feet, but the old tried tactic of divide an conquer has taken its toll. The community has been displaced far and wide and left weakened in its state...momentarily only, we hope. The desecration of this working class neighbourhood had taking on the form of a gentrified blitzkrieg; hammering down on the cityscape with its deathblows of financial enterprise leaving a devastating trail of deliberate dereliction in its path; displacing entire families who continue to be driven out to the margins of Dublin City. But there is hope.. In Charlemont Street there sits a tree. What's most noticeable about this tree is its size when compared to all the other trees around it of the same kind. Standing around four times smaller than its neighbouring siblings, this tree has suffered the worst because of its small size in stature. It's easily climbable, and down through the years many children have effortlessly clambered up its trunk and swung from its branches in the air, pulling at its leaves and knocking off its bright red berries to the ground below. But unlike all the other trees, this one was a little bit more special. Despite having nearly all of its branches broken, and all of its leaves and berries stripped bare. Despite being the only tree in the vicinity to have had to struggle against the odds. Despite all the hardship it suffered...each year without fail...this little tree would act in a way that would signal the start of a new beginning, a time when hardships would come to an end - ushering in a new cycle of life and hope, this little tree, the smallest of them all...at the beginning of each Spring...was always first to bloom. So remember too, although we at times appear to be small in size, and up against great odds. And how we too have suffered, like the little tree had suffered, tremendous hardship down through the years at having the very things we cherish stripped bare, right down to the basic essentials. We too, like the little tree, have our roots running strong and deep, all the way to the centre of the earth, and we will continue to grow strong and build up our own form, to represent ourselves, going on to discard all contradictions that determine how we live by the mouth of strangers. Spreading out our branches in all directions, we will reach into the four corners of the city, and beyond; connecting with the disaffected and dissenting voices, joining forces to finally topple once and for all the old forms of social injustice and oppression; ushering in a new beginning under a paradigm that unites us all. To be continued...
  6. Brief Timeline of Events - (Charlemont Street) Early90's: Developer Sean Reilly begins work on a large plot on Iveagh Court, Charlemont Street, begins building office blocks, and private apartments. Many working class people displaced in the process as the area becomes gentrified. Talks are ongoing between residents and Reilly to see what is in it for them. Agreements reached, Reilly soon falls back on agreements, and promises made to the residents, such as employment for the area, the upkeep of Tom Kelly Flats, and issues arising from residents health concerns. No interaction whatsoever on a community based level with residents from new apartments when finally built, despite a numerous amount of attempts from the existing committees to invite them to participate in community organised events. Mid90's: Council propose plans for a complete refurbishment of the Tom Kelly Flats, internally, and externally. 1998: Discussions begin in Tom Kelly flats on area regeneration. Survey carried out revealed 52% of residents indicate damp problems in their homes. People opt for regeneration, plans for refurbishment scrapped. Under a Public-Private-Paternship Deal – PPP's, Bernad McNamara is selected by the council as the developer to undertake the regeneration of Tom Kelly Flats Complex. 2001: St Ultans - (Congos) is purchased by the Council from Tom McFeely, and then depopulated and destroyed by the Council. 2008: McNamara PPP deal spectacularly collapses. – “The council set up a taskforce which came to the conclusion that trying to establish new PPPs would not work given the state of the property market.” 2011: Under another Public-Private-Partnership Deal, Property developer Sean Reilly of Alcove Properties, is giving the go-ahead for the regeneration of Charlemont Street. The project will involve the demolition of almost 200 flats on a five-acre site on Charlemont Street and Tom Kelly Road. Some 260 apartments will be built, 139 of which will be social housing units, 16 will be offered under the affordable housing scheme and the remaining 105 will be private apartments, and also a significant office space element of about 20,000sq m. Shops, restaurants, a sports centre and a multiplex cinema will be included in the scheme. Since then: Another two structurally sound blocks of flats have been destroyed, without even the final contract being signed. People have been forced from their homes – due to overcrowded conditions/deliberate dereliction. Large number of families have been displaced. Large families forced to move of out of Tom Kelly pleaded with the council for bigger flats, to which they refused. The council were asked if they would consider opening up the bottom flats to house some of the already overcrowded residents living there, the request like so many others, was also refused. Some flats have been vacant now for well over 5 years or more. Dampness remains a serious problem for many residents. In total, 3 structurally sound blocks of flats have been completely destroyed. Developer Sean Reilly: 2009: It emerged Reilly was one of the Anglo Ten who bought shares in Anglo Irish Bank, now being footed by the tax-payer. Recently: NAMA prepares to sell over €300 million loans linked to property owned by Reilly. May 2013: Reilly aims to buy back his loans at a €100 million discount. January 2014: Reilly loses in bid to buy back loan portfolio Code-named Project Holly, a private equity fund, LoneStar, based in Dallas, acquires the loan portfolio of developer Reilly for €220 million or a discount of 41 per cent to par. Some of the major assets lost include: the 210,000 sq ft Iveagh Court Complex, the five-block business and residential complex at the junction of Harcourt Road and Charlemont Street with current tenants.
  7. Proposed Gentrification of Tom Kelly Flats. The red line indicates the spatial circumference in which Tom Kelly Flats lay situated today. The visible blocks are the proposed plans, and black line in the middle indicates the dividing line in what will inevitably be between private property and the middle class on one side, and the working class on the other.
  8. The term ‘gentrification’ was coined in 1964 by sociologist – Ruth Glass. She defined it as a change in the social structure and housing market in working class areas. She explained – "One by one, many of the working class quarters have been invaded by the middle class - upper and lower ... Once this process of 'gentrification' starts in a district it goes on rapidly until all or most of the working class occupiers are displaced and the whole social character of the district is changed" (Glass, 1964, p.xvii). Predominately a working class neighbourhood, Charlemont Street had witnessed some drastic changes down through the years. At one time they were host to some of the worst tenement slums in Dublin, revolutionary Marxist, James Connolly, resided there for a short while. Charlotte Street, recently destroyed, used to be an ancient road that led directly to the Battle of Rathmines in 1649. In later years it housed many working class families. Long after the slums had since gone, and Charlotte Street wiped from the face of the planet, new and modern buildings started springing up from where the old tenement houses once stood. This quick change from antiquated to contemporary was the signalling precursor for the beginning of what was to become the unyielding gentrification process of Charlemont Street. Dubbed the 'Millionaires Quarter' for reasons I will now outline below, Harcourt Street, Adilade Road, Iveagh Court, and Charlemont Street, all fall within this section of big business, and corporate elite. Central Bank has one of its offices there, and many other financial enterprises also occupy the district. Two Luas stations are both situated within a 3 minute walk in either direction from Tom Kelly flats, and a Star Bucks sits neatly on the corner. A new Hotel looks over the canal surrounded by massive office spaces on all sides. And all are within a stones throw away from each other in this playground for the rich, hence its nom de guerre. And sitting smack bang in the middle of this once proud working class part of Dublin, now a mainly central business district, lies Charlemont Street and Tom Kelly Flats; where some of the last remaining remnants of the labouring class from the entire area now live. In the early 90's, property developer Sean Reilly, of Alcove Properties, paid just under £4m for a one-acre plot at the top of Harcourt Street and Charlemont Street. Reilly's planning application consisted of “150,000 sq ft new seven-storey commercial office building comprising 30,000 sq ft on Harcourt Street, as well as a six-storey extension of about 12,000 sq ft to the Iveagh Court building with a realigned front entrance”. It wasn't long before Reilly set up shop and commenced work on over 100 new private apartments, and a new major office space. But even before any work had started, negotiations were well under way with the residents in Charlemont Street and Tom Kelly Flats, and Reilly's spokespeople, and DCC. In what way were the new buildings going to effect the residents lives, for better or worse, was the point of argument from the residents at hand. Some issues raised by the concerned locals were about how the levels of dust, dirt and debris, travelling from the site into the complex, would affect them? How would the noise pollution from any work being carried out, such as drilling, and deliveries coming in and out at all ours, also affect them? Would any employment be available for Charlemont Streets largely unemployed population? Why should the residents have to suffer intolerably as their lives are disrupted, their neighbours displaced, their street transformed forever, and forced then to live beside a construction site for the duration of its build, right across the road from their homes. What was in it for them? Those were some of the very reasonable questions asked. Reassuring the residents, Reilly's spokespeople responded by expressing that all their concerns would be taking on board, and that the issues raised would not be a problem once construction had begun. Also offered by Reilly at the time were full time jobs for the locals in the construction industry, and a promise of new job growth for the area once construction was completed. Some of the residents living in the front Blocks that were closest to the building site, received small amounts of compensation that amounted little to nothing, as soon as the full scale of things finally unfurled. Despite all the residents concerns, they might as well have been living on the construction site for its entire duration. For months on end, they were unable to hang out clothes to dry because of the dirt and dust that hung on the air, and clung to everything like a magnet to a fridge. They were unable to sleep at night because of the noise pollution from late night deliveries and workers on overtime. The flats complex was littered with debris. And people were left feeling the pinch after hardly any jobs were giving to any of the locals as promised, unemployment remained pretty much at the same rate as before and after the buildings were built. Once construction commenced and the last remaining Georgian working class homes were levelled to the ground, all the promises to the residents Reilly made previously, were broken. Working class homes were soon replaced by sterile office blocks, and middle-class-filled private apartments, thus changing the whole social structure of Charlemont Street, and with that, sealing the fate of peoples lives, forever. The entire area had been completely hemmed in. The gentrifiers had made their mark! Part II coming soon...
  9. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nicosphotography101
  10. Na Fianna Éireann executive council in 1915 Picture shows (from left: Patrick Holahan, Garry Holahan, Michael Lonergan or Liam O' Maoiliosa, Padraig Ryan or Sean Houston, Con Colbert)