19 APRIL 2019 PUBLISHED 1 NOVEMBER 2022
Back in 1981 I lived I lived in a block of four apartments attached to the Hertz Building on Hogan Street but I was the only private tenant in the block. I soon learned why I was the only occupier … anti-social behaviour in the immediate area was extreme. In the first month a friend visited me as she was having a technical problem and within an hour of parking her car outside the building it was set on fire. Not long afterwards the local shop was robbed while I was in the process of buting a carton of milk.
Since then the area has improved.
Fenian Street was formally called Denzille or Denzil Street, first appearing on maps around 1770. It was named after the son of John Holles, Denzille Holles. It was renamed Fenian Street, after the Fenian Brotherhood, who operated from the street in the 1850s.
On 12 June 1963, 2a, 3, and 4 Fenian Street tenement houses collapsed. This resulted in the deaths of two young girls, Linda Byrne (aged 8) and Marion Vardy (aged 9), who were passing the building when it collapsed. The collapse was blamed on the fast drying out of water saturated bricks after a period of heavy rain, and prompted demands for poorly maintained and dangerous tenement buildings to be demolished. In the 18 months after the collapse on Fenian Street, over 1200 Georgian houses in Dublin were demolished.
No. 25 Fenian Street is one of the oldest buildings in the area, predating the layout of nearby Merrion Square. Dating from the 17th century, the street would have been a coastal road at the time of construction, with the house facing the coastline and bay. The current building was first built in 1729 with a high pitched roof which was later amended to a more Palladian style. The building was subject to emergency remedial works in 2015.