SEPTEMBER 2023 VISIT
As I was walking along the street a pair of Guards (police) advised me that it might not be a good idea to be walking around here with an expensive camera, this is the second time that I have received such advice while visiting the Mountjoy Square area of the city. Having investigate online all I can report that all indications are that this is an area that should be avoided at night and unfortunately this advice applies to much on the North Inner City.
Fitzgibbon Street was developed c.1795 as an eastern extension from Mountjoy Square, part of the Gardiner Estate. Mountjoy Square was built c.1790, and offshoot streets including Fitzgibbon Street, Belvedere Place, Gardiner Place, and Gardiner Street were planned at the same time.
Fitzgibbon Street Garda station has been officially reopened in April 2022 having been more-or-less unoccupied since its closure as a Garda station in 2011. Built approximately 110 years ago, the three-storey building needed extensive refurbishment. The station has been occupied since works finished at the end of 2021.
The revamped station also houses a bespoke Crime Victim Support Suite, the first of its kind in the State. It also features no cells for people who have been arrested, with suspects instead being taken to near-by Mountjoy Garda station for questioning.
This monumental police barracks, built in the last decade of the British colonial administration, was later transferred to the Garda Síochána. The imposing, decorative and unusual station stands out on this streetscape of brown brick two-storey townhouses and faces a late twentieth-century social housing scheme. Croke Park stadium dominates the skyline to the east. The façade of this building is enlivened by masonry detailing, including a machicolated cornice, channelled masonry ground floor, cartouches and aprons under second floor windows, and a limestone doorcase, adding architectural interest to the street. The contrasting brick and stonework also sets the building apart, and the finely wrought plinth, steps and railings with decorative piers adds significantly to the quality of the streetscape.
The Garda Síochána is the national police and security service of Ireland. It is more commonly referred to as the Gardaí or “the Guards”. The service is headed by the Garda Commissioner who is appointed by the Irish Government. Its headquarters are in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. Since the formation of the Garda Síochána in 1923, it has been a predominantly unarmed force, and more than three-quarters of the force do not routinely carry firearms.