Because of the riot in Dublin last Thursday I am using a iPhone rather than my Sony Cameras. I suspect that I am being over cautious.
The Grand Canal Docks first opened in 1796, built to a design by William Jessop. Before this development, from medieval times the area was associated with lepers, as recorded in some of the street names such as Misery Hill and Lazer Lane. At the time they were the world’s largest docks. They fell into decline within just a few decades, due mostly to reduced canal usage with the arrival of the railways. The landscape was dominated by Dublin Gas Company’s mountains of black coal, along with chemical factories, tar pits, bottle factories and iron foundries. However, bakers and millers maintained business along the southern edge of the inner basin. By the 1960s, the Grand Canal Docks were almost completely derelict.
Around 1987 it was decided that Hanover Quay was too toxic to sell. Regeneration began in 1998, when Bord Gáis sold the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) the former gasworks site located in the area between Sir John Rogerson’s Quay and Hanover Quay, for €19 million. The DDDA spent €52 million decontaminating the land, even though the likely return was estimated at just €40 million. The decontamination took place under the supervision of the Environmental Protection Agency, between 2002 and 2006. The process involved constructing an underground wall eight metres deep around the affected area, and the contaminated soil being dug out and removed. By the time the decontamination was finished, an inflated property bubble and increased demand in the area (brought on, in part, by the decision by Google to set up its European headquarters nearby), allowed the authority to sell the land for €300 million. The DDDA injected some of its new funds into the area’s infrastructure including seats, street lighting, and civic spaces.
A number of buildings have since been developed, involving the construction of millions of euros worth of real estate, the establishment of what is now sometimes known as Silicon Docks, and the arrival of several thousand new residents.