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Gormley launches 'urban voyage'

10th March 2009

‘Dublin Docklands – An Urban Voyage’, a new book written by Turtle Bunbury and published by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, was launched by John Gormley, TD, Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government in the Audi Club at the O2 today, Tuesday 10 March 2009.

This beautifully produced hardback book provides an enlightening chronicle of some of the more memorable buildings, people and events associated with the Docklands area. Congratulating the author, the Minister said that Turtle Bunbury had successfully preserved an important piece of Ireland’s social history.  “The history and evolution of the Dublin Docklands area has been captured impressively in this handsome publication. It is wonderful to have such a comprehensive record of the heritage of the area; the positive effect of recent development and the vision for the future of Docklands all combined in such an attractive book ” he said.

Luke Kelly, Seán O’Casey, Captain Bligh and Bindon Blood Stoney are just some of the characters to emerge in this intriguing and entertaining historical tour, charting the rise of the Dublin Docklands from its 18th century origins to its present day development as an economic hub within Dublin city.
Speaking at the launch, Paul Maloney, Chief Executive of the Docklands Authority said: “It is a truly fascinating book which pulls together a wealth of information, past and present, on this hugely important part of Dublin city.  Above all it is an excellent record of the way in which the Docklands area has evolved over generations, and the contribution that has been made by various individuals, communities and organisations along the way”.

The story begins in the early 18th century when savvy Dublin merchants first enclosed the River Liffey within a series of sturdy stonewalls. Today, the reclaimed land behind these walls comprises the North Wall, East Wall, the South Lotts and a good deal of the parishes of Westland Row and City Quay.  Ringsend and the Poolbeg peninsula simultaneously benefited from these mighty works. The location - on a major river with direct access to the Irish Sea and the oceans beyond - was of fundamental importance to the development of the Docklands during the wealthy years of Georgian Dublin. Considerable business was carried out along the handsome docks, quays, warehouses and – in time – railway tracks built alongside the walls. By the 20th century, the inner city docklands was home to the largest working class community in Ireland. However, the onset of mechanisation inevitably reduced the need for manpower and by the 1950s, large numbers were unemployed and the area went into rapid decline.

In the 1980s, the seed of change was planted with the creation of the Custom House Docks Development Authority and the evolution of the International Financial Services Centre. Since 1997, developing and improving this 1,300 acre coastal cityscape has been the remit of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority. Although much is yet to come, the Dublin Docklands is already a blueprint for other cities around the world seeking to convert their run-down inner cities into contemporary and internationally popular city centres.

 ‘Dublin Docklands – An Urban voyage’ costs €30 and is available in selected book stores and directly from the Docklands Authority, 52-55 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Docklands, Dublin  2.  Tel 01 8183300 or email: [email protected].
The book is published by Montague Publications Group on behalf of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority. ISBN 978-0-9558155-1-5 Team

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