Parnell Square in Dublin is surrounded by lovely Georgian terraces. The Rotunda Hospital at the south end is a beautiful building. The Gate Theatre is on the south east corner of the square. The Hugh Lane municipal art gallery is housed in Lord Charlemont’s former town house at the north end of the square close to the Dublin Writers’ Museum. Unfortunately and, slightly mysteriously, the whole area is really depressed. The council, has decided to work on a regeneration plan which is terrific and I really hope that it works. If all goes according to plan it will be:
“A dynamically managed developmental space for diverse audiences that, through programming, participation, exhibitions and performances showcases the vibrant cultural life of Dublin to a local, national and international audience”
I am following developments with interest and would really love to see the “dynamically managed development space” work out well. It also includes a massive new central library in the old Coláiste Mhuire school buildings which is sorely needed as the current central library in the ILAC centre is very old and tired and, in any event, was unattractive from the day it was opened.
When passing the Georgian buildings that form the old Coláiste Mhuire, I had noticed that there were security men positioned in front of the building sitting on uncomfortable chairs which seemed to betoken promising levels of activity. One day, I scooted up to one of them and asked him why he was there, expecting some details on what was going on inside. Unfortunately not. He said, “Ah love, I’m just here to stop the junkies jumping over the railings and shooting up in the basement.
Not there yet with the regeneration then.