Sunday 4 December 2016

North inner city's problems hidden in plain view for more than a century

Published 30/05/2016 | 02:30

Independent TD Tony Gregory and Charlie Haughey pictured in 1982 near the Five Lamps in north-inner-city Dublin. Gregory's deal with Haughey secured significant investment in the inner city
Independent TD Tony Gregory and Charlie Haughey pictured in 1982 near the Five Lamps in north-inner-city Dublin. Gregory's deal with Haughey secured significant investment in the inner city

Seán O'Casey's 'The Plough and the Stars' was set in Dublin's north inner city in 1916, when it had the dubious distinction of being the worst slum in Europe.

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One hundred years on, the north inner city has seen a deal of good housing and other developments, but it still knows poverty and poor social conditions. These feed into the drug and crime problems which in turn breed violence and killing and heap pressure on the majority of decent people there who are simply trying to get on with their lives.

Among the great ironies associated with the authorities' failure to deal with the north inner city's problems is that it has long been represented by some of the country's heaviest-hitting politicians of all parties and none. Many of these were national household names in their day, and in many cases their notoriety persists.

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