Tuesday 23 April 2019

When homes were raffled in Ballyfermot to hopeful families

Lourdes Road in Ballyfermot in 1965
Lourdes Road in Ballyfermot in 1965
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

A draw in the Mansion House for a home in Ballyfermot, where new housing estates were being developed, was the novel way in which growing demand was tackled in 1948.

The housing draw is one of the insights historian Cathy Scuffil will outline in a new series of lectures as part of the Dublin Festival of History, which sees free walks, talks, tours and exhibitions taking place until October 7.

"There was a draw held in the Mansion House. So you put your name in for a house in Ballyfermot and your name went into a drum like a raffle and if your name was pulled out you got your house," said Ms Scuffil, the historian in residence for Dublin City Council's south central area.

"The draw was held for between 220 and 250 houses which were available. Prams were parked the whole way down Dawson Street which meant that all the children were brought to the draw as well," said Ms Scuffil, who will give the first of her lectures at Ballyfermot Library tomorrow night.

Meanwhile Ruth McManus, who is based in the School of History and Geography at DCU, will give a talk on the suburban development of the north Dublin region of Artane and Coolock, where fields were replaced by suburban housing in the 1950s and the 1960s.

Ms McManus, who will be delivering her talk in Parnell's GAA Club in Coolock village tomorrow night, said: "The Government was supporting not just the corporation to build houses, but they were also providing grants for houses of different sizes making it possible for people to own their own homes."

Brendan Teeling, Dublin City Librarian, said: "The events this year are incredibly diverse.

"We're covering one thousand years of history, from the Vikings to the history of sports in Ireland to political artefacts from our recent referenda."

The full programme of events for the Dublin City Council festival can be found at www.dublinfestivalofhistory.ie. All events are free, but advance booking may be required.

Irish Independent

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