Friday 23 February 2018

City needs to clean up its act or families will be forced to leave

A safe, prosperous inner city is a plus for all of us -- not just those who live in it, writes Carol Hunt

'Would you live in inner-city Dublin?" was a question asked in an online poll conducted by the Irish Architecture Foundation recently. Yes, was the answer from the majority -- but not if they had kids.

Reading the comments of the discussion that followed, I wondered if I was being a selfish, irresponsible parent by choosing to rear my children in the city. If I was putting their lives and their futures at risk by exposing them to the rough and tumble of life in town -- full of junkies, dealers and petty criminals -- where feral youths break car windows for fun, and buggy pushing 'young wans' insist on wearing floral pajamas in the street, come sun or snow?

Neither of my two 'young wans' (aged 10 and seven) have lived anywhere but Dublin's north inner city in their short lives so far. The Royal Canal is a stone's throw from our garden, as is Croke Park. The walk to the GPO is but 15 minutes -- if the seven-year-old resists his habitual urge to stop at the Gardiner Street playground for a 'go' on the swings. The Gate theatre and Savoy cinemas even closer. In the other direction we have the playgrounds and games pitches of Fairview Park and the beautiful promenade along Clontarf, leading to the Bull Wall and Dollymount Strand -- a walk we often take together during the long summer evenings. We have wonderful neighbours within a very close-knit and friendly community.

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