Downbeat air now pervades once thriving Dublin community of Dun Laoghaire
Dun Laoghaire is barely recognisable today from its former thriving and fashionable self
In the early Nineties, I spent most of my week impatiently waiting for Saturday morning. The reason was that, if I had behaved reasonably well, my dad would take me with him to do his weekly shopping in Dun Laoghaire.
To an eight year old, in a world that hadn't yet been saturated by internet coverage, this weekly outing was a really big deal. In my mind, New York and Dun Laoghaire were about the same size, but New York was a little further away so we'd always choose the latter.
Driving along the seafront, I'd see the boats on the harbour and the crowds of people in the streets, many armed with ice cream cones and shopping bags. Moments later we'd arrive at the multi-level car park of the Dun Laoghaire Shopping Centre, which, at the time, was undoubtedly the biggest and most modern outside the city centre. It opened in 1977 and for a long time drew a large clientele including locals out for their shopping, Dubliners who had brought their families out for the day as a treat and holidaymakers who had chosen our thriving seaside town as their retail and relaxation getaway.