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What's the Story?
Our occasional series of comments on Dublin and what's happening to it. This month: Why the Irish Property Bubble has Already Burst
dublin, a city of many times, many faces, and many pubs, is hard to pin down in a few words. besides, it's not our custom...
Dublin grew up at a fording point on the banks of the Liffey, where it spills out into the Irish Sea. Strategically positioned in the centre of the more sheltered east coast of Ireland, Dublin has been an important port for well over a thousand years. To the South lies the granite mass of the Dublin mountains, from where the native Irish have traditionally raided the city. To the North and West lie rich farmlands, the prized hinterland of the city, now better known for growing silicon than edible crops.
Within its thousand-year-old walls, Dublin exploded from a Viking lay-up to become an Imperial seat, holding sway over the city of York. As ever in Ireland, the invaders became natives, and the fierce raiding Dubliners rivalled their nomadic Norse forebears in reputation.
Almost a millenium later Dublin was the second city of an Empire, this time centred in London. The nearest colony of the English crown, Dublin was for hundreds of years a most troublesome nest of rebels. For a period of only twenty years, Dublin enjoyed a Georgian boom which saw it rival the great cities of Europe for architecture and town planning.
As the Industrial Revolution kicked Britain into the modern age, the 1800 Act of Union reduced Ireland to a subject nation, and Dublin became merely a regional HQ for the English Civil Service. Increasingly pushed to the margins both politically and economically, the days of glory seemed distant.
At the end of a century of emigration, famine and political unrest, Dublin again became the centre of an organised resurgence of national life, in the Arts, sport, the Irish language, and the struggle for freedom.
Now hardly half a century a true capital, Dublin is entering perhaps its greatest phase of growth and influence, as it seeks to rehearse its leading role of the tenth century AD.
Here at the base of Daniel O'Connell's Monument, is the crossroads of Dublin, where the North-South axis of O'Connell Street and Westmoreland Street crosses the East-West routes along the Liffeyside.
This detail from the O'Connell monument shows a seated angel and a hound, a symbol of nobility.
Built in the heyday of Georgian Dublin, the Customs House was for many a symbol of British rule, and was destroyed in an attack during the War of Independence in 1921.
One of the exclusive residences facing Dalkey Island has a beautiful tree in its garden, creating the impression of a Japanese painting.
This former church, beside the medieval 'Thingmote', is now the home of the Dublin Tourism centre on Suffolk Street.
This was the site of the abortive Declaration of the Irish Republic in Easter 1916, where Padraic Pearse read out the Proclamation on the steps of the General Post Office.
Ireland's premium shopping street is also the main pedestrian thoroughfare, joining the offices in Dublin 2's Georgian squares with Trinity College and the River Liffey.
This bridge, when it opened over a century ago, carried pedestrians across the river for a toll of a halfpenny - hence its nickname.
The wide River Liffey flows through the city centre, flanked by the Millenium Boardwalk, under O'Connell Bridge, and on past the Customs House (obscured by the atrocious billboards of the Loop Line Bridge).
Almost too perfect, this is a view downstream from the Halfpenny Bridge, showing O'Connell Bridge and Dublin's tallest building, Liberty Hall.
Daniel O'Connell, known as 'The Liberator' is commemorated by this large monument.
O'Donoghue's is one of Dublin's favourite pubs, big and crowded, and chock-full of pictures of its famous customers - actors, musicians and dignitaries, everyone from the Dubliners to Julia Roberts.
As thousands of Dubliners busily shop in the late October sunshine, centuries of ornamaantal architecture offer little comfort to a little girl sheltering from the wind as she begs for change.
The elegant facade of D'Olier Chambers, at the end of busy D'Olier Street, faces Trinity College and the traffic...
I think the Winter is the best time to find the wonderful and famous quality of light which Dublin has.
The view south from the top of Dalkey Hill, home to some of Ireland's most famous residents (Enya, Damon Hill, Eddie Jordan). Bono's house is somewhere down there!
Ireland remains a very religious society, and these nuns waiting outside Greene's bookshop are a common sight.
Once known as Kingstown, Dun Laoghaire is the main passenger port for Dublin and a popular destination for city-dwellers during good weather.