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Can I create the Links

Monday, February 14th, 2011

The theme I will be looking at  is the lack of Linkages

Some of the Lack of  linkages are between:

  • community groups
  • working community
  • living community
  • Garda
  • Dublin City Council
  • Youth Groups
  • vacant warehouses/buildings

To develop this further we pulled out all of the ideas that each team had developed around the street engagement process, we also went back to our 100ideas that each team member had created at the start of the project (everything comes back around and links in) we then had time to take as many ideas from each  board that we felt linked into our theme.

We each  presented  our theme and chosen ideas to the team after which we had a conversation about the theme. The team then helped to give each person ideas on how to further develop their theme. 

The next stage is to develop a  prototype on the theme. The thinking behind this is for each of us to  develop a prototype that will  will  plant  a seed in the area and overtime this will blossom and become sticky.

So this week is all about research, going over the theme and really looking into it and planning who it is we each need to talk to.

Deep Listening

Monday, February 14th, 2011

We have further distilled all the information we have gathered during our street engagement process. We each presented our findings from the street engagement and site process. Then each team member wrote on a post-it what they heard with regards to the struggles/challenges of the Area. 

After each team  member had presented, we then grouped all of the issues into different themes that we felt represented the core of the collective issue.They are called  The Lack Of’s.

We have  11 in total.

  • Lack of Identity /vision
  • Lack of navigation
  • Lack of knowing the system of area
  • Lack of fun/lightness
  • Lack of safety
  • Lack of  diversity/vibrancy
  • Lack of communication
  • Lack of facilities
  • Lack of ease to start a business
  • Lack  of linkages
  • Lack of ownership /citizenship

Each team member then selected one of the above.We then had to further analysis the  chosen theme. We done this by by taking the  time to ourselves to think about all we had heard ,we then wrote on a post what issue/challenge fitted under that theme.

A map was also created to show the way we thought communication happened in the Area.This was developed through the many chats we had during our street engagement process.  

Dear Mr President

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

I wanted to share this song with you all I was listening to it on the way home this evening. I have loved for a while. It was written by Pink she  said “that the song was an open letter to the then President of the United States, George W. Bush, and that it was one of the most important songs she had written”.

 I think it is a very powerful and moving song. If you look deeper into the words I think some of them may fit into the challanges that are happening in Ireland and Globally.

  • Google Pink Mr President if you want to hear her singing this song ,with full energy.      

Dear Mr. President”

Dear Mr. President,
Come take a walk with me.
Let’s pretend we’re just two people and
You’re not better than me.
I’d like to ask you some questions if we can speak honestly.

What do you feel when you see all the homeless on the street?
Who do you pray for at night before you go to sleep?
What do you feel when you look in the mirror?
Are you proud?

How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye
And tell me why?

Dear Mr. President,
Were you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?
How can you say
No child is left behind?
We’re not dumb and we’re not blind.
They’re all sitting in your cells
While you pave the road to hell.

What kind of father would take his own daughter’s rights away?
And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay?
I can only imagine what the first lady has to say
You’ve come a long way from whiskey and cocaine.

How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye?

Let me tell you ’bout hard work
Minimum wage with a baby on the way
Let me tell you ’bout hard work
Rebuilding your house after the bombs took them away
Let me tell you ’bout hard work
Building a bed out of a cardboard box
Let me tell you ’bout hard work
Hard work
Hard work
You don’t know nothing ’bout hard work
Hard work
Hard work

How do you sleep at night?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Dear Mr. President,
You’d never take a walk with me.
Would you?

Words of wisdom…

Monday, February 7th, 2011

We had the wonderful Anastasia Crickley in talking us to last Wednesday the 2nd February. She is a very inspirational person to me as she is the head of the Applied Social Studies Department in Maynooth where I completed my Diploma in Community & Youth Work.  She is a very influential Woman in terms of her work in  Community Development. She was one of the founders of Pavee Point she works continuously for travellers rights, she is also the founder of the Migrants Rights Centre.

She sits on and chairs many committees on a national and international level.Some of these include Chair of  EUMC management board in Vienna,Chair of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia and she also works overseas with Irish prisoners who have  been inhumanaly treated.

She is a very strong women. I put her on our list of speakers as I thought it would be benefical to have her in  to talk to us about  engaging with people at a local level.  This is the stage we are currently at. She spoke to us about change and the different  levels of engagement that can effect change they are: 

  • Local procedures this involves engagement at a local level e.g. organising a clean-up,street festival, street party.These activities/ events should not be dismissed as they can bring about change over time.
  • Policy change. This process takes longer  to do as it involves changing  the norm.
  • Change the thinking. This is about changing the way people think and interact with their environment e.g using design as a method  to promote change.   

Her insights helped  me to focus and to reflect on the following:

  • Who am I doing this for
  • What is possible in the time frame allocated
  • What change  is going to come
  • What will the area/ people achieve from our interventions

On the radio!!!

Friday, February 4th, 2011

 Myself and Lindsay were on Near Fm to talking about our chosen area check out the podcast on

 Different members from the team are on every Saturday fromn 6-7pm talking about different topics.

It was really exciting to do.John was very helpful in supporting us on developing the programme for the show,thanks to John.

On our feet again!!

Friday, February 4th, 2011

This week involved us looking more into the area. I spoke to more key people in the Community including the Youth Worker for the Markets Area (Kathy),Sergeant Barry, Declan from the Dublin Christian Mission( this is open to young people and  adults from the community). It was great talking to all of  them I really enjoyed it. I found out what work they do,what their challenges are,what they hope for the area. It was great getting to know them and lovely to see that they are passionate about their work  and the area.

Myself and Vincent also spoke to some of the young people that attend the Dublin Christian Mission after school club during the week.It was good to hear their voices and see their energy we spoke to young people aged from 8-12years. We also spoke to a 21year old  who has been going to the Dublin Christian Mission since he was 7. He now volunteers in the club and he is actively involved in helping out and bringing the young people on trips to countries like Belarus and the next one is Morocco where they will be bring young people  from Morocco to Franch ,he also teaches young people guitar. It was very inspirational for me to see that he was  still linked into the mission at 21.

We asked them things like:

Where do you live?, Do you play in the area?,How do you have fun in the area?,What is your favourite thing in the area?,How would you describe the area to a friend? ,When you are older would you live here?.      

I got clarity on the car park that is on the old fish market site. There was an incident where a young girl got hurt whilst playing by a car. The Residents lobbied for a safe place for their children to play. DCC gave the community the car park for a month to use as a space to play in. Basketball hoops were suppiled  as part of this. But the tenants could not keep it going the following year to build on it due to insurance  costs. 

Remains of  Basketball rings at car park:  

Part 2 of the above research included team members teaming up and going out on the streets, to businesses, the markets workers. Myself and Ciaran went around talking to Community Supports. We spoke to groups and staff in the MACRO, Ken in SARI (Sports Against Racism Ireland) , HACE (Henrietta Adult and Community Education Service). 

To discover more during our chat:  we asked what they do? ,what they think the challenges are?,How has there work gone towards addressing these challenges?, what they think of the  Market?. It was important to get a sense of where the community organisations are at  in terms of  their own work.   

Getting insights like these  helped me in the following way:

  • Got a better feel of the work and people
  • Hearing from the different voices that are active in the area
  • Helped me to get a sense of what is going on
  • Brought life into the area


    From talking to the different Community Support groups in the Area the following issues emerged:  

  • Awareness of Services
  • Funding
  • Lack of facilities for Young People
  • Sterotyping of Young People
  •  Awareness of the Markets  
  • Signage for the Area
  • Dialogue
  • Working in partnership
  • Having a voice
  • Being listened to (having a voice)
  • Promoting the history of the area
  • Looking at making DCC policy user friendly
  • Building relationships

 Now the next step is to look into ways of addressing the issues we have heard from the mountain of people,workers,traders, community groups, children,parents and more that we have spoken to.

Wall at Luas stop at the Four Courts. Could this be in need of LOVE?????  


Monday, January 24th, 2011

The next step of looking into the Markets Area was to  research it. The purpose of this research was to find out what is going on in the Area and who are the People , stakeholders  that we need to be linking in with. To help us to explore various themes were developed by the team to help us  look into the area they were:

  • People
  • Movement
  • History
  • Develoment  Plans
  • Community & Youth Work
  • Regulations
  • Study of the built environment
  • Enterprise/Retail
  • Nature
  • Gems
  • Informal use of buildings

The theme I choose to look into was Community & Youth  Work.  I was excited and curious to look into this theme as it is where my skills lie. To get me started I thought of the groups that I have worked with and supported during my time  in Community Development.  This helped me to focus and to develop a working method.

  Community Groups

  •  Environmental Groups
  • Resident Associations
  • Support Services
  • Youth Groups
  • Elderly
  • Theatre Groups
  • Intercultural Groups
  • Adult Education Scheme
  • Disability Interest Groups

 I wanted to find out what supports are in the area and if they are active. I decided to also look into Smithfield as part of the research,as community groups and youth organisations tend to take in more then one area e.g  BRADOG youth service moved from the MACRO Building to Dominick street but they still work in the area.  

After visiting the different places and people in the Area I broke them up into the following headings:


  •  Citizen Advice (Macro Building)
  • Tennage Suicide Prevention Network
  • Snug Councelling Services ( families of drug users)
  • Age Action Ireland
  • ECC European Consumer Centre (Macro Building)
  • Rough Sleeper Team- 119 Capel Chambers
  • Outhouse (LGBT) 105 Capel Street
  • Cappuchin Day Centre: Bow Lane 
  • Fr.Brian Parish Priest St.Michans
  • Sister. Peggy Aughrim Centre

Adult /Youth Education:

  •  North West Inner City Inner City Training & Developing Project
  • GDIL Adults wth Disabilities
  • Georges Hill Employment Community Scheme
  • Henrietta Adult & Community Education Services
  • The Corner Ladies Club
  • The Community ICT Project is an Information & Communication Technology Resource

  Group’s/ Organisations:

  •  Senior Citizens Project
  • North West Inner City Network
  • Bradog Regional Yoth Services
  • Outhouse
  • Community Forum

       Community Garda:

From talking to the Community  Garda Barry & Elaine  I discovered that the area is very active during the Summer months.Summer Projects would be active and other activities also take place over these months. Due to funding being cut community developemnt groups and projects that were very active are not anymore. There is  still a large religous infulence in the area in terms of supports and services .  

Other active groups/ initiatives include:

  • The Inner City Community Police Forum Committee
  • Street Wise Programme 
  • Senior Citizen Services meet yearly to discuss what is going on for them
  • The Community Garda are very active in the schools in the area and they go in often to diliver talks
  • Capel Street businesses meet every 2 months

Below is a  list of people  who maybe useful to us. I felt I gained a good sense of the area from the research I  carried out over the time we were given.


  •  Community Guard : Barry Ryan
  • JLO: Martin
  • Senior Community Officer 
  • Joan:  Smithfield Res Assocation (also Volunteer in MACRO Centre)
  • Trisha: Manager MACRO
  • Intergration Officer DCC
  • Councillor for the Area
  • Shane Crosan Manager BRADOG Youth Service
  • Markets Area Youth Worker
  • Grainne North West Innter City Network

I really enjoyed meeting new people and gaining a sense of what is in the area.  I am looking forward to headng into the next stage of exploration in terms of Community and Youth Work.

You have been chosen:)

Friday, January 14th, 2011

So we finally picked our area.  It was selected on Wednesday 12th January after much debate and collective input.

We had the pleasure of having two Members from the Steering Committee from Dublin City Council to help us in deciding our area they were Dick Gleeson (City Architect) and Micheal Stubbs (Assistant City Manager).

The Team where sent out to get a feel for the area. I took a break from developing the radio show for an hour and walked around the area to get a taste of  it.

The Area:

The area we are looking at takes in the Streets and the Market off Capel Street.

Some of the streets I Walked:  The Market Area , Arran Street, Little Green Street,Little Mary Street,St.Michans Street, Ormond Square,Ormond Place,Chancery Street, St.Michans Street,Church Street Flats and across the road to  Smithfield

On walking around the area I found it to be dark,cold,very quiet and sad. I felt it lacked energy and life. I felt let down that I was not getting the initial WOW factor that I expected to get.  Upon reflection and listening to the rest of the team members talk about their experience and seeing their excitement flow. I can see that there is potential to work and make changes to the Area.

My own story:

What I noticed walking around was:  empty sites,derelict buildings, school’s, laneways ,playgrounds,market space, lack of signage, businesses, social and private housing, hoarding, un-used wall space.

I think that:

  • We need to engage with the people who are currently living in the area and those who work in the area.By doing this we will get a better sense of their needs and help promote dialogue around these issues.
  • We need to have a clear sense of Who  this is for.
  • What we hope to achieve both long term and short term.
  • We need to develop  relationship’s from the ground up and build on this.
  • There are active groups present in the area we need to make contact with them as these are key to the work.
  • We have a real chance to engage with the workers in the Market,to create a welcome and warm feeling in the market space and the surrounding area/streets.
  • How can we tap into the secrets of this Area without changing the  mysterious feel that it has.
  • How  can we trigger curiosity in people.
  • Achieving a balance of cosmetic change and people change.
  • What is achievable in our time frame.

Initial Ideas:

  • Ask people living and working in the area what their feeling is of the Area are.
  • Put pictures of the people in the area up in derelict building.
  • Make usage of the walls, hoardings in the area to give it some life and warmth.
  • Use the playgrounds as a stage to host a play day, this can help promote interaction  with residents.
  • Use the area at the back of the markets that looks out on the luas track as a way to draw people in from the street, maybe have more stalls in this space.
  • A heritage project community life  of the past and present.
  • Use the market as a gateway into the area, get peoples curiousity going  by using different activities,methods to get them exploring.

Ronnie Tino was over with us from Denmark for a couple of days, he has insight and expertise into how Technology can be used in Urban Desgin.

Ronnie  explained that to him the area is like  a teenager. It has a lot  of personalites, different energy and ideas. How do we get the most out of this teenager and show the City  that this teenager is amazing.  We must also take into account the mood swings of the teenager.  I think this is a great example to use.

I also take on the advice Ronnie gave us about improving the offering and choosing our  projects wisely. Something needs to happen that will attract others. Bring different elements of  the Area together ,roll with the beauty and  the un-tidyness of the area.

There is alot to think about and a lot to be done. It is a challange and a learning but hey that is what “Love the City” is all about.


Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

To help us to identify an area in the City Centre. The team were given the task of building on the GIS information that we are collecting.  This task along with the GIS will provide us with a deeper understanding and awareness of choosing an area.

To build on this we had the choice of taking on one of the following  :

  • Go back to the research / look at the information gathered from the people
  • Go and talk to more people
  • Go for a walk and explore the City and the challenges
  • Go intuitive,(when you get that feeling  in the pit of your stomach,you know it is right)
  • Pick 3 areas and look at why these are the areas that need the most focus

We identified 7 different themes that embodied the challanges that were discovered from the street converstations, scheduled conversation’s and the exhibit we held in Filmbase on the 100 Hidden Gems. The information gathered from the people we spoke to has shaped how we identify our area.

I focused on theme one: Communication & Ownership the issues behind this theme included:

  • Do people trust each other and have pride in the city?
  • How is ownership shown in the city?
  • How can laws and regulations be more effective and efficient in the city?,
  • Where do communities meet and share?
  • Where can teenagers go in the city?

I choose to go for a walk to get a deeper feeling and visual sense of different areas in the City. I went walking with Ciaran and Micheal and it proved to be very valuable, as we had discussions around what we were looking for and we saw the potential of the different Areas that we walked around. Some of the areas we explored included:

  • Smithfield, Manner Street, Stoneybatter, Pearse Street and surrounding areas, The Docklands (taking in the  new old areas).
  • The boardwalk  is also an interest and it has been mentioned on numerous ocassions as an issue, particularly around safety for the people in the City. It Would be great to do so something on it e.g. A Boardwalk Market.

I utilised my knowledge and passion of Community Development & Youth Work during this task. I found I was naturally drawn to areas that have a lot of social issues and  would be labeled as disadvantaged /challanged. I can see the potential in working from a Community Development approach which would address some of the issues that have been discovered. I would also be interested in exploring ways to engage with  service providers in different areas of the city and work with them to develop dialogue e.g.  Linking two youth projects together in the city to work on an  identified issue. I understand that using  this apporach would only address some of the issues and that other means of engagment /processes can be used to address other themes we identifed such as envorinment, movement,safety.

We each presented our method of exploration, findings and thoughts to the wider group. It was really interesting to hear the different ways that the others in the team explored the city and the conculsions that they came to on the area’s that they felt we could work in. My own thoughts are that we have 3 months to work in an area in the City and it is vital that we choose an area in which we can effect change.  I have chosen to remain open minded in the selection of the area as I feel there is potential in many areas.

Windmill Lane:

Docklands Area: Places like these could have poetinal for usage:

Mapping up-date :)

Friday, December 10th, 2010


We are now getting deeper into the mapping process. The next step is to in-put the data gathered on the challanges identified into the GIS system a lot of this has been done by the great Adrienne. Another element of the mapping  involves the team doing some of the below:

  • Go back to the research / look at the information gathered from the people
  • Go and talk to more people
  • Go for a walk and explore the City and the challenges
  • Go intuitive,(when you get that feeling  in the pit of your stomach,you know it is right)
  • Pick 3 areas and look at why these are the Areas that need the most focus

 This  along with the GIS information will  help us to identify our area. It will be interesting to see how the two mix. 

 We also did a presentation yeasterday for the Pivot Team they are working on different elements of the World Desgin Capital 2014 The presentation went really well and we recieved positive feedback from them. It was really warming to hear the positive feedback coming from such well established and experianced people in the field of Design. The feedback that I gathered was:

  • Not to get too mixed up in the Mapping System and to concentrate on the richness that was gathered from the people on the street.
  • Mixing the Visual with the Mapping.
  • It is like you are Carving out a message to the city with a stone and chisel.
  • Develop insight into the challanges , look at where you can effect the most change.  
  • Useul for mapping peoples contribution to projects in the city.
  • It does not have to focus on one area, we could pick one challange that we focus on across a range of areas if this is the common issue. Mix and match do not be too stuck .
  • The people are most important. (yes,yes,yes)