“Open Day” « Designing Dublin: Learning to Learn

“Open Day”

Method & Outcome : As part of our “Open Day” Mary & I formulated a list of questions that we thought would give us the richest possible insights as to how the community felt about the Markets area and the surrounding locality. Our questions were designed to get to the essence of what the challenges and opportunities were for the area. For the purposes of conducting our research we decided it would be best to design questions target towards the organisation and also the individual.

Organisations & People we talked to:

MACRO CENTRE: Markets Area Community Resource Centre

Building Management Staff: Ann & Caroline

Senior Citzens Project: Phyllis

The Snug: Margaret & Ileen

Community ICT Project: Andrew Madden

Daughters of Charity Community Services, Henrietta Street: Paul

SARI: Sport Against Racism Ireland: Ken

Questions : Organisation

1.What does your organisation see as being the challenges for the area?

2.How do you think these challenges can be addressed?

3.Has this organisation worked towards addressing these challenges?

4.Has your work here had any impact on the Markets Area?

Questions : Individual

1.Why did you get involved in the project?

2. Is it beneficial to the community in the Markets Area and the surrounding locality.

3.What do you think are the challenges of the area?

4.How can these challenges be turned into opportunities?

5.Have you undertaken your own project/initiative to address these challenges?

Answers to Questions

Building Management Staff: Ann & Caroline

Caroline is about 30 years old and is from Queenstreet. Ann is from St Margarets but used to live in Blackhall Place.

Both said that there is no real police presence in the area and that there is a lot of aggressive begging in the city in places like Capel Street. However Caroline feels that this is the same everywhere. It felt a lot safer years ago when it was busier with the cattle market. They told me that in general the MACRO centre have built a good repour with the workers in the market area. They told me that sometimes the workers hold meetings in the centre and that a florist in the Markets Area comes into the centre to teach flower arranging to the community. Ann mentioned that it might be a good idea to have street markets in the area on a Sunday as it is a day when the general area is totally inactive.

The Snug: Illeen & Margaret

We also talked to a couselling service called The Snug. Here we spoke to Illeen and Margaret. These two ladies expressed a lot of uncertainty around what was happening in the area and also some concern about how the council has interacted with the community. One example of this was the request the residents committee put in for a playground to be built where the old fish market used to be. They were granted use of this space for one month but had to surrender the space after the month was up. They told me that the need for councelling has doubled in the last two years. They provide a service for addiction, women and family support group and try to link people to other appropriate services. They have also said that the drugs problem is getting a lot worse in the local area.

Community ICT Project: Andrew Madden

Andrew works with people of all ages teaching them computer and IT skills. One of his main concerns is securing funding for his project. Andrew runs an after school project for children who may not have anybody living at home. He also runs a lot of courses for people with learning difficulties.


Sports Against Racism Ireland. Ken was a great guy to talk to. He told us a little bit about how SARI try to develop policies regarding racism in sports clubs around Ireland. His work brings people together from all cultures who are living in Ireland through the medium of sport. He told us that there were a number of famous handball champions who came from the area including Redser Williams who won the u21 championship in the 1970s.

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

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