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The Liberties

What if we …

Tell the story of the people who live here …

‘Heirlooms and Hand-Me-Downs’ has been described as a “public history of community and place made up of private voices”. Published as part of a larger Dublin City Council public art commission, it is a distillation of the rich oral history of the last 100 years as expressed through the memories of people who live or who have lived in a small corner of the Liberties centred around the distinctive red brick Victorian flats on Nicholas Street, Bride Street, Bride Road and the Ross Road. The art commission itself recorded and immortalised in the form of 20 heritage plaques cast in bronze and affixed to the external walls of the flat complex as a lasting legacy, the lives and stories of all the people who have lived there.

Bring the stories to life …

  • Swift of the Liberties
  • Capture oral histories of the people – publish in transmedia – geotag the audio files
  • Promote engagement of tourists in the Liberties Festival
  • ‘Bang Bang’ and eccentrics
  • Newgate and the start of the Liberties – west entrance to Walled City- prison in South Tower
  • Archbishop’s Palace – 12th century
  • ‘Please come home’ – graffiti at Cornmarket – personal narrative located
  • Horse stables … meet the people
  • Atmospheric stairwell
  • Crampton Court – great laneway, romantic shortcut
  • Art galleries – old Jewish & antiques quarter – lots of creative energy here – young community moving in – studies, craft, art
  • The Coombe
  • Stories of life in the Liberties told by ‘Liberty’ Ambassadors who are truly proud of the area
  • The Liberty and Ormond Boys – notorious factional riots and feuds in 18th century Dublin
  • St Audeon’s Post Reformation RC Church on Norman site where relics were burned (including St Patrick’s staff) by George Brown; one of few on main thoroughfare; Daniel O’Connell a founder member … plaque, panels to link two sites … interactive history; historical figures – O’Connell, Luigi Gentili, Newman
  • St Audeon’s RC best stucco work in Dublin 1850s. Pipe organ only one of two in Europe

And longer term…

Create a more pedestrian focused environment;

  • Widen the pavements
  • Consolidate the paving materials
  • New street lighting
  • Restrained & coordinated street furniture
  • Enhance wayfinding

De-clutter redundant elements

  • Telephone kiosks
  • Guard rails
  • Bare signage posts
  • Parking meters
  • Traffic signage


  • Extend dublinbikes
  • Vertical structural forms such as wind turbines to bring coherence to the journey and aid visual navigation
  • Canopies / awnings above shop frontages to add colour, character and texture
  • Street trees
  • Key public spaces & stopping points

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