rabble examines some of the most impressive name changes in Dublin. Rather like Windscale to Sellafield, there is a notion about that instead of fixing a problem we can repackage it. Morkeshing darling, it’s all in the presentation…
TAKE ME UP TO MONTO
The ‘Monto’ was the notorious red light district spreading from Montgomery Street through to Gardiner Street, Talbot Street and Amiens Street. During the 19th century it became the largest such area in Europe with 1,600 prostitutes working and living there. Servicing the British Army barracks and navy, even the future King of England Edward VII is said to have lost his virginity there. Initial attempts to clear up the area were met by an outcry from the well-to-do as the prostitutes moved en masse to ply their trade on the Sackville St much to the annoyance of the gentry passing with their wives. However, following the withdrawal of British forces following independence the Legion of Mary led by Frank Duff, with the aid of the police, tore through the area arresting women and closing brothels. Montgomery st. was renamed Foley St. in an attempt to erase the salacious memories of the past.
The massive corruption surrounding the planning and re-zoning of the Quarryvale area of west Dublin is a complex story that contains some of the major characters exposed in a series of tribunals, investigative journalism and shocking court revelations. The Quarryvale development never made it to full fruition and instead we are left with the commercially renamed Liffey Valley Shopping Centre. The knock-on effects of this sorry tale include Clondalkin’s town centre development being abandoned. The list of players in Quarryvale/ Liffey Valley reads like a who’s who of political corruption: Bertie Aherne, Tom Gilmartin, Ray Burke, Padraig Flynn, Liam Lawlor, Frank Dunlop, Owen O’Callaghan, Albert Reynolds and Charles Haughey. As they say, if you put them all in a sack and hit it with a stick you’d be hitting the right one.
ITALIAN QUARTER AND LATIN QUARTER.
Whatever you think of Mick Wallace’s recent VAT issues, his influence in redeveloping the forgotten Bloom Lane into one of the busiest short thoroughfares in Dublin can’t be denied. Renamed Quartier Bloom by Wallace it contains some genuine Italian eateries and an eclectic mixture of shops and cafes that are spreading out along the soon to be pedestrianised Strand St. Dubliners have renamed the area the Italian Quarter as a result. The Latin Quarter is something most will be unaware of, as it is another commercial attempt at creating an area out of nothing but some Lonely Planet guides and a marketing ploy. The area supposedly stretches from Temple Bar through Fade St, Clarendon St and other boho hipster-chic fixie-friendly lanes but is known as the Latin Quarter by nobody except the kind who believe Dublin Does Fridays.
Although never officially renamed its hard not to notice that the 140 Dublin bus doesn’t go to Ballymun anymore but Ikea. The ‘Ballymun-effect’ has seen the area shrink over the years as the infamy of the failed social housing scheme meant the name Ballymun became a byword for poverty and crime. For example DCU was originally part of the Ballymun project although today it gives its postal address as Glasnevin. Similarly Ballymun Ave. was renamed Glasnevin Ave. by a plebiscite in the 1970s.