Ireland’s own goal: Dublin portal sits next to James Joyce statue

Tuesday, May 21, 2024. 1:54pm

Maybe James Joyce had something in one of his many famous quotes long before the EU was even thought about

“If Ireland is to become a new Ireland, she must first become European.”

James Joyce

Dublin Portal

The complete mess around the Portal and other such endeavours to enhance our cities has unfortunately given credence to this. What irony that a statue to Joyce stands just a few meters away from this latest own goal.

The concept around the Portal is admirable, and a great marketing tool and something that has worked in other European countries, and can work here. Sadly, the positioning and security were not considered in the positioning.

Across the world innovation is welcomed and accepted for the betterment of cities and the country’s tourism it serves. It creates a positive and welcome contribution of a country’s status. I was recently in Malaga and Nejra in Spain and was so impressed with the way everything just worked. From their iconic visitor attractions to their streetscapes and squares, it was all beautifully maintained and observed. Litter was almost invisible, the local squares well used by the people to exhibit everything from street fashion shows to art and local crafts. There was no sense of an uncomfortable or unsavoury undercurrent, that you unfortunately experience in some of our major cities here in Ireland.

For one, the positioning of the Portal wasn’t maybe well thought out. O’Connell Street, despite Dublin City Councils continuing efforts to make it “attractive“ has in a word, failed. It is not anything like you experience across Europe. Look at the scenario of other misfit projects attempted in Dublin, the Anna Livia, Cow Sculptures, the Boardwalk to name a few. The positioning maybe should have included an area where the is good security as in near the Dail, for example. But their lies another issue, policing for a lot of cities, again, unlike our European neighbours is so low and almost invisible, thus leading to the enviable anti-social responses.

Cyril McAree

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