> This year, on Imbolc – a Gaelic tradition that sees Ireland celebrate the patron saint Brigid, a Celtic goddess...
Imbolc is a celebration of the Goddess Brigid, which very few Irish celebrate. The feast day for Saint Brigid is on the same day, and is celebrated more widely. While she was possibly a Christianised version of the goddess, she is probably a real person who was later given the characteristics of the Goddess by her hagiographers and by confused lay people. Apparently the tradition continues.
> ...who allegedly had 7th-century lesbian romances and carried out the first abortion on the island...
I don't think that the 'allegedly' is a strong enough qualifier here. It's a relatively modern interpretation of a piece of hagiography (rather than a text considered to be more historical). Historically, neither has been asserted by the Catholic church or by scholars generally.
And finally... The goddess clearly existed much earlier than the 7th century, so assuming they're talking about the saint... she lived from the middle of the fifth century to the first part of the sixth. The book about her was written in the 7th.
But I'm sure they've done the research and checked their data for the rest of the article.
There's no restrictions on height nor density in the Docklands area of Dublin: an area within walking distance of the centre of the city, and with a good regular tram link, that is mostly vacant. Similarly, many areas on major tram routes are not so restricted, such as Sandyford and Cherrywood (these three areas, along with East Point, also happen to be where much of the tech boom is focused). So your denser/higher suggestion is being done and is having no affect—residential rents in these areas are the highest in the city, and much of the units available are left empty as a result.
Meanwhile, in terms of actual supply, even outside of those areas, Dublin has an estimated 40000 vacant residential units, and plenty of vacant commercial units on top of that.
The primary reason for this is that rent prices are not demand-based as much property is financialised—rent isn't a driver for owners, and there are little to no penalties for lack of tenancy, as other cities have.
And it's not like they're actually building tall there. 12 stories? 15 stories?
That's a tiny area compared to the demand for housing.
> your denser/higher suggestion is being done and is having no affect
Nonsense. Dublin has a very low density compared to any other European city. It's almost rural.
> Dublin has an estimated 40000 vacant residential units
...which is clearly not enough to lower rents given the 1347359 inhabitants in the metro area.
> The primary reason for this is that rent prices are not demand-based as much property is financialised—rent isn't a driver for owners, and there are little to no penalties for lack of tenancy, as other cities have.
True. But investors cannot buy unlimited amounts of property. Increasing supply of cheap and good quality (for a change) apartments would obviously help.
40,000 was my figure, but the population isn't that high; 40,000 is a lot more than 3%—back of a napkin math would put it closer to the 12% gross mark, but I'm pretty sure there are real figures available as that figure came from AIRO who analyse/republish CSO data
Did not get to digging through CSO data... but probably a better idea than googling & finding only people counting advertised apartments as a measure.
Don't know how true this is, or whether it applies in Dublin, but it is one answer that I've heard when I asked the same question.
I'm dubious that people in real-estate can't understand local prices, I mean within London there are vast differences by street-by-street. I'm also dubious that empty properties & claims about what they could rent for will fool many people.
IIUC, it's not that they don't understand local prices, they instead don't care. At this scale the landlord's focus is investors in the property portfolio, not people who might actually use the property.
I know a councillor who worked on a report which predicted, in the 70's, that because of Irish property laws it was possible that this could be happen, and the laws should be reformed. The laws were never reformed and it happened.
An apartment sitting idle should be a disaster - the higher rent obtained in the following years would need to be significantly higher just to break even in terms of yield.
I would've thought as full occupancy as possible at all times, i.e. renting out at market rates, would be the most profitable strategy.
Well it depends on where you are. Some places have different laws no idea about Dublin but some places protect renters from having the price spike up too quickly and have fixed rates once a contract is signed.
Edit: I of course have a subjective opinion on this from my point of view and where I am from the laws are heavily in favor of tenants so it is next to impossible to throw people out or hike up the price once an apartment is rented out.
Even if the apartment prices are rising rapidly and you plan to sell the apartment once the price goes up - why not also collect rental yield while you are waiting?
Then, when the prices hit peak value in a decade or two the investors might sell and keeping the apartment empty was more effective than renting it.
Keeping it empty long-term means leaving on the table an amount of money comparable to the mortgage. You could fill it and buy another one! If they both appreciate, all the better.
If you search for "financialisation of property" or "financialisation of housing", you'll find quite a lot of research in this area (mostly paywalled :( ) but also quite a few elucidating articles.
Still, it seems very irrational and thus unsustainable.
One possible reason is rent control, can anyone comment?
If what you risk is getting stuck for 30 years with a tenant paying last year's rent (and you think it will rise) then that could be serious money, of the sort which might make a rational landlord leave it empty.
The root cause of high rents in Dublin is two-fold: competition for rental units is extremely high, which drives prices up; meanwhile rent is usually a function of the mortgage that exists on the property, which is determined by the price of the construction and/or the value of the land it's built on – and that's where you get massive amounts of speculation in Dublin. Land in Dublin is so expensive that it drives up the cost of everything else along the chain.
Most of the vacant units in Dublin are old, and in terrible shape. They're largely owned by people who either don't have the resources (money/energy/time) to improve them so they meet minimum standards, or they're owned by people who know they can let them sit for five or ten or twenty years and sell them for a profit then. The site they're on is nearly always going to increase in value, regardless of the state of the property.
Dublin isn't cramped by geography. Five miles west of downtown is farmland.
It sounds like they're not allowing enough construction to meet demand, and then being shocked when the obvious outcome (prioritization of some uses) occurs.
Only a very small subset of people living in the city will use nightclubs. It is reasonable that they are not given priority over things essential to living (housing, accomodations, transport, public services, etc..).
People move to the city because of things to do which includes nightclubs, restaurants, museums, theater, sports venues, cultural events, etc.
If all you want is a bunch of houses and roads connecting them and basic public services, you can get that for a fraction of the price in the suburbs.
> People move to the city because of things to do which includes nightclubs, restaurants, museums, theater, sports venues, cultural events, etc.
Now remove nightclubs from this list, and you still get a list of attractive reasons to settle in a city.
You don't have to infringe on the night of others to still have an enjoyable city. To repeat myself: you could close all the nightclubs in a city and you would still have plenty to live for there.
Edit: Also worth noting is the daylife, shall we say. That is, cafes and the like are a lot more popular than they used to be.
It has a lot to do with what you can expect from your neighborhood. A nightclub opening up right next door in a silent neighborhood is a recipe for a disaster, but it is similar with people moving into regions with a famous nightlife expecting a normal place to live. I for example dont have much sympathy for people moving in next to Frankfurt central station and then start to complain about the drunks, punks, junkies and hookers. Its like moving in next to train tracks and complaining about the sound of the trains.
People in the neighborhood are mostly families.
1. It has been publicly recognized as such for quite long now. Crisis meaning that lower income families are unable to compete in this market (i.e. evictions and such). Also this is a hindrance to further economic development (who's going to work on all these new jobs when s/he'll have trouble making ends meet?). You get the idea.
Just because land owners can make more from developing housing in the modern urbanization doesn't mean commercial retail/art/dining/entertainment spaces should be pushed out, otherwise the declining proximity benefits of urbanization lose their appeal.
Maybe if the club was in the basement it might work, but I'd love to get some insight from someone who deals with acoustics!
People can decide they're willing to live with the noise for the convenient location but there will always be some amount of noticeable noise if you live on the same block as a night club.
The sorts of venues mentioned in this article remind me of the old warehouse parties I used to go to here in Melbourne ~10 years ago, when I was well in to my 30s. They just wouldn’t have worked in a new place.
In the same vein and more my crowd, you can't just open a (good) dive bar, it takes years to develop the community atmosphere they wind up becoming.
The exit is into the shopping centre, so noise and chatter from people leaving isn't a big problem.
I still like it here, but I have a flat that I got crazy cheap in 2013 and is rent controlled (incidentally, a horrifically stupid policy enacted _especially_ badly here, making the housing crisis even worse). I also just got a remote job and bought a house in Offaly.
I used to encourage people to come to Dublin because it offered better QOL than the bay (I like not being annoyed on weekends and holidays, and that even my non-tech-worker wife gets a month off a year by law) but I really can't any more unless your housing is arranged or you have a fantastic (California-level) offer
Don't confuse density with its opposite, sprawling. Irish and british cities often have large, low density, horrible sprawls.
Huge gains could be made by bringing more 'above the shop' units into use. Vacancy and dereliction are massive issues, both in the city centre and further out - tackling that through vacant site levies or compulsory purchase orders would be huge. Regulating the abuse of AirBnB could bring a few thousand rental units in the city back into long-term use practically overnight.
As far as building new stock goes, everything is too expensive because land is too expensive. Development land around the city has been stockpiled and hoarded for decades, creating artificial scarcity and driving up prices. It's basically impossible to make a profit on reasonably dense, reasonably priced, two or three bed apartment schemes in Dublin. The SCSI and PII have good reports on this if you want to look them up. It's nearly always more profitable (and easier) to just sit on the land rather than actually develop it. The reason all the nightclubs are being replaced by hotels is a result of this: hotels are a lot more commercially viable than almost any other form of development right now. (Hotel beds in Dublin had over 90% occupancy rates last summer - they're bursting and demand is massive.)
The majority of new residential building happens in the outer suburbs and commuter belt, from Lucan to Navan. Just 31 (!!!) new homes were built in Dublin 1 (the very centre of the city) in 2018.
Apartments made up just 13% of new builds in the state last year. The apartments we do build are, on average, smaller, darker, less well serviced, and more expensive than almost any other European city. The apartments built between 1995 and 2008 are riddled with issues, from fire safety to damp to electrics. I think that accounts for a lot of Irish people's apparent antipathy towards apartment living, much more than any nonsense about an inherent desire for a semi-d with a garden.
Rents are expensive because of an increase in the numbers renting (doubled in last decade); because the rent-certainty regulation is weak or non-existent; because tenure security does not exist; because build-to-rent is expensive to develop; because REITs and larger commercial landlords are soaking up all supply and charging as much as they can. Take your pick. It's a mess.
Sorry to go on, but I just finished a six-month deep dive on the reasons behind the housing crisis in Dublin and there is just so much misinformation out there, it's frustrating.
P.S. In case anyone wants to hear more, I made a four-episode podcast series about this, the final episode of which just went up today:
There's an awful lot of urban sprawl because of those archaic rules and you add to that a pretty terrible public transport by Western Europe standards.
Dublin is pretty terrible place to live in if you're not wealthy.
Any attempt to improve both situations are thwarted by aforementioned NIMBY folks which are only looking out for themselves, among them the people in power.
People have legitimate reasons for not liking apartments in Dublin of which noise is a major reason.
Lax planning & building regs. dictated to politicians by developers ensured that apartments were small and had neighbours on pretty much every side.
Most people who left apartments did so for valid reasons, not an obsession with land.
Living long term in 98% of apartments in Dublin would ruin your quality of life.
There was 0 chance of being able to sit quietly in that apartment and just concentrate or listen to music at an ambient level.
It's great that your tolerance level for noise is that high - most peoples' aren't, thus the constant exodus to the surrounding counties to get a house(which itself is no longer doable with a sane commute (<1 hr))
Dublin's population is 1.3 million. It's not London. It's not San Francisco. It's not New York.
Home owners, including large financial groups, sustain this policy.
Being dependent on mainly in Dublin means you'll likely want to restrict yourself to areas which can get you to your workplace with zero connections (and everyone else who works in your general area will probably feel the same).
Being an especially wet country (nowhere near as bad as the west of Ireland, mind), means even this is gonna be an utter misery many mornings and evenings.
As far as nightlife is concerned, with a better public transportation system you can get away for ages by just continuing to push stuff further out.
In London I've the option if I want to live pretty far out (but still on a line that stops near my office) and live alone for not a whole lot more (if anything) than I'd pay to live within walking distance and share. Hardly anyone I know on my pay level in Dublin could even consider living alone, which puts even further pressure on living as near to work as possible.
- There's one suburban train service (DART) that kinda goes through the centre and then just takes you to suburbs. It's like an S-Bahn except it doesn't stop anywhere useful in the city itself. Unless you live in one of the expensive suburbs it takes you to, you can basically forget about it. I've only used it to get out of the city for hikes.
- There's two tram lines, that until a year ago didn't even cross. Oh, and the trams are _extremely_ slow because they have barely any dedicated lanes in the centre, instead sharing the street with the rest of the road traffic. Even when they are on dedicated tracks, they're still absurdly slow for some reason (in comparison to all other tram systems I've used elsewhere).
- There's buses. They're ugly, loud and extremely uncomfortable. They have no timetable, instead they leave their terminus at some fixed time and then go as fast or as slow as they can, sometimes skipping stops if the traffic is bad.  Since this means you basically cannot make distributed, reliable connections between buses, they maximize their usefulness by running most of them through a single choke point in the city centre, where it can take up to 30 minutes to go through. Each line has a ton of stops, and every time passengers get on the bus, they go single-file through the driver that asks for the target stop and charges their pre-paid card accordingly (or you can go through a separate card reader that just charges you a daily flat rate, but that doesn't make sense if you're not commuting a long distance that day).
And that's it. Nothing else. Unless you're lucky enough to be on the _two_ tram lines or _one_ commuter train, you're stuck with shitty, expensive buses. Don't move to Dublin.
 - There is real-time bus tracking, but this doesn't help you to make a connection, just to leave home/work and not have to stand in the rain for too long. Just hope you bus doesn't get stuck in traffic along the way.
BTW, if you want to help improve bike infra please consider asking your employer to support https://dublin.cyclingworks.org/ - we're trying to pressure Shane Ross to take cycling seriously.
Ireland didn't invent these buses just to annoy you, the Volvo buses used in Dublin are used worldwide, including London and Berlin. They're as modern as you can get.
- Extremely rattly and loud. No idea why, but I assume it's because of the extra resonance created by the double-decker design. Any time the engine is idling, you're shaking with it, and you're likely to get a headache in the long term. Don't even get me started about how it leans and kips hitting tree branches on tight corners in Sandymount. I don't generally get nauseous in public transport, but Dublin buses would without fail get me extremely dizzy.
- Terrible seat design and spacing. I'm not a tall person, but there's some rows where I can barely fit my legs. Not to mention the seats tend to bend back with use, giving the person behind you even less space.
- Dirty. I haven't ever seen a single bus without an empty can, bottle, or other packaging. Spilled liquids are common, too. But that's a general Dublin problem - for some reason it's one of the nastiest cities I've seen, people just don't seem to care for it at all.
Just to be clear - I'm not comparing this against an imaginary Perfect Bus. I'm comparing this against existing bus systems I've used and loved (Warsaw, Munich, Berlin, ...).
Again re: seats and engine....these are the same seats and engines used in Germany and England also.
Still, I prefer the trains to buses in Dublin.
I have lived near Ballymun/Glasnevin for years (where there are indeed students), and would consider the problem similarly widespread everywhere I've seen in the city.
I think the mentioned problem of the choke point in the city centre was the important one for me; it's impossible to get from where I live to more or less anywhere else on the Northside without a half hour's bus to O'Connell, a change, and then a 30 minute bus again in the other direction, even if where I am trying to go is just a 10-15 minute direct drive from where I started. Walking to my destination, no matter where it is, has almost always taken a similar amount of time as getting a bus, since I moved to Dublin.
All this said, there's new bus routes coming in, so we'll see if it changes. I'm leaving the city ASAP though.
But alas, businesses still want everyone in the office (often all the time as well).
The vast majority of non-dense areas have much less of a tech scene than New York and Chicao. I would expect that what draws tech workers is career opportunity more than high or low density and that density is more driven by how municipal government responds to the changing local job market.