On 13th February Dublin City Council hosted an event organised by Cathal O’Sullivan (our Allotment Homes champion) to discuss innovative potential uses for some of the 630 vacant or disused sites around the city centre. The stunning Wood Quay Venue was packed to capacity with more than 60 people being turned away. The event MC for the night was Dublin City Architect, Ali Grehan. Lord Mayor of Dublin, Oisín Quinn opened the event. In his opening address he spoke at length about the proposed vacant land levy. Other speakers included Dublin City Council’s senior planner, Kieran Rose; Sam Bishop, representing UpStart and the Granby Park iniviative; Sophie Grafin van Maltzen discussed her Art Tunnel project in Smithfield; Jonathan Legge of Makers and Brothers; Tara Singleton of the Ballymun Rediscovery Centre and the future of the Ballymun Boilerhouse project; Ray Yates of Dublin City Council Arts Office; I spoke on behalf of property buyers about the need for a different type of housing in the city centre to need the changing needs of today’s buyers and organiser Cathal O’Sullivan spoke about our proposed Allotment Homes proposal. If successful, this will be the first of its type in Ireland. Further details of this exciting project are available on www.buyersbroker.ie and site proposals (from public and private land owners) are still being invited.
It was a genuinely dynamic evening with excellent contributions from attendees – many of whom had turned up to share their own ideas about building in unusual locations with alternative building materials – including strong interest in converted shipping containers. One of the interesting ideas from the floor was to create a Gaelteacht in the city centre. The timing is perfect; appetite for the Irish language and culture has risen in recent years and it would be a poignant statement for a nation in recovery. If support can be garnered, and I feel that is likely, the starting blocks could be in place to coincide with commemorative events for 2016. Please contact me directly on email@example.com if you wish to get involved and contribute to this seminal project.