'Dublin Docklands - An Urban Voyage’ is a work in progress, commissioned by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, and due to be completed in the autumn of 2008. The following tale represents research I have undertaken for the project which may or may not be used in the final book.
Now the Department of Social Welfare, this was the temporary head office of the Port & Docks Board before they built the new Port Centre down at Alexandra Road and East Wall Road. In the early 80s all the staff – Engineers, Harbour, Custom House Docks and Ballast Office were moved in together. Niall Dardis recalls how some of the staff in the Ballast Office, when it was in Westmoreland Street, dreaded the though of being transferred to the harbour or the engineers. ‘It would be like being sent to Siberia’. When Niall started in the engineers department, there was only one woman working in the place. ‘Shortly afterwards there was another two girls taken on. Even then, in those years, any of the girls that were, when they got married they had to leave because it was a semi-state body. They couldn’t stay on’.