'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.
Under the direction of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority and Dublin City Council, East Wall has witnessed further regeneration in recent years. Dermot Pierce’s East Point Business Park north of the Tolka may have provided an inspiration but it was the community itself who took the lead. A community centre and park, both named for Sean O’Casey, will both be operational by 2009. The local population numbered about 3600 in 2004 with a higher than average number over the age of 65. Most of those who work are employed in manufacturing, transport and commerce. Work is underway on over 400 new houses and apartments along the East Road, as well as a large underground car park. The hook-shaped Church Road is being developed as the centre of a new ‘East Wall Village’ with St. Joseph’s Church as the spiritual, communal and practical focal point. The playground at Russell Avenue East, recently upgraded, provides an additional focal point while the Community Centre on St. Mary’s Road North also has the potential to act as a functional centre piece within East Wall.
East Wall Road is home to the Docklands Innovation Park, headquarters of Ireland's only special interest radio station, Dublin City FM (formerly Anna Livia). The station broadcasts on 103.2FM seven days a week from 07:00 - 02:00. Among the programs that the station produces and broadcasts is ‘Sound School’ in which secondary schools from the Docklands present their own show over the course of the school year. The Innovation Park is also home to the After School Study Programme offices, helping local students prepare for the junior certificate and leaving certificate exams.
Located on Church Road, the small pocket park was officially opened by Bertie Ahern on 12th February 2007. The transformation of this hitherto unattractive C.I.E. wasteland was a collaborative effort between the East Wall Community Council, Dublin City Council, C.I.E. and the Docklands Authority. Under the direction of Hugh McKenna, over forty tons of material and topsoil were removed to make way for a plantation covered in dark green Heliz Hibernica ivy and ten semi-mature Silver Birch trees. The black stone wall was also rebuilt and new gates installed.