Meet the characters from Dublin’s inner city during the 1980s. Photographer Gerry Smith captured these compelling images in the Irish capital before it found a revitalization in the past decade as development opportunities took hold and many urban spaces were transformed by modern architecture. Smith’s photos were compiled into Dublin Inner City 1980s, an attractive, black and white photo book that exhibits the fascinating social and historical narrative of the city’s past. (There’s a video preview of the collection over here.) Most of the portraits are so boldly expressive, they’re almost like stills from a movie. Visit Smith’s website to see more of his impressive work, and click through our gallery to experience Dublin’s inner city life in the ’80s.
During the early 1980′s in Dublin, the inner city area was enveloped with half demolished buildings, unkempt sites and a general sense of disregard for the architectural heritage of the city. This was a manifestation of the overall depressed economic condition prevelant within Ireland at the time.
The wider richly layered social, commercial and architectural heritage represents the ‘soul’ of the inner city, which has developed over the centuries to establish the core of Dublin as unique in the qualities of scale, diversity and character of place.
The inner city on both sides of the River Liffey encompassed a rich diversity of uses and architectural quality, some of which have been regrettably lost to ‘development’ oppotunity, however the refurbishment of some areas has helped preserve and enhance much of the original quality of Dublin’s historic buildings and cultural content.
Some of the market activities that have survived to this day albeit in revised formats include the Moore Street market, the Smithfield Horsefair and the Dublin Corporation Wholesale markets on St. Michan’s Street also in the Smithfield area.
Many of the places captured in these images have become unrecognisable over the years due to redevelopment, however this collection provides a view of some of that which served us well for decades, but no longer remains.