There Goes The Neighbourhoods



Dublin Districts.

The Districts of Dublin.

The result of a 30-year odyssey by Antoine D’Alton to give the capital’s neighbourhoods a distinct identity.

Antoine writes:

The map which is set out above brings together the different traditions, and folk memories which have forged the city’s identity. This map is based on my own orientation of the city, with one or two ideas thrown in for good measure.

I have tried to be faithful to the names which have been with us since time immemorial, also I wanted to note some of the areas that have been subsumed into other places but in truth form a place of their own such as Simmonscourt and Portobello.

I resurrected The Monto and created one or two most notably, I have renamed the IFSC and replaced in with Joyce-Beckett, after two of the city’s literary giants…

…Where possible, I have amalgamated some names to take on board the original name of a street and the one by which it is known today. O’Connell-Sackville of course is an amalgam, bearing in mind that O’Connell Street was originally known Sackville Street until 1924….

I have used the amalgam Westland-Pearse for the area around Pearse street. As most native Dubliners know, the original name of the station was Westland Row and that is still the name of the street where the front entrance to the railway station is…..

I have divided the area around Camden Street in two, on the one side is Camden-Iveagh and the other is Camden-Salem. The first doesn’t require any explanation, the other most certainly does.

Most Dubliners will be aware that at the end of the 19th century there was a wave of Jewish migration from Russia’s Pale of Settlement which corresponds with much of today’s Eastern Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus. Like earlier refugees they were escaping the pogroms and so some of them ended up in Dublin or to the west of Camden Street. This area became known as ‘Little Jerusalem’. I took the name Salem as a diminutive of Jerusalem and suffixed it to Camden to forge an identity for this part of the city.

One or two district names on the map will require an explanation but no more than the place I refer to as Freetown.

I recognised quite early on, this neighbourhood is very special, and to this day retains some of the original Dutch Billys or gabled house in the Flemish style that were once predominant on the city skyline.

I thought this would be an interesting location for Dublin’s equivalent of Christiania a sort of Freetown where real Dubliners could call their own. It was supposed to be Templebar, but you know what happened? Either way, the area around Aungier Street was Dublin’s French quarter, particularly in the late 17th century when a large number of French Huguenots, Walloons and Flemish refugees settled in the area, and the adjoining Liberties.

Recognising that this area is related to the Old Town and The Liberties, I felt it was distinct and required a name of its own. With a bit of word play, involving the words Town, Liberties and Refuge, the name Freetown emerged which has a nice ring to it….[more at link below)


Dublin Districts (Funkshot)

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33 thoughts on “There Goes The Neighbourhoods

  1. Tony Baloney

    Who’s Antoine to be naming parts of Dublin? They all already have their names.

    And them with their website n’all.

    1. The Lady Vanishes

      I think it’s a reference to Freetown Christiania in Copenhagen? Denmark’s hippie commune?

  2. Louis Lefronde

    Ireland. If something is good the jealous do-nothing’s have a field day. Excellent and thoughtful post with some original and novel ideas.

    1. Daddy

      But this isn’t a good idea.

      Louis. I know you’re highly cultured and dismayed at our non foie gras eating cultural voids. But you need to learn the difference between self indulgent imposed silliness and genuinely useful efforts.

    2. Turgenev

      OK, Louis, that’s it, I’m renaming the arrondissements of Paris and the departements of France according to my accultured notions of how they should be. Let’s name Montmartre Touristique, St Germain Moneyland, Menilmontant BallonRougeLand. Put that in yer Gauloise and puff it.

  3. Mysterybeat

    I assume he’s planning to fill in the rest of the Northside at some point? or is only half of Dublin ready for a hipster makeover?

    1. Starina

      he said it eas drawn according to his own experience of the city. he drew the parts he knows personally.

      1. Yep

        It’s is at it’s zenith. Soon the derelict and decrepit will be over taken by the virus. Healthy to flush the system all the same.

  4. Sibling of Daedalus

    Great way to get people to think about the city, Antoine.

    I did not know about the judge who had a street in Monto named after him.

    I wonder if he ever visited it in person before or after?

  5. Omar Sarhan

    Wow lot of disapproval here, It’s always fun to re-imagine space with new names based on history, and our interaction and experiences in/with them. My only criticism is that the boundaries are fixed and it’s not as graduated as how most maps of feeling and sentiment are represented in our minds eye. We usually don’t change our opinion of the place at the turn of a corner. Hard changes generally happen at rivers or big roads.
    I think of area maps being more like this: especially in Dublin where postcodes/govt services/school districts etc. don’t reinforce neighbourhoods.

  6. bisted

    …its ironic that Antoine should name a district after Joyce/Beckett when the two lads couldn’t wait to get out of the place…also, Joyce maintained that Dublin could be rebuilt, if needed, from the pages of Ulysses…in which case, the area Antoine has called Liberties would be Nighttown…

  7. jimi

    5 miles south of the river, and 30 foot north of it. He wouldn’t by any chance have an even numbered postcode would he?

  8. jimi

    5 miles south of the river, and 30 foot north of it. He wouldn’t by any chance have an even numbered postcode would he?

  9. Sav

    30 years and that’s the most he knows about the Northside ……… not even as far as the Royal canal …… Southsiders :roll:

  10. Andy Moore

    The Liberties didn’t include the Tenters or the Artisan Dwellings to west of there when my Mother lived off Donore Ave 80 years ago ??

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