What the Silver Blazes is going on in the Fair City?


Samuel Beckett Bridge Dublin
Like the ‘dog in the night’ in the Sherlock Holmes story Silver Blaze (hence the title) you sometimes understand more about a person, place or situation by what doesn’t happen. I am currently spending some time in Dublin (the Fair City of the title) and caught the airport bus into the city today which enabled me to do some unintended sight seeing…

History – personal and local

I haven’t really spent much time in Dublin for around 15 years; a lot changes in that time, economies boom, we have Celtic Tigers and massive inward investment then as is well documented a devastating reaction to the global downturn made worst by how much the country was driven by the construction industry.

Anywhere you look you not only see empty offices or apartments but also building projects frozen as though in amber. One particular area of growth had been the financial services industry which (to me) seemed centred around a redevelopment of the east docks area.

There has also been time to fit in a tram system (the Luas) and a tunnel from he airport.

The Bus Route

This morning as my plane landed early I decided not to lash out over 25 euros for a taxi but take the airport express bus (the amusingly named 747) across the city for a mere 6 euros and take in some sights (get my bearings). The route includes:

  • The O2 Dublin
  • Convention Centre Dublin
  • International Financial Services Centre
  • Central Bus Station
and various other stops (half a dozen) until Heuston Rail Station.

What didn’t happen

I was impressed by how rapidly the bus made its way to the city; it had the advantage of using the tunnel for free but then had to make its way through the financial district. What struck me was how it stopped nowhere until the Central Bus Station. Nobody got on, nor off.

Do you see? Nobody was using the financial services area (with its lovely Samuel Beckett Bridge [see above]). The building were all hardly in use (it was 9:30 am on a weekday), coffee shops almost deserted and looking harder many buildings seemed unoccupied.

The Irish economy is not happening, at least not in this part of the city.

Sobering experience when I stopped to think.

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About Tony Jones
Big Finish writer, reviewer and blogger, I'm interested in science fiction and Doctor Who. I review for CultBox, The Doctor Who Companion and others. I am also Audio Drama editor for Starburst Magazine, and write the occasional piece for Vortex, the BSFA critical magazine.

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