In recent years, Dublin Docklands have made a truly significant impact upon the physical, social and economic landscape of the city. Due to major investment in economic and social infrastructure, the Docklands are now rightly recognised as one of the most appealing and vibrant residential areas in the city.
The panoramicviews of the city from Grand Canal or Spencer Dock are second to none. Breathtaking views of the surrounding areas make it difficult to believe that with the exception of Ringsend, only 300 years ago there were no houses in the Docklands whatsoever. Nowadays, spanning both north and south of the River Liffey, the Docklands offer some of the most stunning apartment complexes available in Dublin city.
The Docklands truly are a dynamic area, from the bustling activity of the IFSC to the vast variety of amenities and festivities. Each May, the ‘Dublin Docklands Summer Festival’ offers water based activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, barge rides as well as street performers, live music and an international food market. Similarly at Christmastime, the Docklands are transformed into a stunning Christmas market, complete with an ice rink. Just last weekend, the Tall Ships visited the Docklands for the first time since 1998. An absolute success, Grand Canal Dock and surrounding quays were alive with top class entertainment featuring a free family programme and a live music stage.
Always a trailblazer, the IFSC was once home to the first building with air conditioning in Ireland. Today, the state of the art Odeon cinema in the recently redeveloped Point Village is home to the first ISENSE screen in the UK or Ireland. In addition to this, Cork based ‘Movie Juncture’ have confirmed that they plan to open a ‘Drive-thru’ cinema in the docklands area by the end of the summer which is sure to interest both families and professional residents of the area. Undoubtedly, one of the most loved cultural hubs of the Docklands is The Board Gais Energy Theatre which has earned rave reviews due to its fantastic acoustics and world class performances.
One of the most exciting aspects of the Docklands is indisputably the vibrant ‘Silicone Dock’ area. Since the Google Europe HQ’s move to Barrow Street, the Docklands have rapidly developed as an international digital and technological hub. Recent years have seen international global corporations such as Facebook and LinkedIn plus exciting start-ups make the move to the area. Of course, the Docklands have been at the forefront of the Irish economy since the development of the IFSC in 1987. The IFSC has remarkably expanded and developed since, now home to more than half of the world’s Top 50 financial institutions. While premier financial institutions such as PWC, Fortis and Accenture continue to flourish in the area, the Docklands have also begun to emerge as Dublin’s leading legal quarter. Joining the growing legal cluster in the South Docklands in recent years are McCann FitzGerald, Byrne Wallace and Mason Hayes & Curran.
Due to increased investment in recent years, the Docklands boast high quality social infrastructure. Vast open spaces and stunning walkways, the award winning Hanover Quay Garden and the innovative children’s playground in Chimney Park cater for the influx of international renters in the area, families and professionals alike. Despite modern surroundings, the Docklands has always had a strong sense of community which is indeed sustained and embraced today, for example; The Sean O Casey community centre offers a crèche, theatre, sports hall and day care. In addition to this, the stunning IFSC campus of the National College of Ireland offer both part and full time courses in a range of disciplines, spanning from cloud computing to psychology.
Of course, if the rich array of local amenities fails to tempt, Dublin City Centre is only moments away and is accessible from the Docklands via Luas, DART, Bus, Dublin Bikes or even by water taxi.
There truly is much to love about the Docklands, from the constant buzz of the IFSC to the sincere sense of community. A revitalised and absolutely dynamic hub, the Dublin Docklands continue to be an increasingly attractive proposition for buyers and renters alike.
Some of my favourites
Ely Gastro Pub / Bar and Brasserie: Serving a wide variety of national and international beers, great pub food and award winning seasonal Irish produce. Grand Canal Square, Hanover Quay (01 633 9986)/ 1 Georges Dock, IFSC. (01 672 0010)
La Cuvee: modern take on classic French cuisine. Lower Mayor Street, Mayor Square, IFSC. (01 605 4912)
Irish Village Market: The travelling Irish Village Food Market visits Spencer Dock every Wednesday lunchtime, offering a variety of different ethnic treats. http://irishvillagemarkets.ie/
MvCill Airne: Dublin’s original floating restaurant and bar on the River Liffey. Serving clean modern European food and a full bar (01 817 8760)
The Bridge Bar & Bistro: Nestled under the Grand Canal Railway, the Bridge serves fine dining at bistro prices in a laid back, comfortable and friendly atmosphere. The Malting Tower, Grand Canal Quay, D2 (01 639 4941)