I've been taking photographs for about 20 years or so. Originally I shot on film and over the years I've collected a large quantity of negative and slide film. It's been sitting in my closet for some time, but recently I've been going through it and scanning in some of my old photos. The results were a bit of an eye opener. What struck me, and it’s something that I hadn't realised, but I was taking lots of photos of Dublin in a similar fashion to my Streets of Dublin project now.
The images in this collection were taken over a period of time from around 1997 to sometime in the early 2000's (around 2002). It wasn't such a long time ago, but it's amazing how much the city has changed since then. While some parts are the same, some other things have changed significantly. At the start of this period I wan't living in the city. I was working in Dublin, but still commuting from my home town of Wicklow. As such I spent a lot of time getting the train from Connolly station. While it was part of my daily routine at the time, I can't believe how strange it looks now. Since these shots were taken the station has undergone a major refurbishment, and of course, the Luas tram system now stops there also.
Other parts of the city have changed significantly since then too. When I was scanning in these images of O'Connell Street, and the GPO I wasn't quite sure what they were at first they look so different. These were taken before the major refurbishment of the street and the installation of the Spire. It's funny to look at, because the area is once again under construction for the cross city Luas project, and so will have gone through two major developments since these were taken.
The Liffey and the iconic Ha'penny bridge looks similar to how it is now at first, until you look closer and realise that the boardwalk is missing. And the bridge itself is a dark grey and the surface seems to be quite different from how it is today.
The other place that I couldn't believe the changes in when I came across these shots, is the Powerscourt Town House. I used to go to a cafe there that was somewhere on the top floor, but is now long gone. The building has obviously gone through major renovation since these were taken. The floor was open, and it looks like none of the shops that are around the outside of the main floor were there at the time. I spend a good bit of time there now, and it's hard to even remember that it used to look like this.
It's amazing how in such a short period of time the city has been transformed. I have lots more to share, and in the next part I'll look at the Grafton street area and some shots of temple bar.
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