In 2008, the Irish economy went into Recession for the first time since the 1980s. I’d entered college the same year, so my prospects were not looking good for when I got out. Businesses were closing all over the city, thousands of people were losing their jobs and many of my friends who had completed trades were emigrating to the UK, Canada or Australia. There was a real sense of hopelessness throughout the country, let alone the Capital.
For one of my first college projects, I decided that I wanted to capture this break outlook. The feeling of having no direction, against an empty Dublin with closing businesses. I got up at 5am on several mornings and photographed the empty streets of Temple Bar, before the city came to life. I was there at 5.45 most mornings and that’s when the vast majority of these photos were taken.
Temple Bar was an obvious choice - it was the city’s hub, the main tourist trap . It sat under the looming Central Bank Building and it was filled with ‘For Sale’ signs and permanently-closed shutter-windows. The Vacancy signs and boarded up windows around Dublin’s hippest district felt all the more poignant without human interaction.
So here it is - over a decade on.
Empty streets and stolen milk cartons.
Hopeless graffiti and incomplete buildings.
Closed businesses and filthy walls.
This is the Dublin I remember of 2008.