Mod Note: Split from 'Working in Malahide...' thread. HB
That’s a fairly sweeping statement there Elle. There are many many developments in the general area you mention built by 10+ different developers to varying degrees of craftsmanship. As a resident of Clongriffin for 5 years I resent it being labeled a kip. There are problems, yes, stalled development due to the recession and it is well documented that some of the earlier parts of the estate are affected by pyrite, but this is a minority of homes. The wider town was subject to a proper urban design by professional architects which is more than can be said of many parts of the country. Of course this master plan will take some time to complete considering the current climate.
Hard for me to be objective, obviously, but I’ll try to be. I live in a very well designed townhouse facing onto the spectacular (most who see it would not disagree, Google it) and award winning Fr. Collins Park. I have a 5 minute walk to a crèche in the mornings and then I can catch a DART to be in town in 20. If I don’t fancy the DART there then I can get the 128 Dublin Bus at a 10 minute frequency which will drop me on Dawson St. Also very handy after a night out.
The long term trajectory of Clongriffin is uncertain yes, but it won’t be helped by the like of you dragging it down.
Galwaygirlpr, Clongriffin is a grand place to live with excellent public transport and recreational facilities. However, it is a work in progress with respect to shops, cafes etc. There are very little right now so if you want something a bit more settled go for somewhere like Raheny. However, if you’d rather a large modern apartment for decent rates and 2 good public transport choices then consider Clongriffin.
I don't need to google it. I am familiar with all the areas I mentioned and particularly Clongriffin as I have family members who've bought there and bitterly regret having done so. I can't blame them as Clongriffin has clearly been designed like some sort of human lego-land with roads so narrow parking is literally impossible on many of them and it's a job and a half to do a three point turn. Maybe since you're using public transport you haven't noticed these issues as they don't yet affect you but they may do at some point.
As for recreational facilities, there is feck-all going on in Clongriffin and it is disingenuous to say otherwise. And as for shopping, the superquinn hasn't opened yet and there is no sign of it opening either, despite years of pressure from local politicians. I'm glad to hear you're happy in your home but it is clear you're trying to promote the reputation of your area by being selective with the facts and I personally think that's very unfair on the OP.
Well I guess it’s your relatives prerogative to regret living somewhere because of parking or because they can’t do a 3-point turn. However, most would not consider this makes a place a kip.
If a 52 acre park with 6 playing pitches, a skate park, 2 playgrounds, an outdoor concert arena, fitness points and peripheral walking/cycle track doesn’t constitute decent recreational facilities then I don’t know what does. There was €20 million spent on it, it would want to provide some modicum of recreation.
I also noted the regular bus service and a DART station. I then stated honestly that there was little in the way of shops and if the OP needs such amenities to try Raheny or elsewhere. But considering the OP only asked about somewhere “along the DART line that would be convenient to commute” to both Malahide and the City Centre, then I think Clongriffin ticks both boxes and I can’t see how you could possible argue otherwise.
So… with that said I don’t feel I misrepresented the area, was unfair to the OP or disingenuous in any way. You just don’t like the place and decided to label it a kip based on your relatives parking experiences.
You also stated that “Clongriffin, Balgriffin and Belmayne are all kips in the making”. That’s a wider geographic area than just Clongriffin. Within said space there are roads of varying width. Then you went on the generalize the wider area as being “full of badly thrown up shoe [sic] box apartments”. Again, I take umbrage. You are referring to a wide sample of homes and styles and there have been many developers involved in their construction. Some were probably not great, some would generally regarded as good. Developers that build homes here have also build homes in Malahide and other parts of town. It’s not fair to paint such a broad stroke of the whole area.
And though I am defending the neighbourhood from glib comments to the effect that you made I feel I have been fair in my representation. Of course there are nicer places to live, I am not naive, but I am enjoying living here. However, as you know there is a large building site adjacent and if the neighbourhood is to continue to develop in the future it will require the likes of me to counter the likes of your negative online criticism, particularly if I feel it is unfair. I am perfectly entitled to my opinions as you are yours but I really don’t think parking issues make a place a kip.
*PS – And this is a genuine offer, I’m not being smart. If your relatives would like to get involved in the community in Clongriffin they can contact me. Considering the current economic climate it may not be possible for them to sell up and move right now so making the best of what they have might help. It may be possible to instigate proper parking policies via the management company/developer.
*PPS – Yes, it is unlikely Superquinn will open any time in the near future. I was involved in a local petition to try and get them to do so. We were in the Northside People there a while back.
Oh yes... here are some people in Fr. Collins Park this Sunday (August 15th) enjoying some recreation as part of the Northside Music Festival.
Nobody ever said you weren't entitled to your opinions and to be honest it's nice to hear that not everybody is having as negative an experience as my relations. If the extreme narrowness of many of the roads was the only issue of concern going on down there I wouldn't be inclined to label Clongriffin a kip on that basis alone.
The parking issues are only one aspect of the problems my relatives have relayed to me. I'd be more inclined to say that their "large modern apartment" falling down around their ears is a problem, or the fact that many of the apartments adjoining them have had social welfare sponsered drug dealers moved in to them.
True, a person moving into Clongriffin mightn't find themselves in that situation but then my relations didn't see it coming before they bought there either.
That's decent on your part but I can assure you my relations are as involved in Clongriffin as they want to get, and they are already making the best of what they have, which isn't easy with young kids in those kind of conditions. Also it would not be possible to rectify the parking situation where they live. There simply isn't the room. In order for that to happen they'd have to lift up the apartment blocks and pull them at least ten feet further apart.
I'm sorry that my opinions are causing you to be annoyed, it is not intentional, but I see a lot of ghettoisation coming down the line for Clongriffin and the other new estates surrounding it; in fact, with the evidence of my own eyes, I see it already happening.
Alright, your relation’s experience then… but this does not mean every apartment in the place is falling apart. It’s unfair to generalize. Like I said, many developers, varying standards. Take a look around the net, newspapers etc, you will find similar problems in any number of developments around the city. That doesn't mitigate in any way of course. One wonders what building regulations are there for .
Also, and this is very important, if there are unsavory characters renting next door to your family it can be rectified. All the developments here are part of management companies and must abide by strict house rules. This situation can be dealt with via the proper channels. If it is true that the Department of Social Welfare (or Protection now I think) are housing drug dealers then this is a very serious matter. To my knowledge social welfare tenants (a percentage of which are in all new estates due to the part 5 housing legislation) are vetted before being assigned accommodation. If they are engaging in criminal activity they can be evicted. So I would urge your relatives to report this matter to the council and the gardai as a matter of urgency. Again, I may be able to help if you they want to get in touch.
Regarding ghettoization of Clongriffin… I don’t see it and many of my neighbours don’t see it. However we are acutely aware that the area needs to be kept clean and attractive to future residents when this economic mess is over. We want Clongriffin to be seen as a positive location on this side of the city. There are many young professionals like myself, with young families, that purchased property at probably the worst time one could have imagined in this country. For that reason there will be no upping stix and leaving if it doesn't work out here. We have a very active Resident’s Association here and we set up many events in an effort keep this estate a success. And part of that is, and will continue to be, to promote the area and defend it against comments we feel are unwarranted.
Anyway… we’re not going to change each other’s opinions here so I guess it’s up to the OP or anyone else to make up their own minds on the place.
But I will say again… your contention that a social welfare tenant is dealing drug should be followed up as this is a serious matter.
P.S. Your relatives can get help from local residents if they logon here and ask for it www.clongriffinresidents.com
I applaud you for doing your best for your area, but I think Clongriffin would be better protected against an influx of drug dealers than comments which draw attention to them. I have already urged my relations to report this but we are not talking about drug dealing going on in one apartment, we're talking about several, and naturally my relatives are frightened that it will be obvious who did the reporting. I will continue to encourage them though.
You are right in that we are not going to change each others opinions so there's no point going round in circles over it. All I know is I wouldn't do a house-swap with my relatives in Clongriffin if you gave me the place mortgage free, and they are not in one of the pyrite developments by the way; it's just a lousy quality build, like the rest of the apartments immediately around them.
I will be passing on that link though, thank you for that.
I still find it difficult to believe that drug dealing could be going on in several apartments, especially if they are social welfare units as to my knowledge the council are very careful about who they house these days.
However, if your relatives get in touch via the resident’s website I forwarded we’ll see what we can do. There are plenty laws in place nowadays for the removal of problem tenants be they social welfare housed or private. Nobody should have to put up with that kind of behavior beside them.
The problem there skD13 is that all the council can do is run a garda clearance check on a person and all that does is notify the council whether or not a person has a record of criminal convictions. There is no shortage of people who would make seriously undesirable neighbours who've never had a criminal conviction in their lives. Besides that, it should be noted that a person does not need to be in social housing to make an undesirable neighbour or to sell drugs; I know of people in private housing (not in Clongriffin) precisely because they sell drugs.
Of course, of course... but there are means to deal with this also. Especially if it is a private rental. More difficult if it's a private owner.
For one, if the management company is being run properly it can start with a warning to the tenants and then the landlord. At a last resort it can end up in the courts. But, crucially, the person affected can stay anonymous as it can all be done via the management company as a legal entity.
That is not only Clongriffin that is affected by this though - pyrite, which is the cause of this, has affected many houses throughout the country.
However from the rail line, what is seen of the areas at either side of the track is not exactly appealing to the eye. During the boom, when some architect's were paid to design apartments, it's like all they did, in many cases was just draw a few squares on a page, no thought went into making them look decent from the outside.
The problems with this apartment might not have anything to do with pyrite. Pyrite affects some of the houses in the estate but not all. And I’m talking about just Clongriffin now, not any of the states up along Belmayne or Balgriffin.
If the apartment is in a larger block where the foundations were pile driven then it can’t be a pyrite problem. This is how I understand it from talking to civil engineers… I’m an engineer myself but not in construction. It may just be poor workmanship on the part of the original developer and best case it could be superficial. But it is impossible to tell without the facts.
Just to make it clear, as the pyrite fiasco is stressful enough for people… not all units in an effected development are damaged by pyrite (except by association maybe). Some house were built at different times, with different infill and even some where defective infill was used was not at a level that can cause problems. Tests are required to determine if there is a problem… and the worst affected will experience cracking and floor heaving etc. And any apartment in a larger block (with underground car park etc.) would not be affected due to the way the foundations are put in place.
Re. apartment blocks looking well or otherwise… I think some of the blocks in Clongriffin look good, others not so good. But aesthetic is a matter of opinion… There was a time when the establishment wanted to raze our Georgian terraces. Even now some modernist buildings, long thought to be a blight on the skyline, are being hailed as having artistic merit (saw a documentary on Liberty Hall for example and there is a core group out there that love it!) . As long as the balconies are kept well, planted etc. and the external decorations are maintained, painted etc., then even an “ugly” block can make the most of it.
Some people don’t like apartment blocks full stop and Irish culture seems to have an aversion to any kind of high rise living. Unfortunately though in the city there just isn’t enough land for everyone to have a 3-bed semi with garden. The problem isn’t so much as I see it high density living… but more how multi-unit developments are managed and the size of the units inside. You will never sell apartment living to people if you can’t swing a cat in the apartment or, as in Elle’s family’s case, anti-social elements move in next door. The Multi-Unit Development Bill should fix a lot of the management issues when it becomes law in October. Also, many of the apartments in Clongriffin were build after building regulations stipulated a minimum size for apartments so depending on the block a lot of them are larger than say what was build in town in the 90s, but maybe they could do with being a bit bigger for some. I also have a problem with the number of 1 beds being given planning in the suburbs. I think 1-bed apartments are only suitable for the city centre… but that’s just my opinion and I won’t elabourate on why I think this.
Anyway, no matter what you did on that train line, right along the route it looks terrible with all the graffiti and tags. There’s the odd splash of colour that isn’t too bad I guess but most of it is just talentless scrawl.
Worth bearing in mind that the Darndale estate nearby was also a proper urban design by professional architects, and won awards also. But that was built completely for social housing.
I'd firstly question the building of some much high density housing at the edge of a city. I think would be better suited in a location closer to the city itself.
The "streets" of these estate do look very cramped to me. I agree that everyone can't expect to live in a 3-bed+ semi-d with a front and back garden, but Belmayne and Clongriffins apartments and townhouses aren't exactly built to Continental standard with the space to raise a family.
Also, in relation to tackling drug dealers. Its all very well saying the they can be reported, but considering how dangerous people like this can be, its not that straight-forward. Across the road in Grattan Hall, the fairly recent killing of Warren O'Connor shows the dangers of taking on people who've a total disregard for the law, and human life (originated in a dispute over a noisy party).
I agrees some of the densities out here may have been driven by Celtic Tiger mentality but in that respect the downturn may actually give time to step back and rethink the strategy. There is a lot of undeveloped land here and there is anecdotally still a “shortage” of traditional housing near the city so maybe some of the densities will be reconsidered in the coming years. At 6 miles from town (I’ve clocked it to the junction of Parnell & Gardiner St.) and a 17min DART ride away you could still consider Clongriffin relatively close to town. But for high densities and commercial development, maybe that is a bit optimistic.
Here’s where I disagree with Elle and people who think Clongriffin and the Northern Fringe will be another “ghetto” and another failed experiment in urban planning. Despite what some may think, what is built so far is actually largely occupied. In Clongriffin anyway practically all of the earlier releases were sold and the latter are either sold or for the most part rented. There is not that many empty units in Clongriffin itself. And in these units are a hell of a lot of people who bought in boom time. Some may have always intended to stay, some may have seen it a stepping stone to another area or larger home. But what most now realize is that that won’t be happening for quite some time thanks to negative equity. So perversely, this NE prison has engendered significant community spirit in the area as people realize, “hang on a minute, I may not have the option of moving on here if I don’t like it, so I better start making sure the place ends up being a nice place to live”. This realization has mobilized people in a very positive way, instead of wallowing in pity about how the mortgage won’t be paid off for half a lifetime. People are starting to see the area a home and this an important step towards developing community. Now, if we didn’t have the park and the DART to utilize we might be a little more cheesed off, but these 2 vital amenities are crucial to the place and give hope that when things turn it will attract more people and the place might actually get finished.
Also, another reason why I believe ghettoization won’t occur is because it is not an exclusively social estate of old. Without getting into what went wrong back in the day, Clongriffin and the Northern fringe is a mix of social units (as is any new estate due to part 5 legislation and they are managed excellently by bodies such as the Iveagh Trust) right up to houses that people paid €650k for… crazy I know but this was the madness of the times. So you have a quite a social mix here. It is not a hot-bed of unemployment or anything of the sort that can lead to problems that estates have experiences in the past. Judging by the amount of people still getting the bus and DART at rush our I’d say unemployment is well below the national average… this purely speculative of course… I have no stats whatsoever.
And regarding Elle’s family’s experience… I’d be surprised if this wasn’t a private rental either directly or via social welfare. And as she said drug dealers can end up residing anywhere. It’s about how you deal with them. As in the case of Warren O’Connor… a terribly terrible tragedy, it was a direct physical confrontation which is NEVER recommended. It has to be done by the proper channels and anonymously. I am pretty sure this was a private rental and I know that due to a lapse in the enforcement of house rules by the directors of the management company at that time, this unit was not reprimanded for anti-social behavior that had already occurred previously. If I remember rightly the perpetrators were guests at that party and if that unit had been clamped down upon via pressure on them and their landlord in time, then that party would not have happened and that innocent man would still be alive.
That would me my thinking anyway… gotta stay positive… I’m going nowhere .
I also have to disagree with statement made about how Clongriffin is a "kip". I live in a large 2 bedroom apartment (not falling down around me) in a small block with is approx 90% owner occupied. Those that rent are forced to adhere to the house rules and the management company have been excellent in dealing with any breach of these. The builders have been fantastic and even 2yrs on they are very good at coming out to solve any little issue that has arisen at no charge. As a location I am very happy with it. We have a car park with even a few guest spaces and I've never had any issue doing 3 point turns in the estate . The DART alows me to return home to visit family on the southside without having to use my car and the 128 bus makes my commute to work a breeze. Yes facilities are limited in the estate, I don't think anyone said otherwise, but using words like "kip" and "ghetto" is rather dramatic. Clearly my idea of a kip or a getto differs from yours. I use nearby Baldoyle library which is 5mins by car, Dunnes is down the road in Donaghmede, Tescos in Clarehall is also down the road. If you'd like a nice Superquinn Sutton is 10mins in the car.
Its awful to hear your relations are having such a rotten time, perhaps like others suggested they should get involved a bit more in the community they might find some much needed support in dealing with the problems they are encountering. The RA's in the area are very proactive and have been successful in doing a lot of good work for the community. If they are living next to "drug dealers" I can only imagine how horrific that is but it's hardly an accurate representation of the entire estate, believe me if it was I wouldn't have bought there. I bought my home in the last 24mths and did a lot of research on the area before going through with the purchase. However, drugs in Ireland are everywhere. The papers recently documented a number of houses that were raided in what would be considered "well to do areas" where large seizures were made!
Of course your entitled to your opinion in the same way the rest of us are but as someone who actually lives in Clongriffin, day in day out, I think residents have a bit more insight. Having relations living there is not the same as spending time there yourself,however, I do hope they get some help to make their living situation more bearable