FOR several years after the financial crash in 2008, Dublin felt as if it had been shut down at the mains, so it’s a relief that money has now palpably returned to the city. The investment of big IT businesses around the Grand Canal Docks has created a prosperous and cosmopolitan district there. Tourists throng through Temple Bar and its surrounds to the accompanying sound of competing Irish folk bands. After about 5pm, it’s a doubtful privilege to watch hen parties come out in force as well.
Two long-standing problems have persisted through the revival of the city. The first is work on the tram network, which Dubliners seem largely to enjoy blaming for the second: traffic congestion. Far outweighing either problem, however, is what seems to be a growing popular interest in the historic fabric of Dublin. I was struck, for example, to see numbers of private Georgian and Victorian houses in the process of restoration. It added to the illusion of the city revelling in its history that there were numerous tours on the theme of the Easter Rising. They may have been driven around in double-decker buses, but they were led by characters dressed in period costume. JG