Brief history of St Michael's Estate

St. Michael's Estate is a community with a long history. Its land is historical and has come through many changes over its years of existence. In the early part of the Century 'Richmond Barracks' was home to the occupying English army and became known as Keogh Barracks. In 1945, the Barracks closed and was donated to the local authority for housing purposes. Keogh Square became home to many new tenants of Dublin Corporation and for many, the memories of Keogh Square are warm and happy - for others not so. Some of the people placed in one part of the square were place there because they were poor and could not afford to pay rent in the tenements of Dublin City. The Square became known as one of the worst slums in Dublin and many of the older people of the city remember the Square.

In 1969 changes in housing policy for the city saw the development of Ballymun. A French style of Architecture - high rise, open space, closed in balconies and entralised heating system. Thirty six years down the road of history, their faults can be identified, but back in the 1970's the initiatives to overcome bad housing and deprivation was welcomed. People who lived on the Estate in the 1970's were proud of their Community. They were a people who contributed to many of the struggles in relation to housing issues in the city. The Rent Strike by the National Association of Tenants Organisation (1970's) being one of them.

The Estate for the first ten years of its life was stable, the conditions were good and in the 1980's things began to change. Tenants who could avail of the Dublin Corporation Housing Grant of €5,000 did so and they moved out to Tallaght, Clondalkin and Cherry Orchard. Many of the tenants who moved were active leaders in the Community and this resulted in creating a gap and began a process of 'transience' that has continued through to today.

The turnover of tenancies had detrimental effects for St. Michael's Estate. It created an imbalance between young and old, single and those married, employed and unemployed. The Estate became predominantly single parents, many who suffered poverty and its effects. The 1980's saw the flats begin to deteriorate with poor maintenance, broken lifts, vandalised flats, crime and drugs. Drugs took over the Estate in the 1990's resulting in the people seeking to have their community demolished and regenerated.

Unfortunately the drugs have continued to this day, and the new drug of choice is cocaine which is having very serious effects on the direct community and surrounding communities.

Since 1998 the process of regeneration has been in place. In April 2003 the first groups and families of people moved to their new homes. In July 2004 the first six blocks were demolished making way for land to be developed. A plan for St. Michael's Estate was rejected by the Minister of the Environment making way for a public/private partnership. This put the community into conflict with Dublin City Council. Delaying the development further. In 2005 there has been a settlement and the project continues with the plan of 720 units on the site of St. Michael's Estate including existing community facilities. In the year 2006 following intense work by the community on the St. Michael's Estate Regeneration Board and its sub groups - a design for four acres to house the existing tenants was agreed and planning permission gained progressing the regeneration. The developer was chosen in November 2006 but to date no agreement has been signed with developer. Unfortunately we are now in 2008 and despite all the funds, work, time, energy and commitment not one brick has been laid on St Michael's estate since the PPP process began!

Richmond Barracks

Once home to the occupying English army & later known as Keogh Barracks.

French style Architecture

High rise, open space, closed in balconies and entralised heating system.

Flats begin to deteriorate

Poor maintenance, broken lifts, vandalised flats, crime and drugs.