Back in 1999, when I came home first, I was job hunting, looking for anything basically I could sell myself into. One of the options was technical writing and eventually, I found myself applying for a job with an educational software company. I cannot remember the name of them and I have no idea if they even still exist. A lot happened between then and now, and educational software is not what we are pinning our hats to at the moment.
Anyway, this educational software company – we’d call it an edtech startup now, I suspect – were in the process of moving offices and didn’t want, for the first interview at least to bring their candidates into the chaos of their offices so they invited me for a first interview in the Ormond Hotel. To this day, it is the only time I was in the building and to be honest, I do not remember much about it at this stage. I did not do hotels at the time, and I do not do them much in Dublin since I live here and do not drink cocktails.
It is also the last time I have been in it. But I drive past it every single day and it is deteriorating badly. Apparently the hotel itself closed in 2005 and permission has been refused to demolish it and replace it with a new development. That decision happened in 2014. We are now 2016.
One of the things which saddens me about Dublin is just how much dereliction there is around the city. At some point, someone is going to have to make a hard decision about the hotel. I don’t care that it featured in James Joyce’s Ulysses – I’m not from Dublin and for all the books I’ve read in my life, he’s not God. Ultimately, it is one thing not to approve of a given design for a replacement building, but I cannot believe at this point that the Ormond Hotel as it exists is positive or sustainable either. In many respects, it is an utter blight on its location. Some more of the front panelling appears to have been taken again recently.
I just wonder, at this point, what development is preferable to letting the site decay still further. It isn’t fair on the people of Dublin that this state of affairs is allowed to continue. That major sites in the city centre just decay like that. IN the context of a campaign to clean up the city, it’s depressing. We can pick up all the paper we like but frankly, as long as the fabric of the city is decaying, it doesn’t matter much if there isn’t any dust on the roads.