HISTORY is a show about a place. The fourteen acre site which was once home to St.Michael’s Estate is littered with symbols of the last one hundred years of the social history of Ireland. To the right of where the final the tower block is still being cleared away on the now barren site of St Michael’s is an empty British army barracks Richmond Barracks. This was also the site of Keogh Square, a renovated army digs transformed by the first free state government into one of the site’s first interventions in social housing. Just east of the estate lies the Sisters of Mercy convent, home to the Goldenbridge School. Between the Estate and the grand canal lies a graveyard, where the remains of W.T. Cosgrave lie; the man who campaigned valiantly for adequate social housing’s grave is now shadowed by empty tower blocks. St Michael’s Estate itself was one of the most run down social housing complexes in Dublin and became an iconic symbol of the economic downturn in 2008, when developer McNamara pulled out of a PPP to regenerate the estate following years of conflict and empty promises between the residents and Dublin City Council.
HISTORY is the final part of a trilogy about Ireland. The first part is THE FAMILY which looks at our first society, the place which forms us as citizens and makes us who we are. The second part; the award winning HEROIN, uses the drug heroin as a frame to talk about how we value each other as people in modern Ireland and how these class distinctions and fragmentation have come about through state interventions such as social housing, health service and the care system.
HISTORY is a new project by THEATREclub. It’s a Public Art Commision from Dublin City Council to mark the regeneration of St Michael’s Estate.