Dublin: In Wards

Thom’s 1904 map

Looking at the map of a city is a puzzling exercise because maps are about division so naturally the thoughts that have percolated in my mind from looking at Thom’s 1804 map of Dublin have been primarily concerned with separation. The puzzling part is that this division expressed by a map does not necessarily equate to division in place, but it often does. It seems that when a place, or ward in this case, has a name, it is its own entity and is thus concerned with holding up a reputation of its history, even in a feigned way.

Los Angeles: as separated by neighborhood

Thom 1904 map of Dublin got me thinking of Los Angeles and how very subdivided it is and how each area has a distinct quality that is often attributed with its name or vice versa. There are many other maps of Los Angeles I found that, instead of marking the different neighborhoods with random colors, they are separted by pictures of what the neighborhood is famous for. (I’m sure you have seen greeting cards in gift stores with images like this.)

This off topic of travel diary comparison is to say that separation exists even if I don’t want it to because I don’t want different colors on a map to have to mean something. I don’t want to assume.

A quick search of ‘wards of dublin’ leads me to movetodublin.com that succinctly informs me that the most stark ward division in Dublin is between north and south by the Liffey River. This division translates to an upper class south and a lower class north. In 1904, the major railway was in the north, and the majority of the trams were in the south. This division is representative of Kilfeather’s discussion of The War of Independence in Chapter 8. She writes of a Dublin filled with, “slums, poverty and class divisions” (201). Although the war happened, this divide still exists in full force in the city of Dublin.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Avery,

    Very nice connecting the wards of Dublin to neighborhoods in Los Angeles. I find it interesting that the most prominent division in Dublin is the River Liffey. From the map it almost seems as if the river divided the city in two. I think the River Liffey can be compared to how major freeways section off several of the neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Thom’s map of Dublin was during the time that Ireland was still a part of the British Empire so I wonder if there are demographic patterns throughout the city’s wards of Irish natives and British settlers represented in his map.

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