Dublin Then And Now is a hugely popular Facebook page. Listen to the audio documentary below or keep reading and enjoy!
He’s a hard man to track down. He’s nearly incognito when I meet him. He has an air of suspiciousness towards me. What breaks the ice is the very hot coffee I carry in my hand just as he requested it (1 sugar and show it the milk!). The hot coffee melts the ice. We are in The Botanic Gardens, the late Dublin summer appears to be trying it’s best to make an impact on us Dubs. We find a bench. The bees and birds are hummin’ behind us and lawnmowers are keeping the grass milimetres high.
I start by asking Liam how the page came about.
Liam: The page we are talking about is Dublin Then And Now. I thought of the page in 2013 when I was looking for comparison shots of Dublin and there were very very few out there so I got the page up and running. I try and post 2 photographs a day, one Northside, one Southside. I saw other city’s around the world doing the same thing, not exactly the way I was doing it but similiar with different angles . I will always try and get the angle as close as possible to the original. That would be the optimum situation. Failing that I will put it up with the angle as close to the original as possible. I started off very slow paced, maybe a post every day or two and slowly it build up. I’ve left the site open, I dont restrict it, any body can comment on the photos unless they start being abusive.
Mike ‘What has the feedback been on the site not just from Dublin, but from all over the world?’
Liam ‘Feedback has been very good, the map that we have for our views shows that we have every English speaking country in the world looking at the page in that respect.
Mike’ Over the years taking photos of Dublin how have you seen it change in that time?’
Liam: ‘Well the ore obvious example of that is O’ Connell Street. The trams are a necessary evil but the biggest problem with Dublin is Dublin City Council. They are just not doing the job. Poor planning for a start. We are here in Glasnevin now and 2 planning applications are in which have been passed with non descript buildings whereas nobody in Galsnevin would object to a decent planning proposal put in of architectural signifigance but they don’t, they put in these square buildings that everyone is sick and tired of and we get no say in the matter, we think we do have a say and at the end of the day the builder gets the planning so what’s the point?!’
Mike ‘Where do you see Dublin going in the next 15/20 years?’
Liam ‘I see the cycling lanes taking over, that’s not necessarily a good thing either, it’s good for cyclists, but not everyone cycles, I’m at a stage now where I can’t cycle and it will not benefit me or people like me in any way. Where I live for example they are talking about cutting down trees and putting cycle lines instead. That’s not the way to go. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against cycle lanes persay but I think the council are being led by the Green Party is not helping the situation.’
Mike ‘What would you change about the city?’
Liam’ Can we go back to O’ Connell Street?? Sandwich boards. Regulate the signage on O’ Connell Street. The fast food places were taking over the pavement, if they are going to do that they should be regulated. Let’s put proper rules and regulations in place for it so the street goes back to being O’ Connell Street again. They are also talking about Clerys opening again, that was a very very bad day for our main street in the country when it closed. The idea of knocking down old buildings was bad in 60s and 70s was bad and they are more careful now. ‘
Mike: ‘The process involved in the posts to the page. Can you talk me through it?’
Liam: ‘First of all I get the origianl photograph and I edit it and make it as clear and good as possible, repair it etc…. People ask me where I got my copy, but i just repair the ones I have, cracks etc. People will comment ‘where did I get my copy?’ Etc, I didn’t get my copy, I edited mine.Once that’s done I search on google maps to see if I can get a similair angle, or if I know I’m going to a particular place I will save the photograph and do a comparison shot. Most of the shots on the site are from Google Maps and I would use them.’
Mike ‘How much time per week are you putting in to this each week??’
Liam' ‘ Good question! I put what I can in to it. 2 posts day and by the time you do all the angles and everything else I probably do on the site about an hour a day. Its 7 hours a week, that’s a full time job every 5 weeks!!! ‘
Mike ‘Liam it has been my pleasure to finally meet you and all the very best with this brillaint page! Can you give me your 3 favourite ‘Then and Now’ before ya go!!
I would like to formally thank Liam for his time and you can follow his Facebook page here: