Beginnings & Development

The North Inner City Folklore Project has its roots in the 1980s when the Custom House Docks Development Authority was set up.

In response to fears around Sheriff Street that the area was under threat from large-scale development, members of the Folklore Project conducted interviews with local people to record their life experiences for posterity.

Terry Fagan was a central figure and over time, he effectively became the sole custodian of the archive that had been created.

Over the years, he has repeatedly pressed the case for a permanent home for the archive.

Tenements in Summerhill being knocked down 1980s
Children from around Railway Street and Corporation Buildings in Rutland Street School children 1920s

The fortunes of the Folklore Project were to change when, in 2016, the Government commissioned former head of the Workplace Relations Commission, Kieran Mulvey to report on the profound challenges facing the area and to recommend specific measures which would support its economic and social regeneration.

One important observation he made was that a “considerable level of archival material exists locally to justify the creation of a permanent centralised exhibition space”.

The North East Inner City Taskforce and Dublin City Council subsequently provided the Folklore Project with a premises on Railway Street.

This has now been transformed into an immersive visitor experience where people are invited to observe exhibits relating to life in the tenements and the years that followed, and to absorb the atmosphere that existed when these items were in regular use.

Static and rolling exhibitions of photos bring to life the challenges and conditions that people faced in their daily lives. Visitors are also invited to hear recorded recollections of past lives as well as eyewitness accounts of historic events.


Tenement interior, Dublin City. © Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland.

Our ambition is to shine a light on the illustrious past of the North Inner City and to engage visitors with the fascinating story of the people who have lived, worked and played on these streets.

Come and join us!

Do you have family memorabilia or stories about life in the North Inner City? We’d love to hear from you: