State should purchase and refurbish O'Casey House on North Circular Road
23 June 2020
The decision by Dublin City Council not to proceed with the purchase of 422 North Circular Road is most disappointing. It is a semi-derelict house and has been in a poor state of repair for a considerable time.
It was there that Sean O’Casey wrote his famous trilogy – The Shadow of a Gunman, Juno and the Paycock and The Plough and the Stars in the 1920s.
This is the same part of the North Inner City which inspired so much of James Joyce’s writing. Both writers bring to life the extraordinary language and character of the people of the area in fiction and dramatisation.
O’Casey was a working-class man who grew up in poverty in the North Inner City. He participated in all the great events and turmoil that brought about Irish independence. He writes about the poor but incredibly resilient people of the Inner City.
While Joyce has a Centre dedicated to his artistic work in North Great George’s Street, O’Casey has been totally neglected in this respect. It is time that proper recognition was given to O’Casey as a great writer and dramatist.
422 North Circular Road where so much of his best work was written would be an ideal centre for promoting O’Casey’s legacy and encouraging young writers.
It is time that the State stepped in, and purchased and refurbished the building for the nation.