Ten years after ‘7 Days’ first visited Sheriff Street in the north inner city of Dublin, ‘Today Tonight’ returns to the area to see what changes have occurred during the intervening years.

Reporter Michael Rafferty interviews young people from Sheriff Street about their experiences of crime, unemployment and their hopes for the future. He finds most of them experience the same frustrations and defeats as the children featured ten years previously.

The kids of Sheriff Street are the same as anywhere else. They have their dreams...

The main problem facing the community is unemployment and there is a belief that employers do not trust people from Sheriff Street. The future for those in their twenties seems particularly bleak with one man saying

I don’t even think about it.

For the children now growing up in Sheriff Street there are soccer clubs and scouts to help alleviate the depression of living in a hopeless environment. But Rafferty identifies that the key to meeting the needs of the community is the 27 acre Custom House Dock site which the government plans to redevelop. 

To tackle the problems of urban decay the state institutions need to take the Sheriff Street community into account when planning this redevelopment. If their solution is to move people out of the area, this will be a great tragedy, not just to the community, but to Dublin.

Ten years on there are still major problems in Sheriff Street, but there is also a great sense of community.

It is this sense of community that the people who make the political decisions do not seem to realise has to be encouraged and allowed grow.

This episode of ‘Today Tonight’ was broadcast on 8 January 1986. The reporter is Michael Rafferty.