Residents of Northumberland Square are to lose their homes as the square in Dublin city centre is to be pulled down for the development of office blocks.

At one time, sixteen families lived on Northumberland Square, but bit by bit the square has been eroded by the demands of urbanisation. There are now plans for a vast new complex covering the entire area.

Northumberland Square, hidden behind noisy Abbey Street, is still a residential community in the heart of Dublin.

The new development planned by Irish Life Assurance is to include office blocks, shops, flats and a garden area. However, there are still people living on the square. The occupiers have been offered compensation or the opportunity to live in the flats in the new complex at a nominal rent. According to Dublin Corporation, 

All the families in the square must be provided with appropriate alternative accommodation before demolition begins.

Almost all the families have decided to move elsewhere. However, for the Flynn family, the attachment to the square is much stronger than any offer of money or alternative accommodation. 

They have their memories stretching back over three generations here and they are not willing to give up their home for any development.

82-year-old Mrs Flynn has lived there all her life when times were tough but community spirit was strong. Her personal memories of living there are entwined with the history of the Irish state. She has memories of the general strike of 1913 and of the 1916 Rising. Mrs Flynn recalls working with Countess Markievicz in the kitchen during the 1913 lockout. 

A more charitable woman you'd never meet.

She witnessed the lancer being shot dead on O'Connell Street in 1916 and being warned by her mother not to leave the house for fear of stray bullets.  

Mrs Flynn's daughters also have great memories of living on the square and the community spirit which was at the heart of life on Northumberland Square. 

We all lived together and we all were one.

The Flynns also recall previous attempts to demolish the square and the resistance these plans met over the last forty years. 

By having to move this house and leave it, I'm giving up part of myself, our community's broken up.

This episode of 'Tangents' was broadcast on 21 May 1973.