The red bricked laneways and apartment blocks of the South Inner City Dublin have been visited by conspicuous demographic transition the past decade.
Generally regarded as a solid working class area favourable to republican and left politics, since the Crash the area has witnessed a major population shift on account of mass migration.
The beating heart of Ireland’s Brazilian community, brought in by the runaway and a badly regulated language school sector, the area also plays host to a numerically burgeoning Islamic community primarily of Pakistani descent as well as gentrification through the growing preponderance of affluent foreign students and white collar workers.
Census figures within migrant communities are notoriously unreliable, though the 2016 census indicates a rate of circa 30% foreign born for the South Inner City. Our Freedom of Information requests some months back showed 32% of the area’s housing list consisting of foreign born applicants as a measure of how cosmopolitan the area has become.
Very visible on a street level, these demographic shifts were highlighted with the green lighting by An Bord Pleanála of a mosque renovation for the area just off Clanbrassil Street. An active mosque since 1992, Blackpitts primarily caters to the Pakistani community under the auspices of the Deobandi religious movement.
A former creamery turned Islamic site, the mosque came to public attention over its breaking of pandemic restrictions in the hosting of religious festivities, as well as past support of Osama Bin Laden by the mosque’s imam.
Blending the area’s recognisable red brick aesthetic to Islamic designs, the development endeavours to see a custom built multi-storey mosque alongside 27 residential apartments, replacing the current haphazard arrangements for worshipers.
Financed by British born clothing businessman Azhar Bari, if actioned the development would complement the already existing mosque on South Circular Road, as well as the recently approved Lucan Mosque.
With work hoping to commence as soon as possible to fulfill Mr Bari’s wish that his father witness the completion of the mosque, the plans have met with some opposition by Councillor Mannix Flynn on planning grounds. In documents released, residents listed their objections on the grounds that the height and size of the planned mosque would negatively impact on their quality of life.
Additionally, the announcement was met with some criticism by People Before Profit Councillor Tine McVeigh on the grounds of worsening the traffic situation for the locality.
With planning documents listing expected weekly attendance of 500 for Friday prayers, the development potentially copperfastens the demographic presence of the Islamic community on that swathe of South Inner City Dublin.
Hampered by a NIMBYist planning culture, Ireland has a relative paucity of mosques in relation to our Islamic population (63,000 strong per the 2016 census).
As the demographic wheels shift and our political regime seeks to integrate Islamic populations more and more into the civic space, expect this situation to rapidly alter.
European metropolities have seen marked transformations of their urban cores in single generations through the explosion in Islamic population in recent decades and all the issues that come in tandem.
In Britain, working class areas have been swallowed up by Islamic population growth. Dublin’s South Inner City alongside certain Irish Midland towns (Ballyhaunis, Ballaghaderreen etc) seem to be following the same pitiful path.
The lamentable reality is the increasing Islamic population will imprint itself more and more on the civic and urban space of this country, blindly welcomed by a political class that ought to know better from the failures of Islamic migration across Europe.
While Ireland’s Brazilian and even Eastern European communities can be regarded as a lot more transient and economically driven, it is clear newly arrived Muslims are laying down more permanent roots.
The Irish have an obligation to object to such developments, not merely on planning grounds, but on the God given right to maintain the demographic character of the nation they know and love.
In inviting Islamic migration en masse, we collectively play with fire, dealing with a religious and civilisational model inherently antagonistic to European and Catholic nations.
Once demographic damage like this is done, it will take generations to properly rectify. Let us hope changes abroad and growing wisdom at home puts an immediate halt to these changes lest our children be left to deal with the mess.