Following the marked industrial decline of
the south-west inner-city of Dublin, the area is characterised today
by all the compound problems which accompany long-term unemployment.
The area has suffered from dereliction, physical neglect, large-scale
environmental decay, heavy pollution, poor infrastructure, substandard
housing, and a lack of recreational facilities and open green spaces.
The south-west inner-city is now characterised by complex social
exclusion and by multi-dimensional deprivation.
The area houses the largest concentration of public-authority housing
in the Irish state, and unemployment rates of 80–90% are found
in many of these flat complexes. The number of lone-parent households
is above average, and the South Inner City Drugs Task Force estimates
that as many as 12% of the population in its area are drug users:
among the male population aged 15–24 in the Dublin 8 area
alone, 10.7% are drug users.
The population of the south-west inner-city is 35,926, and the
population density is 17,067 persons per square mile – nationally
the figure is 135 persons per square mile.
- 16% of the population of the south-west inner-city are aged 14
- 36% are under 25 years;
- 34% are aged 25-44 years;
- 17% are aged between 45-64 years and 14% of the population are
aged 65 and over.
A total of 29% of the population is judged to be age dependant
- 35% of the population have no formal or primary education;
- 16% have lower secondary education;
- 22% have upper secondary education;
- 27% have third-level education;
- 41% of the adult population have left school at or before the
age of 15 years.
Within the area, 32% of men and 37% of women have left school with
no formal or primary education; 39% of the unemployed population
in the south-west inner city have either no formal education or
have attended primary level only. Community personnel estimate that
as many as 50% of adults have literacy problems.
The social class of all persons aged 15 years and over is determined
by their occupation and employment status:
- 21% are in Social Classes 1 and 2 – professional, managerial
- 28% are in Social Classes 3 and 4 – non-manual and skilled
- 22% are in Social Classes 5 and 6 – semi-skilled and unskilled;
- 28% have never been in paid employment or who live in households
where the head of the household has never been in paid employment.
Of the unemployed population in the south west inner city, 55%
have been unemployed for three years or more.