For the past 120 years, the Iveagh Trust has offered affordable rented housing to people on low incomes, and good quality hostel accommodation for homeless men. The Trust owns and manages about 1,350 units of social rented and hostel accommodation in Dublin City and suburbs. This includes the famous Iveagh Hostel in central Dublin for homeless men (195 bedrooms).
A number of housing complexes were built by the Trust to replace slum dwellings in the area of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Patrick Street and Christ Church Cathedral between 1896 and 1945. The work was funded by the Guinness family at a time when Dublin city had the worst housing in the British Isles. In the early 1900s the flight of the middle class from the inner city to new suburbs left 50% of city dwellers in tenements. 33% of families lived in just one room. Insanitary, unhealthy conditions and extremely high mortality rates prevailed.
Flat 3B on the Bull Alley Estate is the only flat in The Iveagh Trust stock which has remained largely unchanged since the first tenants took up occupancy in 1904. The bulk of the furniture and fittings was acquired by the Trust from the Molloy family. The flat contains a living room and 2 bedrooms (one doubling as a food preparation area). Outside on the landing is a communal sink, w/c, and storage cupboard, used by the family to store coal.
Nellie Molloy, one of six children, found work as a weaver with the Greenmount Linen Co. in Harold’s Cross and had 27 years service there, until she left work to look after her sick mother. The rest of the family married. Nellie’s mother died in October 1967 and Nellie continued to live in the flat until her own death at the age of 95 in October 2002. By keeping her surroundings as they always had been, Nellie kept her memories of deceased family members very much alive. Following discussions with the family, the Trustees decided that the flat should remain a museum – a visual reminder of flat design and of how families lived in early 20th century Dublin tenements.
Viewing can be arranged for small groups by appointment only (phone 01 454 2312, during office hours Mon-Fri).
Flat 3b Iveagh Trust, Bull Alley Estate, Patrick Street, Dublin 8.
The Trust launched a website in 2013 with extensive information on its current activities, housing estates, homeless hostel & tenant services. The long history of the Iveagh Trust is also chronicled (www.theiveaghtrust.ie)