Northside Versus Southside
There’s a debate going on with one of my colleagues over which side of Dublin is the best to live on. She is a southsider and refers to the northside of Dublin somewhat sniffily as DNS. I retaliate by saying DNS stands for De Nicer Side, and I’m not biased by the fact that I live there….much.
While I can appreciate that parts of the southside are lovely, with a higher leaf count, a larger quantity of trophy homes , a borough with its own very distinctive accent (Roysh) and more celebrities per metre (although I’d like to point out that arguably the biggest celeb of them all, aka Bono, is a defector who was reared on the northside.This is balanced, however, by the fact that Larry Mullen, the coolest member of U2,stayed northside), I would argue that the northside trumps it in many respects.
For one thing you can buy more house for your money on the northside. Take for example Drumcondra and Glasnevin where you can get better value than in their southside equivalents – Rathmines and Ranelagh. Lisney currently has a five-bed 2,350 sq ft house in Drumcondra asking €595,0000. The equivalent house in Dublin 6 would cost at least €200,000-€400,000 more, depending on condition. Yet all these areas are close to town and Glasnevin has the bonus of the National Botanic Gardens.
Clontarf is still relatively expensive by northside standards but when you compare it to say Sandymount, you get more for your money. A three-bed house on Mount Prospect , close to St Anne’s Park, is currently on the market for under €400,000. The equivalent in Sandymount will cost €50,000-€100,000 more. Yet both areas are beside the sea, have a good choice of restaurants, delis and shops, are on the Dart and are close to town.
While the southside has arguably better public transport with the Luas and the Dart, the northside has more parks and a surfeit of impressive playgrounds (St Anne’s, Malahide Demesne, Newbridge, Ardgillan Demesne, Griffith Park to name but a few) , we are better served by cinemas (I can currently choose between Santry, Coolock, Swords, Cineworld and the Savoy in the city centre and Blanchardstown ,which I know is on the west side but very accessible via the M50). While I’m not saying that proximity to shopping centres necessarily adds to one’s quality of life, there is a good choice northside, the Omni in Santry, Pavilions in Swords, Blanchardstown and Charlestown in Finglas. Only two of those shopping centres charge customers for car parking and that’s only if they are there more than two hours. In Dundrum, you pay by the hour, regardless of the fact you are spending money in the shopping centre.
While seaside areas like Dalkey and Sandycove and Monkstown are quaint and lovely, on the northside we’ve got Skerries, Malahide and Howth and Sutton and we’ve got the most decorated GAA club, St Vincents. When I asked my colleague why southside is better she said enigmatically “perception is reality”. She says the southside is a more visually attractive place to live, or at least parts of the southside, and there’s a certain cachet to living in areas like Ballsbridge, Rathgar, Dartry or Sandycove that isn’t attached to many places on the northside, the Hill of Howth and one or two roads on Clontarf excepted. What do you think?