Trinity College Dublin

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Local Community

The main campus of Trinity College Dublin is still located on the site granted to the new university by the Corporation of Dublin in 1592. At this time these grounds - roughly a quarter of a mile south-east of the city walls - were described in the Latin of the foundation charter as being juxta Dublin or 'near Dublin'. Not surprisingly, the urban landscape has changed radically over the intervening four hundred years so that Trinity College now finds itself, not at the periphery, but at the heart of a greatly expanded city of Dublin. The College also has centres in St. James's Hospital and the Hospital in Tallaght. The relationship between Trinity and local residents, particularly those who live or work in Pearse St, Westland Row and adjoining streets, has generally been good but, as in other university towns, there have been occasional tensions between 'town and gown'.

The neighbourhoods immediately adjacent to Trinity College have changed considerably over the past decade, particularly with the expansion of employment opportunities in the financial services and some other sectors and with a related development of private housing in the area. However, large areas within these neighbourhoods continue to experience significant social exclusion, and Trinity acknowledges this social exclusion as a key factor to be borne in mind in developing stronger links with local residents.

Some long established outreach initiatives include the Voluntary Tuition Programme; Refugee Liaison; Social Club for the Elderly; Homework Clubs; and Sunday hikes with local children.

As a major property owner, employer and centre for the life and activity of almost 15,000 students, Trinity wanted to further develop its relationships with the city and with the immediate local community. At the beginning of 2002, the Provost of Trinity created a new College Officership, the Community Liaison Officer, to build on the success of the existing Trinity Access Programme and other outreach initiatives, giving responsibility for the coordination of relationships with the local community to a single designated member of College staff. The current holder of this post is Dr Ciaran O'Neill . Dr O'Neill and other College Officers, in particular, the Director of Buildings and his staff, will continue to be involved in a number of initiatives which aim to ensure that the College contributes, in as full a way as possible, to the regeneration and development of the local area.

Building Development at Trinity

It is generally agreed that the collection of buildings making up Trinity's main campus is in architectural terms among the finest in Ireland, and that most of the newer buildings - particularly for instance the new Ussher Library - add to and enhance the visual appeal of Trinity as a city centre university. The main campus is visited each year by thousands of visitors, both Irish people and foreign tourists, and it is apparent that Trinity contributes in this way to the commercial life of the city centre. There have, however, been complaints concerning the external appearance of those properties acquired by Trinity over the past thirty years on the south side of Pearse St. and it has been suggested that developments to date indicate that both literally and metaphorically the College has turned its back on this street.

These concerns are being addressed with architectural and other planning systems within Trinity are being aimed at both restoring the external appearances of these buildings and opening up the College to the street once more


Last updated 15 February 2018 Civic Engagement (Email).