Friday, 16 January 2015

Busáras, Store Street

A view from the top floor of Busáras
"Dubliners have a love–hate relationship with Busáras."

That's how one character puts it in my third novel Ghost Flight.

Perhaps it's a mild understatement.

Busáras is the city's central bus station for Bus Éireann's inter-city and regional bus services. And the building is a classic case of Marmite architecture.

And Busáras has a sort of walk-on part in chapter 39 of the novel.

Its official name is Áras Mhic Dhiarmada, though I don't know any normal human being who calls it that. It's always plain Busáras ("bus-áras", Irish for "bus-building") or Busarus (for people who don't know how to spell "áras").

A good starting point for more details about the building's architecture and controversial history is the Archiseek website. You'll find much better photos elsewhere too, because my snaps don't do full justice to the building's design details.

Even so, I thought I would take you up to the top floor and the roof, where most Dubliners have never been. You see, "bird's eye views" are a recurring theme in Ghost Flight. We'll start in the main atrium, near the ticket office, and work upwards...

Busáras was built when Ireland's fledgling State was even more broke than today, but at least at a time when the country still had ambitions and dreamers.

The bitter twist was that this thoroughly modern -  some would call it postmodern - structure was going up at the same time as the State was organising a cultural clampdown on writers, film-makers and other big dreamers.