Moyross Study (2018)
8 April 2018

Moyross Study is a sociological exploration of Moyross housing estate.

Moyross housing estate was constructed in 1970’s on the outskirts of Limerick City as a solution to a growing social housing crisis. After the new community’s initial years of hope and optimism, Moyross began to slip into a cycle of anti-social behaviour, gun and gang crime and ultimately, murder. This cycle of violence came to a head in 2006 when a car with two young children inside was set alight. Following this incident, the Irish State was forced to recognise its role in the escalation of violence and intervene. As a result, the programme of infrastructural and social resource ‘Regeneration’ was proposed in 2007 as a potential solution to anti-social activities in the troubled estate. Soon after, with the goal of kick-starting a process of physical, socio-cultural, economic and spiritual renewal, this programme commenced. Dozens of families were displaced and relocated, the bulldozers moved in, and house demolitions and topographical restructuring hastily began.

This project investigates and re-contextualises this dramatic transformation in the topography of present day Moyross. It is an articulation of the everyday feelings and experiences that are connected to the forced transition of Moyross – from a densely populated open planned estate, to an enclosed, barren, penal like space. The images explore the programme with a consideration of the conflicts that led to its commencement. As well as to examine the social upheaval that this ‘Regeneration’ had created. The project challenges the many stereotypes that surround the Moyross development by highlighting how despite the troubled history and the drastic topographical adjustments, a community still persists, and in some respects, even thrives.

Moyross Study responds to the writings of Henri Lefebvre in The Production of Space. Lefebvre’s thesis in The Production of Space is that space is a social product, or a complex social construction (based on values, and the social production of meanings) which affects spatial practices and perceptions.