High Lines, Wifi And An End To Exploitation – Three Things Edel McGinley Would Change About Dublin

How do we make our great city even greater?


Every week, we speak to someone who's working to change the world about three ways in which they'd like to improve their city – from the big to the small, and from the crucial to the trivial.

This week, we caught up with Edel McGinley, director of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland.

'We need more beauty in our lives; more creative investment in our city's architecture'

I have a weakness for bold, clever contemporary architecture.

I love it. It can define place and space and represent the soul of a city. It creates connections to our lived environment and provides beauty in our everyday lives. So I’d love to see Dublin invest in making our city more aesthetically pleasing and interesting.

New York’s High Line – a disused railway line converted into a beautiful park, which hosts events like stargazing, Tai Chi and meditation – and the beautiful and mesmerising Sea Organ of Zadar in Croatia, which turns waves into music, illustrate how design can change, shape, invigorate and enhance a city.

We all need more beauty in our lives and creative investment in our city’s architecture and design would seriously brighten my day. 

'Not just good, but excellent terms and conditions of employment'

I love eating out in Dublin – the hustle and bustle of the city, and the many amazing places to eat and socialise.

This busy food industry would collapse without migrant workers. They catch, pick, pack, cook and serve our food. These jobs are hugely important, but largely invisible.

Unfortunately there is an underbelly to our lovely city. It manifests daily in restaurants through the exploitation of migrant workers – students, undocumented workers and others. I’d love to see Dublin restaurants free from the exploitation and underpayment of migrant workers; we need a restaurant sector that respects rights, ensures decent jobs and promotes not just good, but excellent terms and conditions of employment. 

I’d also love to see a regularisation scheme for undocumented workers (just as I would for the Irish undocumented living abroad) so that they can work with safety and dignity and live free from fear.

That’s the type of city I’d be proud of. 


'Sort out the lack of public WiFi'

I’d love to see more free public WiFi spaces in Dublin.

The WiFi on Barnardo Square, next to City Hall on Dame Street unfortunately no longer works. It is truly a shame that the city has little to no free public access to WiFi any more.

Sort it out, please – this would be great for city dwellers and visitors alike.


Edel McGinley is the director of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI), which campaigns with migrant workers and their families for justice, empowerment and equality. 

Every year, MRCI’s Drop-In Centre on Dame Street supports over 2,000 people experiencing employment and immigration issues in Ireland.

You can follow their work on FacebookTwitter and at mrci.ie.

If you'd like to participate in our 3 Changes series, please email aidan@lovindublin.com

Written By

Aidan Coughlan