Smithfield is home to some dramatic public spaces. Most notably, there’s Europe’s largest cobblestone-paved plaza. Bordering this are circular spaces that make Swiss cheese of the Jameson Distillery (where the courtyards are even painted yellow) and the dramatic canyon opposite the plaza from it (see photo).
A lot of development happened in Smithfield during the economic boom known as the Celtic Tiger. Today the apartments of Smithfield appear t be filled with residents — but many of the cultural, retail, and office spaces of Smithfield are vacant or under used.
Nevertheless, there are enough restaurants, attractions, businesses, and services here to keep the place feeling alive enough.
I haven’t yet been to many of the highlights (such as the Lighthouse Cinema, the Smithfield Art Tunnel, the Generator Hostel, or the Maldron Hotel). But I have enjoyed my time at a number of the eateries as well as the Jameson Distillery, the Cobblestone, the Elbowroom (which is one of Smithfield’s many guys), and the Fresh Market.
Smithfield really doesn’t deserve the bad wrap it gets. But as long as people have the perception that there might be something scary here, the rents will stay reasonable. And that part is fine by me!