THE HILL

A banged up tube TV, a studded pair of roller-skates, a chipped teapot, an old bra, a rusty wheelchair or even a hand made budgie box? At a first glance these goods might be better suited for recycling or dumping in a landfill. Rather, the Hill Market on North Cumberland Street in Dublin's inner city is where these goods come to eek out of the last of their already prolonged lives. It's at The Hill market where one man's 'trash' is turned into another mans gold and it is this weekly pursuit of 'gold' that is at the true allure of The Hill.

Rooting through piles of boxes, knackered suitcases with their contents spilled out on the bare concrete, a trestle table stacked high with goods is where the true treasure lies. With hunched over backs, eyes fixed on the pavement below, a diverse mix of Dubliner's seek out their own 'finds', haggling in denominations of €2, €1 and as the day wears on, as little as €0.20c.

To an outsider passing by, The Hill is nothing more than a ram-shackled old flea market battling to maintain its long history in the new age of consumerism. To the insider, The Hill is a community, a family - one though nowadays ever united under the ever-watching gaze of the Garda Síochána.

Throughout my 20 months on the beat with those on The Hill, I have come to understand more than the fiscal value of a used 8-iron golf club or a threadbare sofa. Reflecting on countless weekends spent on sidewalks coloured with used goods, I feel privileged to have been made to feel at home on The Hill. Here on this concrete sliver of Dublin real estate I found life, laughter, conversation and photographic observations that make The Hill a true Dublin gem.