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'pointless' Traders dismiss Dublin City Council's Moore Street plans as 'too little, too late'

'I don't see the point now at this stage of revitalising a market that's going to be on a 15-year construction site if planning is passed'

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Butcher Stephen Troy, whose family has been on Moore Street for more than 100 years, said Dublin City Council’s proposals were ‘completely pointless’

Butcher Stephen Troy, whose family has been on Moore Street for more than 100 years, said Dublin City Council’s proposals were ‘completely pointless’

Butcher Stephen Troy, whose family has been on Moore Street for more than 100 years, said Dublin City Council’s proposals were ‘completely pointless’

A plan to breathe new life into Dublin's Moore Street with extra trading stalls at weekends has been branded "pointless" and "too little, too late" by current traders.

The once-vibrant stalls, and the sound of the sales pitches of the fruit, vegetable, meat and fish sellers, brought a unique character to the north inner city. But in recent years the number of shoppers and traders has dwindled and the street has gone stale and quiet.

Only five traders out of the current 17 with licences were operating yesterday. One of them, an elderly lady, said she is the fourth generation of her family to sell vegetables in the same spot.

Dublin City Council yesterday announced a plan to attract more traders to Moore Street by advertising a tender for a commercial operator to run and manage the area from Thursdays to Sundays between 9.30am and 10pm.

The plan is to have the extra stalls complementing the existing traders on the street who operate from Monday to Saturday, from 9.30am to 6.30pm.

The tender notification states that the current traders must be fully considered and incorporated into any final proposal.

Dublin City Council says its Moore Street Expert Group this year issued a report, under the auspices of Junior Minister Malcolm Noonan's advisory group, and one of the key actions identified was to bring additional traders, vibrancy and variety to the street trading offering on Moore Street to complement the existing businesses.

Traders on the street yesterday said they knew nothing of the plan, and regarded it with the suspicion they gave other plans which have been floated in recent years but, they say, never came to fruition.

Stephen Troy is a fifth generation butcher whose family has been on Moore Street for more than 100 years.

He was nominated by the street traders to comment on the current plan, and said he cannot understand how it will work when there is a planning application currently with the council to redevelop the entire area, in a project he says could take 15 years to complete.

Last June, plans for a new-look Moore Street were lodged with Dublin City Council which include an archway to commemorate the Easter Rising. Developers Hammerson unveiled the proposal for the regeneration of the 5.5-acre site, which included a fully integrated MetroLink station for O'Connell Street.

The developers said the proposal represented "an opportunity to appropriately regenerate a historic part of Dublin, while ensuring its long-standing traditions and important heritage can be retained and celebrated".

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Hammerson said the plan ensures the area around 14-17 Moore Street, a national monument due to its role in the Easter Rising, would be appropriately restored as part of the landmark destination.

Mr Troy said there has been a decade of neglect on Moore Street, and there have been numerous reports with revitalising components to bring the street back to life.

"But now Dublin City Council is saying they're going to revitalise a market when there's a planning application for development that will take 15 years, which will effectively mean street traders won't be able to trade on Moore Street," Mr Troy said.

"So I don't see the point now at this stage of revitalising a market that's going to be on a 15-year construction site if planning is passed.

"I was with the plan, and a committed member of the expert group. I represent the local independent businesses here on Moore Street.

"But I just think that to expect a vibrant food market to survive on a dirty, noise-polluted construction site is incredible," Mr Troy added.

He said the inability to trade during construction was recognised within the ministerial Moore Street advisory group and the traders would be getting compensation for their loss of trade.

"It's completely pointless. This is a way of sugar-coating the disruption of what a five-and-a-half acre construction site will do to the city centre, in my opinion," he said.

"It's very apparent that the decision on the planning application is going to be made in the coming weeks at this point."

Speaking about the current plans to bring more traders to the street at weekends, Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland said Moore Street is a key socio-economic area in Dublin that has not performed well in recent times.

"I hope that the successful tenderer will bring a new energy to the street and make it a must-visit location in the north inner city for citizens and visitors alike," she said.

"I look forward to this initiative being fully implemented and showcasing an important positive and historic aspect of the city."

Moore Street Expert Group chair, Green Party councillor Donna Cooney, said it is "great to see this step being taken by the council following on from the hard work of the group".

"This shows the commitment of the council to retain Moore Street as a trading area into the future and a respect for its unique history. It is hoped this operator will be in place in early 2022 and that this initiative will be successful," she added.

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