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Dublin City Council has plans for sports facilities on the site of the old fish market off Mary’s Lane near the Four Courts. But Green Party Councillor Ciarán Cuffe thinks more could be wrung out of that vacant patch of land.
“We as an authority should hang our head in shame that we demolished the old fish market and have left it as a ramshackle car park,” he said, at Tuesday’s meeting of the council’s Central Area Committee.
The site has room for both a games area and housing, and he wants the City Architects to prepare a scheme for a development, he said. After all, it takes at least four years to get anything built, said Cuffe.
“If we are to have a vision for Dublin […] you and your colleagues should be moving this forward and making development happen,” he said, to Central Area Manager Rose Kenny.
The motion to develop the site with both sports facilities and housing was agreed unanimously by the councillors on the Central Area Committee. Of course, this does not necessarily mean it will happen.
Fine Gael Councillor Ray McAdam, who chairs the committee, said planning permission for the games area was granted in 2014, at the same time as plans were approved for renovating the fruit and veg market opposite.
The council wants the fruit and veg market to be vacant before it starts the work, he said. But traders there are reluctant to leave the market during the renovations. They say that they need to stay together for their businesses to work.
Cuffe offered an idea on how to break the impasse. “Let’s have a temporary market [on the fish-market site] for the traders who are displaced,” he said.
The Liffey Cycle Route
The chair of the Central Area Committee, Fine Gael Councillor Ray McAdam, said he has written to the National Transport Authority (NTA) to get a timeline for its review of the on-hold Liffey Cycle Route.
The NTA has told Dublin City Council to stop working on the route while it carries out an independent third-party review of all of the options that have been put forward – including traffic-impact assessments, said McAdam.
Some of the early designs faced opposition from local residents worried about traffic diversions, or were thwarted by a new apartment building going up, or were opposed by cycling advocates who objected to a diversion away from the riverfront.
McAdam said that the Liffey Cycle Route has been an item on the agenda for the last six years. “If the NTA hadn’t stepped in we would have been coming back with an option 9 in a couple of months and an option 10,” he said.
That was a truly impressive contribution by Councillor Cuffe at the CAC meeting on the 10th of October regarding the old fish market site.
There have been so many false dawns in the markets area, regarding its redevelopment is it any wonder that there now is, a somewhat cynical attitude held by both traders and residents in the neighbourhood whenever talk of regeneration arises.
There is major potential for the Markets Area to provide a base for start-up enterprises and as a key cultural tourist attraction. It might be an idea to assign the project to some newer less jaded members of staff at Dublin City Council and let them just get on with the badly needed renewal of the market’s area.
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