Council Briefs: Rebooting the Moore Street Market, and a Continued Lack of Reviews into Homeless Deaths

Rebooting the Moore Street Market

Dublin City Council has appointed a market operator, the Temple Bar Company, to grow and diversify the Moore Street Market – and have stalls open longer hours until late in the evening and on Sundays too.

Existing traders can also benefit from the extra hours, said Frank Lambe, an executive manager with Dublin City Council, at a meeting on Tuesday of the council’s Central Area Committee.

Starting from early 2023, the new market should be up and running four days a week, from Thursday to Sunday, he said. “This is very much additional to and complementary of the existing trading that takes place on the street.”

The vision for Moore Street Market is “a dynamic, multicultural cross-generational, ethnically diverse, buzzing street market that is steeped in history and character”, says areport by an expert groupissued in February 2021.

What’s sold should primarily be aimed at the residents of the city rather than tourists, says the report, which also highlights immigrant businesses on the street as a positive contributor to its character and footfall.

“These stores should be offered a level of protection against gentrification and rent increases once improvement work is carried out (outside the actions of this report),” it says.

A report to the Central Area Committee on 13 September, said that the new market operator, “Traders in the area supporting the cultural quarter limited by guarantee”, which trades as “The Temple Bar Company”, has been appointed for one year following a tender process.

A first event will be stalls and music on Culture Night on 23 September, said Lambe. “The market operator is keen to get going.”

All councillors welcomed the extension of the market, but they said that Gardaí will have to tackle criminality and anti-social behaviour on the street for it to work.

“One of the serious issues has been the lack of police presence in relation to the anti-social behaviour,” said Sinn Féin Councillor Janice Boylan, who has family members who are Moore Street traders.

“We need to make that a safe working environment for the traders and the people who use it,” said independent Councillor Christy Burke. “We really need to see action down there rather than reports.”

There are around 16 existing traders with licences for Moore Street said Lambe.

Only four or five market traders are regularly out though, said Boylan. She welcomed the expansion of the market and the plans to diversify it. “It will be amazing and revitalise the area,” she said.

Reviewing Homeless Deaths

In 2020 and again in 2021 more people died in the city while homeless than in previous years.

Last year, a report recommended that a critical incident review –a detailed look at causes of the death as a way to learn and prevent more deaths –should take place each time a homeless person dies.

But that system has not yet been established.

In June 2021, Dr Austin O’Carroll published an interim report on deaths among people experiencing homelessness in 2020.

“It is important for service providers and statutory agencies to have an effective mechanism for reporting on and reviewing deaths in service to identify whether the death could have been prevented or not,” says the report on its opening page.

Dr O’Carroll’s report recommends that the HSE should carry out a critical incident review each time someone dies who is homeless, including those people who were not in contact with statutory services, prior to their death.

“Critical Incident Reviews should result in a learning plan for the sector that is has clear recommendations that can be realistically implemented to reduce the risks of similar incidents re occurring,” says the report.

A similar system is used in the UK, called safeguarding adult reviews, to learn from each death that takes place and perhaps identify systemic failings that can be fixed.

A Dublin Region Homeless Executive presentation to councillors last week indicated that as yet the HSE has not started doing the critical incident reviews of deaths among homeless people here.

“HSE intends to appoint a person to conduct reviews on all deaths in Emergency Accommodation,” says the presentation.

A spokesperson for the HSE said that the director of The Dublin Regional Homeless Executive agreed to re-establish a bi-annual meeting to review deaths of people experiencing homelessness. “The first meeting has yet to be convened”. After this meeting, a new process of review will be agreed and the HSE will take part, they said.

[UPDATE: This article was updated at 4.30pm on 22 September 2022 to include a response from the HSE spokesperson about progress on establishing a review system.]

Author:

Laoise Neylon: Laoise Neylon is a city reporter for Dublin Inquirer. You can reach her at [email protected]

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