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  • Northside West

Colourful protest in Stoneybatter

Wednesday, 3rd April, 2019 8:00am
Colourful protest in Stoneybatter

An estimated 1,000 locals took part in the day of action.

Colourful protest in Stoneybatter

An estimated 1,000 locals took part in the day of action.

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LOCALS in Stoneybatter took part in a ‘day of action’ on March 23 last to voice their concerns over proposed plans for the BusConnects Corridor that will run through the area.

An estimated crowd of 1,000 participated in the event organised by the Stoneybatter community during which residents and businesses celebrated their vibrant urban village and highlighted the impact of the planned traffic measures.

The proposals include the removal of trees, footpaths, green spaces, loading bays and parking and the redirection of traffic through narrow residential streets. 

Local residents were encouraged to come down to the green area outside Love Supreme at the junction of Manor Street/Prussia Street and Aughrim Street where there was music, bunting and a picnic area.

There were also information stalls with copies of the proposal documents and maps and local experts offered advice on making submissions and invited people to sign the petition, which was due to be handed over to transport officials last week. 

“So much has been done in recent years by volunteers to develop Stoneybatter as a vibrant urban village,” said Joe Costello, Chairperson of Stoneybatter Pride of Place.

“There is serious concern that the NTA’s proposals will make Stoneybatter nothing more than a traffic hub for general traffic from as far away as Meath. 

“The objective is to move the buses to the city centre in the fastest possible time, regardless of the impact on local communities.

“These plans would destroy the fabric of our historic urban village. We will not stand by and allow this to happen.”

Seaneen Sullivan, owner of L Mulligan. Grocer Pub and Restaurant also spoke of his concern for local businesses.

“There are in excess of 60 independently owned businesses in Stoneybatter,” he said.

“While other suburbs give way to one-stop supermarkets, our unique urban village is one of the last to retain owner operated stores such as a baker, butcher, hardware and greengrocer, alongside local hairdressers, florists, cafes and stores stocking local products.

“We welcome improved public transport, but we feel that the current proposals for Stoneybatter are ill-thought out and jeopardise the continued survival of our urban village and will result in the closure of small businesses and the loss of local jobs.”

Katie Flood, owner of Love Supreme Cafe, described Stoneybatter as “a tight-knit community.”

“You’ll find people are very open to modernisation and progressive thinking, especially when it helps the area,” she added.

“But the current BusConnects plan seems to dissect our community rather than contribute to it.

“For example, the proposals to take away one of our most important green spaces or offer under-developed cycle lanes which actually pose a danger to our kids cycling to local schools.

“We like to get together over music and food, rallying together and having a great day out. So despite the fact our community is under threat, we will stick together, inform ourselves, act together and we will be heard. It’s necessary that we are all part of the plan as it cuts through the heart of Stoneybatter.’

Mary Ward, secretary of the Manor Street Residents and Traders Association, also voiced concern over the proposals. 

“The trees and flowers on Manor Street are defining features of the street and we could not countenance their removal to pave the way for buses,” she said.

“Residents along Manor Street and Prussia Street are totally opposed to the removal of parking outside their homes, and are particularly concerned about the impact this would have on elderly and disabled people in the area.

“Residents do not have access to off-street parking and the NTA’s proposals makes it impossible for households to own just one car.”  

Over 1,500 people signed the petiton against the BusConnects proposals.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here