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  • Northside West

Call for O’Connell Street revamp

Wednesday, 12th June, 2019 8:00am
Call for O’Connell Street revamp

The O’Connell Street Revival Society’s report calls for a number of improvements.

Call for O’Connell Street revamp

The O’Connell Street Revival Society’s report calls for a number of improvements.

A NEW report calling for a low-cost revamp of O’Connell Street including sentry boxes at the GPO, lighting up The Spire and a pop-up part at the old Carlton Cinema is to be presented to Dublin City councillors later this month.

The proposals have been drawn up by the O’Connell Street Revival Society, a voluntary association made up mainly of local residents.

The group is calling for the complete social, cultural and economic revival of O’Connell Street and has come up with a 12-step document outlining its initial proposals.

Its report was launched last week at the Mansion House by outgoing Lord Mayor, Nial Ring, and society member Sinead O’Dwyer spoke about the group’s plans on Newstalk Breakfast.

“The society was formed about a year about by local people and we were tired of seeing the sorry state of O’Connell Street,” she said.

“We created this 12-step document which contains ideas generated not only by members of the society but also members of the public.

“Just a few of those ideas include the floodlighting of derelict monuments on O’Connell Street, placing sentry guards at the GPO and creating a pop-up park at the Carlton until redevelopment takes place. We’ve also suggested public seating.

“These are ideas that we thought would strengthen the street and maybe help alter the sometimes unfair perception that it currently suffers from.

“They would also help address some of the more visible problems that currently makes the street less welcome for visitors and locals alike.”

Cllr Nial Ring said he was happy to host the group in the Mansion House for the launch of the report.

“I think there’s a huge amount of positives in the report,” he said.

“I think the lighting of the Spire, the O’Connell Monument and the Parnell Monument would go down really well with the public.

“Of course it comes down to cost but I think the society have done a really great service to Dublin. It’s fantastic to see somebody coming up with plans for O’Connell Street.”

However, the outgoing Lord Mayor isn’t impressed with ideas for a sentry box manned by uniformed Gardaí or ceremonial soldiers as a tourist attraction or security presence at the GPO.

“I wouldn’t really appeal to me,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.

“It sounds a little bit Buckingham Palace-esqe so to speak. I know we had the Garda station on the street and maybe we should be looking at reopening it at some stage.”

Cllr Ring claimed that despite its often negative reputation O’Connell Street was very safe.

“There are roughly 30 million people a year on O’Connell Street but the number of serious assaults last year was less than 30,” he said.

The O’Connell Street Revival Society believes the city’s main thoroughfare can be brought back to its former glory through “the proper use and enforcement of planning laws, the application of enlightened and appropriate design of the public realm and any new buildings on the street”.

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