Monday 22 January 2018

Businesses welcome plan to protect character of O'Connell Street

June Taylor from McDowell's Jewellers on Dublin's O'Connell Street
June Taylor from McDowell's Jewellers on Dublin's O'Connell Street

Alan O'Keeffe

A new Dublin City Council plan to protect the character of O'Connell Street has been broadly welcomed by business people.

A proposed council scheme seeks to clamp down on any new openings of fast-food outlets, amusement arcades, adult entertainment stores, bookmakers and mobile phone shops.

The proposals will also impact on the future use of the former Clerys department store.

The scheme would require any changes in retail formats in "important historic stores" or their sub-division to be subject to planning permission with the aim of protecting traditional uses of such premises.

Aidan Meyler (45), co-owner of newly revamped Flanagan's Restaurant on O'Connell Street, agreed with a proposed ban on the opening of certain business premises.

"We have put a lot of effort and expense into improving the look of our frontage and it has paid off by becoming a beacon for tourists. All businesses on the street should be encouraged to upgrade the appearances of their premises," he said.

"Many people like to complain about O'Connell Street but I believe there have been massive improvements in recent years.

"It's not a 'no go' area and there is still a 100,000 footfall of people daily," he said.

June Taylor, a saleswoman at McDowell's Jewellers, said that it was vital to protect quality retailing on the street.

"McDowell's have been here for 145 years and I agree that quality retail shops need to be preserved.

"I would like to see the Clerys building preserved as one big shop to encourage customers and tourists into O'Connell Street. Its closure has reduced the numbers of visitors and shoppers on the street," she said.

Irish Independent

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