Football pundit Eamon Dunphy is fighting to keep his corner shop
Former Republic of Ireland international and football pundit Eamon Dunphy is leading the fight to save a local corner shop due to be demolished in favour of a four-storey apartment block.
The RTÉ commentator is among several residents living in one of Dublin’s most pristine Georgian garden squares who have lodged objections with Dublin City Council over the proposed development.
“[The shop] is at the heart of our community. Neighbours meet and exchange information and get to know each other in a way that would not be otherwise be possible,” reads a letter sent to DCC from Mr Dunphy and his wife, RTÉ Commissioning Editor Jane Gogan.
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“This is an intangible but real and vital benefit of our convenience store as it is for so many other shops throughout the country.”
The store in question is Cullen’s Corner Shop near Mount Pleasant Avenue, and the site were the apartment block is due to be built has housed a convenience store for over 50 years according to Mr Dunphy.
“Changing the purpose of this property from a shop and an essential local amenity to a residential area will fundamentally alter the character and a part of the social cohesion of our neighbourhood,” he continues.
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Located in an area where the average home sells for upwards of €1 million, other residents too have raised objections to the development – saying that the loss of Cullen’s will strip the area of its sense of community.
Objectors also point out that if the square loses the corner shop, the closet store is in Ranelagh village or on Rathminess Road – a distance, they claim, that is “inaccessible to the young and elderly.”
Other letters lodged with DCC included complaints over the proposed development’s “excessive scale and bulk”, with others worried over increased traffic congestion.
“Both Mount Pleasant Avenue and Richmond Hill are busy thoroughfares and the junction of those two roads constantly causes traffic disruptions...,” writes Mr Dunphy and his wife.
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“Adding activity around this [area] is inevitably going to cause more danger to an already dangerous junction.”
An Bord Pleanala is due to make a final decision about the proposed apartment blocks in June.