Monday 14 October 2019

Council unveils plans to bring 'colourful, eclectic character' to former Smithfield Market

The last day on the Joseph Duffy Flower stand at the Early morning on the last day of the Smithfield Market
The last day on the Joseph Duffy Flower stand at the Early morning on the last day of the Smithfield Market
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

Dublin City Council has revealed plans to breathe new life into the Smithfield Market area by transforming it into a food market with a cafe or restaurant.

The ambitious city development plan will introduce a "colourful, eclectic, overflowing character" to the area, "the signature of a vibrant marketplace" documents have revealed.

City planners are aiming to "conserve heritage assets" within the development, while a "public realm" will be upgraded with an outdoor area, with lighting and planting.

The marketplace and outdoors area would, the council said, become a "significant enhancement" for local residents and visitors.

The Part VII application is being proposed by the development section of Dublin City Council and input has been gathered with wholesale market traders, city business interests and food experts.

The plan has been presented to the markets and casual trading subcommittee and proposals are currently being examined.

Smithfield Market. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Smithfield Market. Picture: Caroline Quinn

The building faces directly on to streets on two sides and also into two yards - the Daisy Market and a delivery yard to the south accessed from Chancery Street, taking up almost an entire block.

The original fish market site is also included within the development proposals. This area had been demolished and used as a car park.

The plan is now being brought to public consultation.

The council said its proposals had the intention of increasing footfall on Little Mary's Street and to improve the pedestrian area on Capel Street.

Part of the plan is that The Chancery Street Yard, selected for new building works, will become a public entrance to the market. This will be close to the Luas for easy access.

A family space will also be created, if the plans get the green light, while a cafe or restaurant is proposed with an outdoor seating area.

A games area is also being suggested at the fish market.

There will be parking and bicycle spaces as part of the plan and one major element of the proposals is to maintain the architectural integrity of the site and to allow for disability access.

In August, traders and visitors to the market were downhearted after its closure.

Flower seller and director of Joseph M Duffy and Sons Limited, Joseph Duffy, from Goatstown, Dublin, said he would be moving his stall to a permanent new home on Mary's Lane.

Smithfield Market. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Smithfield Market. Picture: Caroline Quinn

He said he'd never had to advertise the three-generational flower business, and has since branched out into providing flower arrangements for weddings and even photo shoots.

"My family go back 120 years here," he said.

"My grandparents would have met here, my grandfather was Joseph Duffy and my father started helping him out in 1957 and he stayed for 40 years. I came in in the 1970s."

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