‘You just need to deal with the messers every so often’: Temple Bar’s highs, lows and quest to keep its character

The quarter has been through decades of changes: a car park for nearby civic offices, a thriving cultural and retail hub, a tourist spot. Controversial new 
plans have prompted many to reminisce on what used to be

Sally Foran in Temple Bar, Dublin. Picture by Gerry Mooney

Tanya Sweeney

Rory Harkin is a Temple Bar legend, and no wonder — he has been in business there since 1959. As a teenager, he moved to work in the area, where his father was a chief engineer, and opened Rory’s Fishing Tackle.