Paying through the nose for something that’s free in plenty of other cities feels so Dublin

'People have been crying out for the council to revive the old fruit, veg and flower market in Smithfield'

Ellen Coyne

When I lived in the middle of Dublin, we would often pass the time at the height of the pandemic by going on meandering walks through the streets of the city centre. City Hall wore the barren streets around it well, standing taller and prouder once it didn’t have to compete with traffic on Parliament Street. Talbot street, usually a glorious humming melee, seemed almost solemn in its new silence. But between Capel Street and Smithfield, there was a different kind of desolation.