Bhí sé grianmhar agus te and lots of people were out enjoying the aimsir.
The foireann was down to two today, Orla agus Diarmuid, though Bróna dropped by briefly as did Terry.
Another Terry, of Fagan surname, of North Inner City history and Folklore came towards us accompanied by Teresa Brady, a relation of Patrick Pearse, with three floral wreaths between them. They were not for us, however but for Terry’s annual Easter Monday event, ordered and collected from the flower-sellers in Moore Street. They posed for a solidarity portrait by our banner and of course we’ll promote their event:
“Easter Monday – April 18th 2022. At 12 noon outside the GPO O’Connell Street, a wreath-laying commemoration in honour of the men and women who fought for Irish Freedom, followed by a reading of the 1916 Proclamation.
“A march will take place from the GPO to the Ref Pub on Ballybough road to unveil a plaque in memory of the five Ring Brothers who fought in the GPO during the 1916 Easter Rising. All welcome to attend this community event. Organised by the North Inner City Folklore Project.
Two Brazillians who have been living in Dublin for four years were very interested in the campaign and history and stayed talking to us so that we were late packing up. We took down their names but, having lost the paper, are going from memory: Marcia Martin and Bernardo Carnero, who posed for a solidarity photo.
An Italian couple that were also very interested talked to us for awhile.
A woman and children of both genders came to the table; a boy had “aon scéal?” printed on his top, which of course led to some conservation in Gaeilge at the table. He is attending a Gaelscoil, a school where the subjects other than languages are taught through Irish only.
As we had been setting up, a small history walking tour group had been in the street so we gave them some of our information leaflets and also answered some questions for them. And as we were leaving, a large tour group came through too, one of Lorcán Collins’ (though not with the man himself) 1916 Rising Tours.
We have no update from An Bord Pleanála about our appeals against the planning permissions granted by DCC’s Planning Department.
The official signpost for the O’Rahilly Monument, which after years of requesting it was only in place for about a fortnight before it disappeared, has not yet been replaced.
“Secrets of the Middle Aisle”, a program on RTÉ 1 on the 11th of this month, included information about the Lidl supermarket in Moore Street and interviews with some of its staff.
It emerged that the ‘footfall’, that is to say the number of people entering the street, is 30,000 a week, which reveals the potential of the street for shops and street stalls. This is a potential undeveloped by the Council, despite the recommendations of the Moore Street Market Expert Group in which we participated along with DCC officials and other market operators. One must ask why the Moore Street potential has remained undeveloped and the answer that occurrs to us is that it suits the property speculator to run the street down so as to have less opposition for their own ‘development’ plan.
According to the RTÉ1 program, the Moore Street Lidl tis one of its busiest units in Europe. Rarely a quiet moment. There are 15 self- service and six staffed cashiers and the shop is so busy that only baskets are allowed – no trolleys.
Anti-social behaviour inside is a problem as it is outside on the street too – some people enter to steal and when challenged may threaten with a syringe.
Usually when “anti-social behaviour” is quoted by the authorities as a problem in Moore Street, what they mean is the sale of untaxed tobacco. And in fact from our experience on the street it is clear that Gardaí rarely come on to the street and when they do, it is mostly the tobacco sales that are their concern. But although the Revenue is no doubt unhappy at the sale of untaxed tobacco, it is not what most people think of as anti-social behaviour: no-one is threatened by those sellers, much less assaulted. Behaviour that is anti-social, such as being inebriated on the street, urinating in sight of the street, littering, screaming and shouting and stealing from the stalls, would not be tolerated for one minute around the corner in Henry Street.
Moore Street used to have a number of pubs and cafes that stayed open late but because of the way the street is structured now without any pubs and with chain stores and supermarkets closing around 7pm, the street can be intimidating at night. Only the Lidl at that north end is open and a member of its staff commented: “Walking down a bleak empty Moore Street is intimidating. Creeps approaching, knowing where you work ….” In fact, Henry Street, being full of chain stores, is also bleak at that time and if Hammerson get their way, no doubt they will fill Moore Street with chain stores too. This is not a healthy way to plan a city centre.
An Irish-African woman commented that she liked shopping in the street, the smells and stalls remind her of home. Our own investigations given an estimate of 75% of purchasing from the stalls being by migrants; it seems the Irish prefer to shop in supermarkets.
But what kind of city planners would place a supermarket in the same street as a traditional street market and with another two close by? And what street market can sustain itself in proximity to the Hammerson 15-year construction plan?
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