The Office of Public Works must have a role in any future redevelopment and preservation of the Iveagh Markets in the heart of Dublin City, according to Fine Gael Senator Mary Seery Kearney.
Dublin South Central Senator Mary Seery Kearney said: Almost two years ago, Lord Iveagh took possession of the Iveagh Markets in a historic move to ensure that the intention of his family that the markets were a facility for the people of Dublin would be honoured.
“I met with Ned Iveagh, Lord Iveagh, at the Iveagh markets this morning and am delighted that mediation is ongoing and hopefully will soon conclude. Minister Malcolm Noonan is soon to visit and I believe we need to now look at a role for the Office of Public Works in the future of the Markets. I have written to Minister Patrick O’Donovan to explore this as a possible role ahead.
“There must also be buy-in from Dublin City Council, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, who have a role to play in bringing this site back to its former glory.
“It is essential that Iveagh Markets is protected for the historic building it is and that there is an opportunity to breathe life into the area.
“The beautiful Georgian style market building has been left derelict for nearly thirty years now. Plans to redevelop it with a hotel, restaurant and market have lain gathering dust while the beautiful building fell into even deeper disrepair.
“Built under the Dublin Corporation Market Act 1901, the building was part of a development under the patronage of the first Earl of Iveagh, entitled the 1899 Dublin Improvements Act, begun in the 1890s with a view to improving public health, sanitation and civic order.
“This development included the public park at St Patrick’s Cathedral, the social housing buildings of the Iveagh Trust, a hostel for single men and the public baths. The benevolence of the Guinness Family in an area that has now become synonymous with the name of their famous porter, brought much needed housing and sanitation to an area once notorious for its slum dwellings.
“Patrick and Thomas Street are now known for their tourist sites, right beside Christchurch Cathedral, Dublinia and a short walk from the Guinness Storehouse one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.
“The Iveagh Markets is on the way to the Storehouse and would be the perfect location for the restoration of an artisan food market that tourists and locals can shop and enjoy street food under the cover of the shelter of the market, similar to markets in cities like Barcelona, or the English Market in Cork. I would love to see it follow that model following a sensitive restoration, done in consultation with local residents.
“The people of the Liberties deserve to have life breathed into the beautiful Markets building, I hope that vision is brought to life by Lord Iveagh and an opportunity is seized to create employment in one of the oldest and most historic locations in our city,” Senator Seery-Kearney concluded.