herald

Monday 21 August 2017

We can't continue to allow the great Moore Street to rot

Dublin City Council are about to do something about Moore Street.

It plans to redesign the street, putting in place new stalls and lighting and changing stall layout.

The sooner the better, because the north city thoroughfare is currently an asset being allowed to rot like an unsold apple, despite its historic significance as a site linked to the 1916 insurrection.

It has cultural meaning too, particularly for older Dubliners, who remember the weekly trip into town on the bus, clutching big bags for carrying purchases home.

As children, we were intimidated by the lippy, loud-voiced vendors, whose salesmanship lay somewhere between fun and bullying. They called everybody "love," and insisted that "the chiseler" hiding behind his mother's coat urgently needed a banana or a pear.

Mothers visiting Moore Street believed that if they didn't carefully pick out each plum for themselves, the seller would stick a few dodgy ones in.

Or that if they didn't inspect the eyes of the fish before they bought it, they'd end up with one that had been caught a week earlier and was just this side of putrefaction.

stalls

It was a game, between buyers and sellers. A game where both sides won. Is it any wonder that Brendan O'Carroll filmed part of Mrs Brown's Boys - D'Movie there?

In every other tourist-attracting town in Europe, the markets are a key factor. We should be the best in the world at this. We've been at it for long enough. Instead, what do we have? Disorganised stalls, with some stalls going unused while the goods are laid out in boxes on the road.

Empty stalls being used as temporary seats by drinkers. Vehicles meandering through during the daytime, even though it's officially supposed to be pedestrianised once the morning deliveries are complete. Inadequate cleaning. Currently, Moore Street has an air of having gone to war with the times - and lost. So it's great to hear that the council plans to kick a bit of life back into Moore Street.

It would be even better if they actively set out to make it an inner-city mecca for Dubliners and visitors.

The shops in the area have an interest in increased footfall. The vendors would have a chance to perpetuate a proud tradition.

It doesn't matter whether you're selling books online or pears in a market: the key factor is making it easier for the customer.

If the council drags Moore Street out of the doldrums, customers will respond.

- Terry Prone

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