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Fight to keep families and firms in Georgian city core

THE South Dublin Georgian core is to be revitalised in a bid to reverse a trend of losing companies to the docklands.

The area, which takes in Merrion Square and Fitzwilliam Square, contains more than 600 protected structures -- but almost 20pc of them are vacant.

The zone has suffered from a migration of companies to more modern office blocks in places like the docklands and the Sandyford Industrial Estate.

Even the FAI, which had been a fixture on Merrion Square for many years, moved its headquarters out to Abbotstown.

And families have tended to choose south Dublin suburbs.

City official Paul Kearns admitted "there is no magic policy bullet" to reverse the fortunes of the historic quarter.



vibrant

"In many ways, it's a five to 25-year project in terms of what we want to see for the area," he told councillors.

Together with the Irish Georgian Society and the UCD school of architecture, the local authority is compiling a report on a pathway forward for the zone.

A key aspect of the plan will be to market the "Georgian living experience" to families.

"The area is vibrant at certain times of the day, at the weekend and evening time it is pretty dead," Mr Kearns said.

He told an economic committee meeting of the council that families do not live in the area's protected structures

"Why certain social groups chose not to live in Merrion Square or Fitzwilliam Square and chose to live in other parts of Dublin, Ballsbridge or Dalkey, is a very, very big subject to take on," he admitted.

comurphy@herald.ie