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'Moore Street could be Dublin's La Rambla', says historian Barry

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Moore Street

Moore Street

Moore Street

Dublin's Moore Street could rival some of the most famous streets in the world such as Barcelona's La Rambla if it is developed with vision, Dublin historian Barry Kennerk has claimed.

"During the 1950s and 1960s, there were about 70 stalls on Moore Street - today there are only 17," he said.

"The area needs an integrated selling experience, not a fragmented one.

"The whole footprint of the old market could be moved eastwards."

Mr Kennerk said Dublin needs a Camden Market of its own, referring to the famous one in London that has evolved to become an important hub for trading in the city.

"What's needed is a must- visit destination with a historical and cultural centre at its heart," he said.

In the future, "when inbound air travellers are browsing through their inflight magazines, they need to read about Dublin's Moore Street in the same way that people read about La Rambla in Barcelona, the English Market in Cork or the Christmas Market in Vienna", said Mr Kennerk.

The redevelopment of Moore Street could be done in tandem with the plans of UK property group Hammerson, he added.

It announced last May that the "unique character and vib- rancy" of Moore Street will be restored under its proposals for a new urban quarter in the north inner city.

It would try "to protect and enhance the Moore Street area's unique heritage, including its market and connections with 1916, while at the same time delivering clear economic benefits and employment opportunities".

Mr Kennerk said: "The plan by Hammerson's has been broadly welcomed by the new Moore Street Advisory Group."

He believes some semblance of the old Moore Street market could still be recreated by ped- estrianising Moore Lane and O'Rahilly Parade, renovating lock-ups and garages and turning them over to clothes sellers and dealers in small craft goods.

Souk

"Markets will always be about living people," said Mr Kennerk, who has studied the area in depth and previously published a book, Moore Street - The Story Of Dublin's Market District.

He said it was "Dublin's own souk" or marketplace in previous times, occupying about 12 acres, with a warren of back streets and alleys with everything being sold from furniture to shoes and all sorts of second-hand goods.

"Any time I visit a city in Europe, I am on Google looking for the 'old town'," Mr Kennerk said.

"People want to get lost in a city where you don't know what you'll find around the corner. Just to recreate some of that, I think it would be super."