Company plans Temple Bar overhaul
A new strategy aimed at revolutionising Dublin’s tourist hub plans to demolish Temple Bar Square and recast it as “Dubliners Square” in honour of James Joyce.
This is just one of 20 objectives outlined in a new report, entitled Temple Bar Company: Supporting the Quarter, addressing every aspect of the 28-acre area.
Prof Cathal O’Neill, former head of the school of architecture at UCD, and cultural strategist Ciarán Mac Gonigal oversaw its completion. Among its main recommendations are the relocation of the Dolphin House district courts; a cap on fast-food stores; the replacement of cobble stones in pedestrian areas; several new museums and the restoration of 269 protected buildings.
It is the culmination of a number of studies undertaken in recent years and aims to achieve its objectives by the year 2020.
“There is a general consensus that the area now requires a new focus, new investment and new ideas to ensure that it retains its vibrancy and unique identity,” the document states.
“Our future objectives for a more comfortable, accessible and enjoyable Temple Bar are clear cut.”
While there have been tentative discussions with Dublin City Council officials, no moves have yet been made towards planning.
The Temple Bar Company will finance many of the initiatives itself, while alternative funding will be sought from various sources as individual objectives are broached.
Moves are already under way for the transformation of the central square, at an estimated cost of €700,000. The current format will be replaced with an Italian “piazza” style design.
Under the proposals the raised surface would be levelled and existing cobblestones covered with granite, while either Hornbeam or Bay trees would be planted and two rows of seating installed for “people watching”. Once completed, the square will likely be named after Ireland’s seminal writer, James Joyce.
“Cathal O’Neill, during the course of his research, was reading Dubliners and so was I actually,” said Temple Bar Company managing director Martin Harte. “Both of us were struck by how many of the stories were set in Temple Bar.”
While Temple Bar is owned by Dublin City Council, the Temple Bar Company, formerly called Temple Bar Traders, represents 105 businesses in the area. It says tourism to the central business district is worth about €1.45 billion every year. In line with that market, the plan proposes a number of new museums dedicated to “childhood”, the city, the Liffey, Wood Quay and Dublin’s tenement buildings.