Irish retailers face winter of discontent after UK closures

Industry believes up to 40% of stores will go bust without State help

Grafton Street in Dublin, the 13th most expensive shopping street in the world. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Grafton Street in Dublin, the 13th most expensive shopping street in the world. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

It has become a humorous internet meme to point out changes in the environment spurred by global lockdowns, and conclude that the planet is renewing itself. Odd sights such as wild goats taking over a Welsh seaside town or jellyfish swimming up the freshly-clean waters of a Venice canal are signs of “healing”.

On Sunday, an illustration of the existential threat to Ireland’s shuttered retail industry became wrapped up in the meme. Martyn Rosney, a public-relations executive, tweeted a picture of cobblestones on the 13th most expensive shopping street in the world: “Grass is growing on Grafton Street. Nature is healing.”

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