Closure of Exchange an anti-social action?

Sir, – The proposal to close Exchange Dublin, on the grounds of it "generating anti-social behaviour" (Home News, February 1st) raises serious questions regarding how this issue is being tackled in our city. While we welcome last week's commitment by Dublin City Council and Temple Bar Cultural Trust to support the development of Exchange Dublin, we believe the best way to do so is through co-operation with this deserving initiative by keeping the doors of Exchange Dublin open.

Exchange Dublin is an all-ages, inclusive, open arts and cultural space. The safe, drug-free, non-alcohol environment enables young people to socialise and develop their creativity. Participatory cultural events and workshops support democratic practices and civic empowerment through artistic expression.

Despite the challenge of a lack of resources that affects so many arts spaces in the present economic environment, the volunteers of Exchange Dublin have provided an event and social space to thousands of people over the past four and a half years, contributing enormously to the civic well-being of our community.

We believe in a vision of the city with arts and culture available to everyone. We believe that locking one of the few spaces that has provided inclusive cultural participation is a grave mistake.

By removing Exchange Dublin, and offering no ongoing alternatives to its multi-users, Dublin City Council is inevitably furthering the anti-social behaviour it claims it is trying to combat in the area.

Surely closing a social space is anti-social? – Yours, etc,

MARK CUMMING,

Comhlamh; JESSE JONES, artist; Prof KATHLEEN LYNCH, Equality Studies, UCD; SHANE O’CURRY, European Network Against Racism; GARRATT MULLEN, Show Racism the Red Card & SHANE FITZGERALD, We’re Not Leaving Campaign,

North Circular Road,

Dublin 7.