Parnell Square must be ‘reclaimed’ from parking, say Greens

Green lung for city should be encouraged and markets revitalised, notes plan

Plans to “reclaim” Parnell Square as a public park and turn Moore Street into an Architectural Conservation Area will be published by the Green Party on Wednesday.

The “Mondello” race-track layout and car parking must be removed so Parnell Square can become a “green lung for the city”, the party said. While on Moore Street, historic buildings must be restored, the market “revitalised”, and homes developed.

Hammerson, the UK property group that owns a six acre plot stretching from O'Connell Street to Moore Street and Parnell Street formerly known as the Carlton Site, said it was on course to lodge a planning application for a retail office and residential scheme in April.

However, Green Party MEP Ciarán Cuffe said developers must not be allowed “call the shots” in relation to the regeneration of the area.

“We need a vision that cherishes our heritage, provides housing, and promotes the market. As a first step we want the Architectural Conservation Area for O’Connell Street to be extended to take in the Moore Street area.”

Councillor Donna Cooney who chairs the Lord Mayor's Forum on Moore Street said the "sensitive restoration and revitalisation" of the street was essential.

The regeneration of Moore Street should focus on “small-scale” development, rather than a “large enclosed shopping centre” according to the document.

The upper floors of the buildings should be converted into residential use, particularly on the Ilac Centre side of the street. The National Monument site and “all other buildings of significance within the battlefield site” should be developed as a “vibrant historical and cultural area” for “all people of the nation” and for “the thinking tourist”, the document states.

The street market, “must promote ethnic diversity and a cross-generational mix in traders”, it states. “A ‘start-up stall’ (perhaps a pram) should be part of the offering for budding market traders.”

On Parnell Square, in the short-term, the “eyesore of inappropriate car parking” in front of the Rotunda Hospital should be banned, but a wider ambition of restoring the Square as a public park should be pursued.

“The interior of Parnell Square is now inaccessible apart from the Garden of Remembrance, but over the years surface car parking has taken over what was formerly lawns. If and when the Rotunda Hospital moves out of the city centre the State should acquire the building and grounds and open them up again to the public.”

On the street side of the square, traffic calming should be introduced. “It is time for the ‘Mondello Park’ layout which encourages speeding to be removed.”

On O'Connell Street Dublin City Council should appoint a "street manager" whose job would be "to improve the Nation's Capital Street and rescue it from neglect and takeaways".