Ten claims against council over Temple Bar cobblestone falls

Student and wheelchair-user says Temple Bar is a ‘no-go area’ for her due to surface

Ten personal injury cases have been taken against Dublin City Council in recent years by people who claim they were injured after tripping on the cobblestones in Temple Bar.

Four cases involve people who say they fell on the tourist hotspot’s cobblestone roads in 2017, three relate to incidents in 2018, two are over alleged falls last year and one to this year, according to information provided following a Freedom of Information request.

Martin Harte, chief executive of the Temple Bar Company, which lobbies for the area, said the cobbles "are very, very dangerous" when they are wet.

He said that while pubs and businesses in the area had “no strong opinions” on the stones, “the public have a romantic attraction to the cobbles”.


He said a long-planned redesign of the centre of Temple Bar would see the cobblestone roads off the main square laid again to make them safer and more accessible for people with mobility issues.

The council is understood to be seeking contractors to carry out the works.

Mr Harte said this proposed facelift of the area would smooth the cobbles and reduce the gaps between the stones, which “would make navigating the cobbles much easier” .

When asked about the legal claims against it, a spokeswoman for the council said it “does not comment on ongoing legal proceedings”, and it could not provide details on the amounts, if any, paid out in respect of the claims to date.

Mobility issues

Niamh Ní Hoirebhaird, a Trinity College Dublin history student and wheelchair-user, said the cobblestones made Temple Bar a "no-go area" for her.

Ms Ní Hoirebhaird, disability officer with Trinity’s students’ union, has started a campaign to make Temple Bar more accessible for wheelchair-users and people with visual impairments.

She said college or other social events held in the area “completely exclude” students who use wheelchairs or have mobility issues.

“A lot of other people have horror stories of falling over on nights out,” she said, adding that works to smooth the stones and remove gaps between them would be a “good solution”.

Cllr Hazel Chu, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, said "something needs to be done to make Temple Bar more accessible". She has asked the council to look into the matter.

The Green Party politician said any change to the cobblestone roads needed to respect the “heritage side” of the area, but, more importantly, it must make a difference from a “safety and access perspective”.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is a reporter with The Irish Times