Brown Thomas car park

 

Sir, – I thought David McWilliams’s recent article (“Brown Thomas has a car park problem”, Opinion, July 17th) on the Brown Thomas car park was snide and ill-timed considering city centre retail is on its knees as a result of the pandemic.

As someone who has worked in the city centre for over 25 years, I am concerned that as access to the city centre is slowly choked (and at an alarming rate during Covid) soon all we will be left with is a vast eating and drinking emporium for the young and able-bodied. – Yours, etc,

DM WHELAN,

Rathgar,

Dublin 6.

Sir, – David McWilliams tells the story of people in the 1990s doing their shopping in Roches Stores and stuffing their purchases into a Brown Thomas bag.

I can recall a story told to me at that time of an astute and very successful politician who, having purchased an item in Brown Thomas, declined the proffered bag and placed the purchased item in a Dunnes bag to be proudly displayed to all and sundry. – Yours, etc,

LOUIS O’FLAHERTY,

Santry,

Dublin 9.

Sir, – I would despair at the prospect of losing the facility of the Brown Thomas car park, especially when I reflect back on meeting a cousin pushing her mother, who uses a wheelchair as a result of a stroke, in the store as they shared some quality time together, which was facilitated by being able to park adjacent to the store and access it by the sky bridge. Should this facility be withdrawn, it would be another door closed for anyone with a disability or mobility issues, affecting a substantial cohort of the elderly. The prospect of the occasional trip into town as a halfway meeting point, to meet up with an old friend or relative from the other side of the city, or further afield, and a day out to enjoy a unique store and retail experience, along with dining facilities, would be lost for the older, less mobile, more digitally challenged citizen. And when the cold, wet and windy winter days arrive, I and many others will not want to be sitting at an outdoor restaurant, exposing ourselves to the risk of developing pneumonia. – Yours, etc,

G ALKEN,

Ranelagh,

Dublin 6.

Sir, – I own a business on the corner of Chatham and Clarendon streets in Dublin city centre. Our customers for the most part travel into the city by car; this might be because they intend to do a lot of shopping in the area, or perhaps because the bus, Dart or Luas service in their area is inadequate. If David McWilliams’s daft idea to close the Brown Thomas car park came to pass, small independent shops like ours would undoubtedly suffer, and if we had to close, the craft shops that he wants to promote would have yet another empty unit to choose from. In order for the city centre to compete with suburban shopping centres, we need shoppers to be able to access our businesses by a variety of means.

David McWilliams obviously had a bad experience meeting an aggressive driver exiting from BT’s car park, but he shouldn’t let this influence his opinions unduly. – Yours, etc,

MARY COSTELLOE,

Costelloe

+ Costelloe,

Chatham Street,

Dublin 2.