Dublin city centre is in a sorry state


Sir, – Dublin is the capital city but its public realm in the city centre is that of a poor provincial outpost. Road surfaces, pavements and street furniture are in a dilapidated state. Attempts to make improvements are constantly blocked. A design for the high-quality repaving of Temple Bar Square which was prepared for tender in 2019 was blocked by Dublin City Council’s engineering department, and recently the cobbled streets were covered over with tarmac. Recent plans are minimal and the car continues to dominate. There is no grand plan or delivery programme to improve it, nor are there any champions among the council executive or elected members to promote it. The opportunity during lockdown to make any improvements was sadly missed. It needs to get a plan in place for the whole city centre and to promote it.

There are plenty of fine exemplars from Waterford and Cork to Bordeaux and other continental cities. In Flanders the city centres are pedestrian priority zones and all vehicles have to give way to them.

Let us postpone whitewater rafting and use the money to create a great public realm for our millions of citizens and visitors. – Yours, etc,


O’Mahony Pike Architects,


Dublin 6.