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The Iveagh markets: a stale taste?

By Stephanie Fennell

Walking past the abandoned building, a wondering thought occurs… Is this the future for such an area?

No pulse beats in this beautiful building at the present moment and plans to recreate The Iveagh Market are an on hold, according to Dublin City Council.

A restoration project for The Iveagh Market was proposed by Dublin City Council in 2008.  The plan was first approved by An Bord Pleanála in August 2007.

The Iveagh Market was designed and built by F.G. Hicks in 1902.  Hicks was responsible for many of the Iveagh Trust buildings in the Liberties.  The Market offered the people of the Liberties and all around Dublin, a dry place to sell their goods.  It offered them a way of life.

The smell of fish used to swim in the air as passers-by took in a deep breath.  It was an attraction in the area at the time which has since been abandoned and left fallow.

The cost of construction of the Iveagh building was £60,000.  In operation until the 1990s, the market was a big hit.

While the markets were firmly rooted in and bounded by the urban life of Dublin, they cannot be understood fully without looking outside of the city.

The markets were a focal point for Ireland’s connection and communication with Europe.

The 2008 plan proposed a multi-function market and retail centre.  A pub, a six-storey hotel, plus two six-storey blocks described jointly as ‘aparthotel’ were also proposed.

However, no progress has been made on the project since 2008.

“An extension on the planning application is currently in view which indicates that there will be redevelopment in the near future” said Gavin Walsh from planning at Dublin City Council.

The original proposal included plans to create space for retail, dining, drinking and restaurant uses, as well as exhibition space, an entertainment gallery and performance area.

The total area of the building should cover 6,996 sq m, including 5,543 sq m of retail space.

However, at this moment, the beautiful large market hall is hidden behind barbed wire and boarded up doors with “Do Not Enter” and “Construction Site” signs.

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