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A taste of vintage at the heart of the Liberties

Although the Liberties area is a far cry from London’s famous and exclusive Liberty’s stores, in this popular shopping area you will find a mixture of old, quirky antiques and vintage clothing, mixed with a vibrant selection of new and current trends.

 

Stella and her grandson at their stall

Located just minutes away from Christchurch Cathedral is the Liberties most famous shopping area, “The Liberty Market”. The Liberty Market was established in 1976 on Meath Street and is one of Dublin’s longest running markets.

This huge market is filled with multi-coloured, overcrowded stalls with all kinds of products and shop owners chatting away to loyal customers. It draws in crowds with promises of low-cost and bargain products, but what most locals really stay for is the atmosphere and buzz which surrounds the market.

However The Liberty Market, like most small shop businesses, is feeling the pinch of the recession and competition from high street products.

Harry, 94, who is a shoe stall owner in The Liberty Market, was the first person to rent a space in the Market and is still here today.

“I’ve been here for 40 years but the market itself is on its knees. Look it’s empty and three years ago it was full.” “Nine out of ten people who came here on a weekly basis are dead.

The older generation is gone and the next generation aren’t coming to the market. It shouldn’t be like this.” With the slogan “why pay more” the Liberty Market offers some of the best bargains, and stores the widest range of products around.

Stella, a stall owner in the market said, “The great thing about the Liberty Market is the friendly people. The shop owners are more personal and give you more attention than those on the high street.”

If there is one street in Dublin that unites all antique lovers, it’s Francis Street. Francis Street is known as the “antique quarter” and is a sort of mecca for all things old. On Francis Street, you can step back in time into Dublin’s past.

Antique shops line both sides of the street, all the way from Thomas Street right down to The Coombe, with fine art galleries and vintage treasures, giving the street an antique fair feeling.

 

Inside a stall

Two of Ireland’s biggest former fashion designers, Patrick Howard and Michael Mortell, have set up antique stores side by side on Francis Street. Patrick Howard had 29 years experience in the fashion industry before opening up his store, whilst at one time every woman in Ireland pined after Mortell’s signature trench coat.

The streets surrounding the Liberties are packed with beautiful shops no matter what your looking for you will definitely find a true taste of Dublin and its people.

If you’re the type to only stick to high street and branded stores and products, I urge you to explore all the home grown and quirky stores Dublin has to offer. You won’t be disappointed. And remember, don’t spend all your money in the one shop!

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