The Iveagh Markets briefly reopen, loud and proud

Locals of the Liberties are speaking out against the ongoing derelict condition of the Iveagh Markets with recordings and events to raise awareness.

In a truly rare occasion,a speaker was set up inside the derelict Iveagh Markets in order to play recordings of words and music from Liberties history from the National Folklore Collection and Liberties Folklore Project.

Some of the recordings from “Voices of the Liberties” are more than fifty years old.

“Voices of the Liberties” was organised by the Liberties Cultural Association (LCA) on September 25th to bring awareness to the local people of the Liberties and to the state of the Iveagh Markets building.

The Liberties Cultural Association (LCA) started the initiative the ‘Liberties Folklore Collection’ in association with the Folklore Department at University College Dublin in 2019.

The Iveagh Markets have been closed and boarded up since 1996. Photo: Isabel Colleran.

“The music was recorded a week after the Iveagh Markets closed. We’re fighting for Ida Lahiff and all the people who used to have stalls in there. If they could see it now, I’m sure they’d be turning in their graves,” said Noel Fleming, owner of ‘Noel’s Deli’ and member of the Liberties Cultural Association

Among the voices are Mr Mushatt, “the most famous chemist in Dublin in his day”. 

Along with their display of Folklore, the LCA have been collecting memories from people who visited the Iveagh Markets in their hay day. One of Fleming’s most fond memories of the Iveagh Markets was when he would carry the shopping home for his grand aunts. 

“The very first day that I came into the Iveagh Markets, I remember it well. I couldn’t believe my eyes because I was flabbergasted by what was being sold. I saw a lady selling dates. I’d never heard of them or seen them, so I said to my Grandad that I’d have some of them. It was the first time I ever tasted dates and I got them in the Iveagh Markets. I was probably six or seven years of age at the time.” 

Noel Flemming from the Liberties Cultural Association speaking to locals of the Liberties, Photo: Isabel Colleran.

The importance of the Iveagh Markets is evident as people walk by and express their sadness that the Markets are still closed.

“We wouldn’t have had the park at St Patrick’s Cathedral if it wasn’t for this. When they moved the traders here, they built the park. It’s interesting how connected we all are”, said Kim Olin, social media manager and member of the LCA.  

There is a deadlock over the future of the site involving Martin Keane, Dublin City Council and the current Lord Iveagh, Edward Guinness. The LCA asked Lord Iveagh if they could use the steps of the Market to do tours and events to make people aware of the state that it’s in and to try and break the deadlock.

Keane was granted planning permission to redevelop the site in 2007. However, the ongoing legal dispute occurred when two of Keane’s planning permissions lapsed and he failed to raise the finances to redevelop the building. The case is currently in front of the High Court because the Original Deed of Conveyance states that the market would return to the Guinness family if the building was not developed as a market, according to The