Friends of the Iveagh Markets gather outside City Hall demanding action

On Monday, April 3, Dublin campaign group ‘Friends of the Iveagh Markets’ gathered outside City Hall for a protest.

About 15 people attended the protest. Photo: Nynne Lehbert

Stood with their banners, words, and vests – their message was unmistakable: fix the markets, consult the community, and, argubaly most important, act now.

“We’re here because we care about the Iveagh Markets. What’s happened over the past 20 years is disgraceful,” said Noel Fleming – one of the founders of the group, at the start of the protest.

It’s urgent

The Iveagh Markets have been closed since the 1990s, and haven’t seen a loving hand since.

Currently this case is a subject of an ongoing legal dispute between the developer and hotelier Martin Keane, Lord Iveagh and Dublin City Council. 

Kim Olin, one of the organisers, said that it’s all about time.

“The building has to be saved now,” Olin said. “It won’t make it over another winter.”

As time went on, more people came across. A man came cycling by and gave the protesters a thumbs up. Others rolled down their windows in their cars and conceded their support.

The time of the protest was not accidental. It was right up to the councilors’ monthly meeting, so the councillers had to walk by the protesters and be confronted with the message. Photo: Nynne Lehbert 

Dissatisfaction with DCC

Dublin City Council recently announced they had started works on preserving the roof of the building, but, according to Friends of the Iveagh Markets, this not enough, and they want the work to start immediately.

“Our aim as a group is to see the market stabilised. The building is in perilous danger. We’d like the work to be speeded up. The Dublin City Council allowed all this to happen. Enough is enough,” Noel Fleming said.

“Dublin City Council has always had the power to intervein and do repairs or get the owner to do repairs, but they failed,” one protestor added. “They were asleep on their job, they weren’t doing what they should have done,” added one of the protesters.

The group revealed that they’ve planned other events this year around the city to spread their message. Photo: Nynne Lehbert 

For people in the Liberties, the Iveagh Markets are more than just a a marketplace. For some, it’s where they grew up, and where they have fond memories of.

One protestor in attendence, Christy Hasett described all the destructions of the building.

He attended the protest because he wishes for one thing: to get the Iveagh Markets back.

“I remember the Iveagh when I was young,” Hasett said. “I want to bring it back as it was. It was a market for the working class. It’s a historical place.”

The Liberty contacted Dublin City Council for a comment relating to the criticism, but got no comment.

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