Liberty Market turns 50: Street party to be held celebrating iconic Dublin market’s 50th anniversary

A street party will be organised to celebrate the Liberty Market’s 50th anniversary this month.  

Exterior of the Liberty Market on Meath Street. Photo: Eimear Phelan.

The event will take place on October 21 to mark the anniversary.  

Liberty Market stall owner Clare Russell told The Liberty that they’ll have “music, food, drinks and karaoke.”

Imelda May might even come out as a special guest. 

Russell has been working there since she was 12 years old, and she said she loves it. 

“You can’t beat the people in The Liberties, I have a woman coming in aged 90 and she’ll sit with me every morning for about an hour just to chat,” she said.

The welcoming atmosphere that’s created in the Liberty Market is like no other. You’re never far away from a ‘How are ye’ or an ‘Ah you’ll never guess what’.

It’s a place where the art of conversation is truly mastered. 

Two people having the chats in the Liberty Market. Photo: Eimear Phelan

While talking to Russell, a woman Marrian O’Keeff came over, cup of tea in hand to see what the story was.  

When she was brought up to speed, she was more than ready for a chat about her love for the Liberty Market.  

She’s been working there for what ‘”must be 40 years now,” and along with Russell, her favourite thing about working in the Liberty Market is the company she is surrounded by. 

“Ah the people that come in here are the salt of the earth, they might come in feeling down or anxious about something and come out feeling better,” she said. 

Russell chimed in with, “Sure at Christmas time people would come in with a bottle of wine for us.” 

“This is the heart of Meath Street and without it, the place would be gone,” O’Keeff said with Russell nodding along. 

They seemed to know everyone and everything about this place, one man walked by and was stopped by almost everyone for a chat. 

The pair of them weren’t short of stories about the shoppers and how some of them “haven’t a patch on them.”

Mariann O’Keeff’s stand at the Liberty Market. Photo: Eimear Phelan

Mariann O’Keeff has a stall that is full of teddies and toys and Claire Russell’s stall is full of greeting cards – ones you couldn’t get anywhere else. One of the cards read, ‘A girl born in the Rotunda’. 

In ‘proper’ Dublin fashion, like the rest of us, they declined the offer for a photo in The Liberty, while pushing the other one to go for it.  

“Ah no I wouldn’t but she should, she’s gorgeous.” 


The Liberty Market is open for chats and custom every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

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