Dublin shopping streets should be 'recategorised' to boost occupancy

There are over 20 vacant premises in two of Dublin's main shopping areas
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.22 10 Jun 2022

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Dublin shopping streets should...

Dublin shopping streets should be 'recategorised' to boost occupancy

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.22 10 Jun 2022

Share this article

A recategorising of Dublin's main shopping streets could help boost occupancy.

That's according to business group DublinTown, which was responding to high vacancy rates on both Grafton Street and Henry Street.

Observational research from Newstalk found over 20 vacant premises in the shopping areas.


Grafton Street has 14 vacant units, while Henry Street currently has nine empty premises.

Dublin's Henry Street is pictured in November 2020. Dublin's Henry Street is pictured in November 2020. Picture by: noel bennett / Alamy Stock Photo

CEO of Dublin Town, Richard Guiney, told Barry Whyte for Newstalk Breakfast perhaps Grafton Street could be rezoned.

"This is a category one retail street in planning designation.

"There may be a need to look at that, and have other uses as well on streets like Grafton Street and Henry Street.

"It's a pedestrianised street, it's a street that I think nice cafés and restaurants would do well on.

"We do need to start thinking probably a little bit differently about the city and all cities."

But he says some negotiations are ongoing.

"We're looking at the moment in and around 17% vacancy on the street - including the lower end opposite Trinity College.

"But there are contracts and there are negotiations going on for quite a number of the premises.

"We'd expect that over the course of the summer, and as we head in to the autumn, that the situation will improve."

Flower selling Catherine has been working on Grafton Street for 40 years.

She says: "There's a lot of closed shops boarded up, and it's a shame to see.

"Where before they'd be only closed for a very short time, and they'd be whipped up... for people to move into.

"But now they're closed up, and it doesn't seem to be any way that they're opening up again."

'Dublin is a slum now'

One man says he believes parts of the city have gone back to 'a depression era'.

"There's a lot of people in the city centre - maybe people with affluence are staying away from the city centre - but there's a lot of degradation and poverty in the city centre.

"Tent city on Henry Street, it's going back in time, it's going back to like a depression era.

"The poverty's what I notice most more than the buildings, the poverty of the people.

"I notice the deteriorating condition of the streets. Dublin is a slum now, and there's nothing for people here.

"There's nothing for tourists, there's nothing for the person to come into the city and enjoy because it's just turned into a kip".

Main image: Dublin's Grafton Street is seen in August 2011. Picture by: imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo

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Dublin Dublin Shopping Streets DublinTown Grafton Street Henry Street Newstalk Breakfast Richard Guiney Shopping Streets Vacancy Rates

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