Jack Quann
Jack Quann

12.02 14 Nov 2019


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The CEO of business group Dublin Town has defended re-branding Dublin's Grafton Street as 'Grafton Quarter'.

Richard Guiney told Newstalk Breakfast the term is used by several businesses and Dublin City Council.

"The name Grafton Quarter actually goes back before the Irish sign was used by businesses in the Grafton area to promote themselves.

"It's the way people engage with towns and cities now - they're looking for more than just one street and they're looking for more than one thing."

But there has been a large backlash online over the change, with Irish language group Conradh na Gaeilge hitting out at the removal of the traditional 'Nollaig Shona Duit' decoration.

A Twitter account, set up in May 2014, is also using the name 'The Grafton Quarter' and is being run by Dublin Town.

The same group describes The Grafton Quarter as "stretching from the entrance of St Stephen's Green at Grafton Street to Nassau Street over to Dawson Street."

However 'Grafton Quarter' is not seen on any maps, nor is it recognised by online services - such as Google Maps.

Users on Twitter also criticised the move, with some using colourful language.

While Irish comedian Dara Ó'Briain simply said: "Ah here, the wha'? Jesus wept."

But Mr Guiney said: "Perhaps it's not as well known as other parts of the city but it is important in today's world in how people shop.

"And obviously shopping has pressures form online - and 70% of online purchases go aboard - and it is important that we sell the entire area.

"And also [give] people the opportunity to shop and socialise, because that's the way people are engaging with towns and cities".

While Dublin City Labour Councillor Rebecca Moynihan said: "I think there's a particular thing and I think Dubliners have a particular resonance with Christmas lights and the city and the experience of the city... that whole vibe of Dublin at Christmas time.

"And while Richard might refer to the Grafton Quarter amongst kind of corporate bodies - and I'm not convinced about the use of these words 'Quarters' in general and I certainly don't think they've entered general discourse.

"I think it's a very inauthentic way of presenting Grafton Street and the Christmas lights: nobody wants that kind of marketing shoved in their face."

"Whereas I think previously how we did the Christmas lights it was about the experience and the feel that it created... and I don't think Dubliners have any resonance with this idea and the sense of a Grafton Quarter."

Mr Guiney said before they used the name, they conducted "extensive market research and statistical sampling" of Dubliners.

Head of Dublin Town group defends use of 'Grafton Quarter' name

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Christmas Christmas Decorations Dara Ó'Briain Dublin City Dublin Town Grafton Quarter Labour Councillor Newstalk Breakfast Nollaig Shona Duit Rebecca Moynihan Richard Guiney

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