A detailed outdoor summer plan for Dublin, put forward Green Party councillors, was “largely ignored” by Chief Executive Owen Keegan and his officials.
On Lunchtime Live this afternoon, Green Party Councillor for the South-East Inner City Claire Byrne said it was “incredibly frustrating” to see the difference in the summer preparations between Dublin and Cork.
Some 17 streets have been pedestrianised in Cork ahead of the return of outdoor dining with capacity for more than 2,300 seats.
Meanwhile, Princes Street has been fitted out with a long row giant, multi-coloured umbrellas that can be erected or retracted depending on the weather.
Cllr Byrne said the lack of progress in Dublin is “very disappointing.”
“For me and my Green Party colleagues, this is incredibly frustrating because, back at the end of April, we sent in an outdoor summer plan to the CEO of Dublin City Council and the other relevant officials who were dealing with the reopening,” she said.
“We put forward many proposals that would address the ongoing issues we have – such as heating, such as toilets, such as a more robust waste management plan; Introducing welcome ambassadors to the city as we reopen, introducing marshals to the city and looking at utilising the expertise from the many, many out of work event staff we have across the city as well – because obviously as you have seen we have some issues with crowd control as well.
“But our outdoor plan was largely ignored which is very disappointing.”
— Luke Benson (@Mr_LukeBenson) May 31, 2021
Cllr Byrne said there is “still lot of work going on” in the city to pedestrianise the areas around Grafton Street as well as Merrion Row where traffic is to be reduced to one lane to facilitate buses.
She said the scenes in the city last weekend highlighted the need for better facilities.
“From the City Council’s perspective, hearing directly from the businesses and the impact this is having on them … we are supposed to be reopening Dublin and welcoming everybody back and we really need people to come back in but we need to make it a really attractive place so I feel like there will be major steps for this weekend.”
Also on the show, the President of the Cork Business Association Claire Nash said a huge amount of work is underway to prepare the city for reopening.
“We are really looking forward to providing the space on our street chich will comprise of 240 -260 seats and the city in general will have outdoor dining with capacity north of 2,300 once we get open next Monday,” she said.
“17 streets have been pedestrianised and any operator or trader on those can enjoy outdoor dining if they have their permits in place – as in permissions from the council.
“The council has been super, super adaptive and has been working for us for a long, long time – probably a year and half now to get this over the line – and it is all happening.”
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