The proposed pedestrianisation of South William Street could turn it into a “madhouse”, a local businessman has said.
Brendan Malloy, founder of the South William Street Clinic, said there is already a “blatant disregard for order" in the area.
In 2020, Dublin City Council trialled pedestrianisation of the street over six weekends and in 2022, announced the measure would become permanent.
The council says the move enjoys broad public support but Mr Malloy is concerned it could increase antisocial behaviour in the area.
“With our own business, we have had one break-in where someone was successful in getting into the building and then we also had an attempted break-in by the same person and that was reported,” he told Lunchtime Live.
“We had another incident a few months back where two ladies walked into the shop, literally picked up products and walked out.
“So, it’s nearly a blatant disregard for order at the moment.”
Mr Malloy said he initially felt pedestrianisation could be a “great thing” but he thought the trial in 2020 did not go well.
“It was a madhouse around here,” he said.
“It became like a drinking area - that’s exactly what it was.”
Green Party Councillor Claire Byrne has championed the pedestrianisation of the area since her election in 2014 and thinks it will help reduce carbon emissions.
he said she was “very sorry to hear” about the problems with Mr Malloy’s business but said they are not down to pedestrianisation.
“I think that’s an issue across the city and it’s an issue for Gardaí,” she said.
“I don’t think that has anything to do with whether the streets are pedestrianised.
“It’s happening now when there are still cars on the street.”
Cllr Byrne also said people would behave differently to the way they had during the pandemic.
“That was a very unique set of circumstances,” she said.
“People were forced outside, businesses were closed [and] you couldn’t be inside.”
Last year, Capel Street was pedestrianised on a permanent basis in order to promote outdoor dining in the area.
Main image: South William Street, Dublin City, Ireland. Picture by: Alamy.com