More Dublin Businesses Vote NO to BID

More and more businesses are speaking out about the waste of their money spent by the Dublin BID company (Dublintown) and are voting NO to the continuation of this BID scheme.

 

Joe Macken (Jo Burger, Crackbird, Bear and more), Kim Condon (Magill’s Delicatessen) Margaret Brannigan (Gollum’s Jewellery) are just a few of the hundreds of businesses who are saying NO, Voting NO – Join them. Why pay Double Rates?

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Call to action, all Dublin northsiders

 

Brendan Walsh

Dubliner                                 (Photo: Brendan Walsh)

 

It would appear the DublinTown/BID company is hell bent on generally demonising and othering the North side of this city.  I am a member of the DublinTown/BID board and I wish to entirely distance myself from the attached report that was presented at this afternoon’s financial meeting at Dublin City Council.

It seems that the CEO, Mr Richard Guiney, thinks he is running this city and that he can make generalised pronouncements as ‘fact’ regarding certain parts of the city.

Fear and crime in Ireland, not just Dublin, is a big issue. Fear of crime is a global issue and is well-documented, but it is seldom used to demonise an area, a neighbourhood, a community.  Somebody has to come to the defence of the great Northside of our city and the fantastic people that live and work there. DublinTown/BID was set up to improve area’s (the clue is in the name- Business Improvement District).  It was rebranded ‘We are DublinTown’ to be more inclusive and welcoming.  But when it starts to demonise and ridicule whole parts of the city, in my view, it is time to challenge Mr Guiney and his board and the whole idea of what DublinTown/BID  actually is.

As an Independent City Councillor, I have a deep loyalty to my city and its citizens and a duty to Dublin City Council.  Dublin City Council should come out and defend the city and the politicians of the Northside should come out and defend that part of the city against Mr Guiney’s and BID’s slurs about its character and good name.

Nobody has questioned DublinTown’s findings  in the attached report or where he got them from.  Nobody at the meeting today of the Finance SPC questioned him on them other than me.  On the contrary, they broadly endorsed Mr Guiney’s presentation, obviously completely unaware that he was going to present his report to the RTE news as a fait accompli. Of course, the media picked up on his negative portrayal of the Northside of our city in a sensationalist headline that doesn’t help this city in its many struggles. Or assist the many individuals and residents who go out every day to make the place a better place.

Twenty years ago, Limerick city was greatly damaged by this same kind of media coverage of reports like these and it has taken the citizens of Limerick to the present day to shrug off and counter the stigmatising of that great city.  As in Limerick, short term sensational headlines did most of the damage and DublinTown and Mr. Guiney are now engaged in that same practice and Dublin will suffer greatly as a result of their careless recklessness toward the businesses and citizens of this city.

The reputation of Dublin and in particular Dublin’s Northside is at stake here.

DublinTown/BID is not a statutory organisation.  It should not be given a carte blanche platform to put out these reports. I am constantly questioning DublinTown/BID and the manner in which it is allowed to conduct its business in this city.  It carries a big business agenda and ignores SMEs and shops and as, in this report, it recklessly ghettoises a large part of the commercial and residential district. In my opinion, this renders BID unfit for purpose as it is negatively branding the north side of the city and spreading more loathing and fear. Not even An Garda Siochána would put out such a report and description.

For an organisation like DublinTown/BID to be doing this is an agenda of destruction, disregard, and disrespect for the city’s northside. City dwellers, especially northsiders should stand up to this and defend their city from the likes of DublinTown/BID who exist on a rate payers’ levy that is akin to a ransom demand according to most small business who are in a deep financial struggle to even exist.

For a company that is given rate payers’ money and allowed do this with it without being challenged is an absolute disgrace. Shame on the DublinTown/BID company, its board and its CEO for this action and these outrageous statements.

They should unreservedly apologise to the northsiders of Dublin for undermining them and stigmatising them in such a fashion.  If they were to do this to Grafton Street or indeed, South William Street there would be an unmerciful outcry.  We need now to hear the real voice of the Northside. The real voice of all Dubliner’s who love their city.

Mr. Guiney of DublinTown, instead of creating unity and a shared city that we can all enjoy, is creating a city of divide and foreboding and this at the expense of the city and its citizens, and he gets rate payers’ money to do it.

Given the day that’s in it, Bloomsday, where we celebrate the greatness of our city in all its guises from the Monto to the Sandycove Martello tower – it’s time to defend Dublin in all its aches, pains and glories.

Up the Dubs.

Link to RTE report: http://m.rte.ie/news/2016/0616/796148-dublin-opinion/

The Oldest Shop in Dublin, 4 Parliament Street

sword wall

This building was sold over a year ago.  Prior to that it had been closed to the public for almost 10 years.  When I lived over Thomas Reads I kept my eye on the building and the flooding that was taking place at the back of the premises.  A lot of work was done to divert the water into Crane lane and I have been into this premises ‘The Cutlers’ on many occasions over the past few years, making sure the cabinets and interiors were still on the premises and not getting damaged. Those artifacts should be immediately handed over to the care of the relevant conservationists for safe keeping.

They include the historical ledgers, silverware and some beautiful cabinets.  There were many attempts by local individuals to acquire this premises from the agents and receivers but to no avail. I personally tried to get Dublin City Council to acquire the premises with the help of the conservation section of DCC.  I felt that this building gave an enormous cultural credibility to the Temple Bar area not to forget that it was on this roof and adjoining roof of 3 Parliament St,  that one of the first teenagers was shot and killed in the 1916 rebellion.  Joe Duffy has written extensively and expertly on this matter.

Indeed the new owner of Thomas Reads public house itself and the Oak Bar, I believe, would be very interested in restoring this premises and also that would keep it open to the public.  The premises extends right into Crane Lane and it is a must see even in its present dilapidated state.  The Cutlers themselves supplied many a sword to the Dublin gentry as well as the English gentry who visited.  They could even be regarded as an armourer.  Indeed the whole street Parliament Street is an ideal street along with Capel Street for  a total upgrade and a bit of nurture.  To get the picture one needs to view these streets from the windows of the City Hall Chambers where you can get the view of the upper architectural features and streetscape with a spectacular view as far down as Bolton Street.

Its grand and easy to wax lyrically about Merrion Square, Mountjoy Square but the likes of Parliament Street and Capel Street could crumble to dust if we don’t start caring as citizens about our built environment. What is an enormous disgrace here is that this dilapidation happened right beside City Hall and I have raised the issue time and time again.  I got so concerned that I brought the conservation officers from DCC into the building early last year and got them to document every single item and fabric of the building.  They assured me that the building itself was a protected structure. (ref. 6322). I raised concerns before Christmas and I raised concerns over two months ago when I noticed that the front door could be pushed open and was not secured.

I really believe that this building should have been brought into the family of buildings under the charge of DCC but I have to ask what about the other buildings that DCC own that are as equally important that the city council have had for over 20 years that are in an appalling state? Henrietta Street is just one example.

The only solution is to be proactive and it is probably time for a new association or a new organisation along the lines of An Taisce, The Georgian Society and the Civic Trust thats 21st century to deal not just with the conservation and built heritage issues in Dublin but the issues throughout the country.

We need to get much more energized, politicized if we are to be effective.  We have to bring these buildings back into living use.  Everyday use.  For everyone. Buildings for the public to enjoy.

Here is DCC Conservation Officer reply to the present concerns regarding this building.

This building is included on the City Council’s Register of Protected Structures (ref. 6322). Under the provisions of Part IV of the Planning and Development Acts 2000 – 2013, responsibility for its maintenance and freedom from endangerment lies with the owner.

Two exemption certificates were granted for stated repair and maintenance works to the property, 4 Parliament Street   in October 2012, Reg reference 0140/12  was for  specified  works for  repair and maintenance works to the roof including repair to  rain water goods .This  work has  taken place. Prior to this , the owner had been actively working with the City Council and the Dept of AHG on a programme of works to progress the   opening of  the building as a shop with a residence overhead.

The weathering of the horizontal beam over the fascia signage needs to be attended to as a matter of urgency, and this has been  conveyed to the owner’s architect.

It should be noted that there are ongoing negotiations  taking place between the owner and the adjoining public house “Thomas Reads” .This relates to the  issue of  rainwater spilling from that premises into a void area of  number 4 Parliament Street.   This is a civil matter between the two owners .

Number 4 Parliament Street is currently unoccupied and a full internal and external inspection is being arranged with the owner. Any works required for the safety of the Building will be brought to the owner’s attention and  enforcement proceedings will be initiated if necessary.

 http://www.olddublintown.com/thomas-reads-1670.html

https://www.storehouse.co/stories/c8dv-selling-off-the-silverware