Following overwhelming backlash to the announcement by Dublin City Council that it was to end the weekend pedestrianisation of Capel St and Parliament St in the city centre, it has now been announced the scheme is to be extended.
Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland shared on Newstalk, “Yesterday shows how local councils and Dublin City Council management can work together to speedily respond to public affirmation of what is a great scheme, that’s brought new life and energy to the streets. Now we’ve extended it for another four weeks.”
? We would like to announce a 4-week extension to the Capel St/Parliament St weekend traffic-free streets initiative. The initiative, which was due to finish this weekend, will now conclude Sep 26th. Public consultation will commence on Monday 30th August. #Dublin #CityRecovery pic.twitter.com/OZ6dVUc6q9
— Dublin City Council (@DubCityCouncil) August 24, 2021
However, in an interview with The Hard Shoulder on Newstalk, owner of Pantibar, Rory O’Neill, likened the extension to a “stay of execution”.
O’Neill shared, “I’m very pleased for the next four weeks we have a stay of execution, but I’m not counting all my chickens yet. The businesses on the street will be using the next four weeks to push to make this a permanent change.”
He continued, “We wouldn’t have a business now to talk about if it weren’t for the pedestrianisation. We wouldn’t have been able to serve anybody at all because, for example, Pantibar doesn’t have any outdoor space. So without being able to use the street we would have been closed, until indoors was allowed.”
Previous to the extension announcement, fellow queer business Street 66 had called on the Council for transparency, sharing on their social media account: “We would like to ask Dublin City Council for the results of this trial to pedestrianise Parliament St and Capel St. Why call it a trial if you say it was a success and are now ending it without consultation with all the businesses on the streets.”
The pedestrianisation initiative which saw both streets closed to traffic on the evenings of Friday, Saturday and Sunday was due to finish this weekend but will now be extended until September 26.
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