Taste of Dublin closure of Merrion Square

SGCRA and our members very unhappy about the three week closure of Merrion Square for
Taste of Dublin - a four day commercial event starting today that has no public access. If we want to make Dublin a living city Dublin City Council can't just close off heavily used public amenity space at the height of summer with no notice.

We weren't consulted and received no notice regarding this Taste of Dublin event. The first SGCRA knew of it was when we saw the notices on the railings at the start of last week. Having a long closure of a large portion of the park appearing out of the blue was a very unwelcome surprise that many of our members and many other users of the park are very unhappy about.

Combined with the ongoing and overdue construction works on the Merrion Square Tea Rooms this closure leaves only a thin sliver of the park open to the public for a prolonged period covering most of June.

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Given this is a four day private event, the extremely lengthy closure of the public amenity space in Merrion Square is very hard to justify. There is already a dense programme of weekend and week-long events in Merrion Square every spring and summer that impact community use of the park. But a multi-week closure of most of the park is a much bigger intervention and one that has negative impacts on many users of the Square, be they visitors, local workers or local residents.

The park is in continuous use by the community. There are people jogging, people doing yoga, dog walkers, slack wire walkers, local creches bring their kids to play in the morning, officer workers eating their lunch etc.

The green recreation space of the Square being closed to facilitate a commercial venture at the height of the summer really undermines efforts to make Dublin a living city.

The Taste event only starts today, however the Square has already been closed for over a week. The extremely long set-up and break-down period for this event seems completely out of line with other events.

We are proud in the South Georgian Core to be able to play host to a diverse array of national and city events, but the impacts on residents, workers and businesses in the area need to be considered and mitigated through advance consultation, sufficient notice given so people based nearby can make arrangements if needed, and the merits of certain events weighed up. This is an event we will be looking to not have return and we hope to receive the backing of the newly elected Councillors in the area in this.