Here are 8 things to look out for around The Liberties in 2024:
Meath Street Revamp
After the completion of work on Francis Street in 2023, attention now turns to Meath Street. A Part VIII for a €5m refurbishment of the street was approved by Dublin City Council in December. This year will see this preliminary design teased out and developed as a detailed design, with construction expected to begin in 2025. The plans for the street include widened footpaths to double pedestrian space, tree planting and landscaping, seating and other services, and changes to parking and loading arrangements.
The final finishes are being made at Newmarket Yards, a scheme of over 400 apartments, commercial units, cultural spaces, open spaces and a new Premier Inn hotel located between the historic square and St Luke’s Avenue. The new development is the first of two large residential schemes coming to Newmarket, greatly adding to the resident population on the square. 10% of the apartments in Newmarket Yards are earmarked for social housing. The 160-bedroom Premier Inn hotel opened to the public late last year.
A number of streets in the area are set for landscaping work this year, including plans for new trees on Haroldville Avenue, Reuben Street and St Anthony’s Road in Dolphin’s Barn, a new landscape feature on Blackpitts, the replanting of medians on St Luke’s Avenue and the introduction of new trees and planting on Carman’s Hall. The projects are part of the continued roll out of The Liberties Greening Strategy, improving green infrastructure and amenities.
The popular Culture Date With Dublin 8 festival returns in May with an expanded programme of events planned across 5 days. The festival, now in its 6th year, connects locals and visitors to national cultural institutions and attractions across Dublin 8 and brings a welcome splash of colour to street and parks in the area. Its part of a growing calendar of events in the area that also includes The Liberties Festival in July, a second edition of Beta – a new arts & technology festival – in November, and the Jonathan Swift Festival also in November. There are also plans to expand summer events and activities in the area’s parks, including some Opera in the Open.
A massive regeneration of the historic St James’s Gate Brewery site was permitted in 2023. The redevelopment, led by Diageo and Ballymore, will see new hotels, cultural spaces, a market hall, a theatre and events space, over 330 apartments and beautiful new public spaces and streets created on the 12 acre site. A new HQ building for Diageo is planned, as is the conversion of the historic No. 1 Thomas Street to a new home for the celebrated Guinness Archive. 2024 will see lots of work behind the scenes to prepare for what’s likely to be a decade-long development project. One of the first visible signs of change will come later this year with the completion of a new staff restaurant and welfare building for Guinness staff at the former James’s Street Post Office. This will allow the current 1960s building in the old brewery to be demolished.
More at Bridgefoot Street Park
2023 saw Bridgefoot Street Park establish as one of the area’s newest amenities with the maturing of the Talpin Fields Community Garden, a series of events during the year including a summer concert by St George’s Brass Band, and the opening of Mugshot Cafe in May. This year will see further additions to the park with plans to add more play features, including a chess table. Very Queen’s Gambit!
The iconic market halls on Francis Street have rightly been a source of concern for a number of years. 2024 will see work to full repair the roof and to secure the building for the future. A design team is now in place to oversee a €10m refurbishment of the expansive roof and the upper masonry of the building by Dublin City Council.
The Harbour House
The distinctive curved harbour warehouse at Grand Canal Place is currently swathed in scaffold as it is restored and repurposed as part of the huge Marlet redevelopment of the former harbour. 600 apartments are under development on the site, as well as new commercial and retail spaces, all set around a large water feature intended to celebrate the site’s heritage. The harbour closed in the early 1970s and was filled in and for many years the harbour house stood derelict. The Marlet regeneration of the site will see the building returned to use, extended by a glazed atrium and likely occupied by a medical centre, a cafe and shops.