Renovating O’Connell Street, Dublin City, Ireland 1962

Renovating O’Connell Street, Dublin City, Ireland 1962

Business owners are unhappy that O’Connell Street in Dublin is to be dug up during the busy summer months.

Reporter Kevin O’Kelly is on the roof of the General Post Office (GPO) with a view of Nelson Pillar and O’Connell Street.

The section of Upper O’Connell Street from Nelson Pillar up is to be dug up to replace the services that lie beneath such as telephone lines, waterworks, gas. The works will be carried out between June and October. The lower section of O’Connell Street has already had the full treatment.

Why choose to dig up the busiest street in the country at the busiest time of the tourist year?

The O’Connell Street Traders’ Association committee are not happy that the street is going to be torn up at this time of the year. Committee chairman Mr Paddy O’Sullivan has concerns about major works taking place on the street at the busiest time of the tourist season. This will present great challenges for the business community in the area.

They couldn’t pick a worse time than the months of June, July, August or September.

The committee believes that works could be carried out in October causing the least amount of inconvenience to all concerned.

Paddy O’Sullivan points to the traffic and parking problems that will result from the works and describes the plans as “disastrous”. As rate payers, the committee feel they should have have been consulted by Dublin Corporation. He is seeking a meeting with the appropriate officer in Dublin Corporation to see if anything can be done to address their concerns. If this fails, the committee will consult with higher authorities such as the Bord Fáilte. However, Bord Fáilte says that everyone is clamouring for improvements and you can not have improvements without upsets.

Car park attendant Christopher Crosbie is not happy with the development works. He says that he and others in similar positions will be unemployed until the works are complete. If they do not get financial support for their families during this period.

Henry Street, just off O’Connell Street, has already been dug up with the surface of the street being completely re-laid. JJ Doody, retail manager at one of the biggest department stores on Henry Street says that the street alterations did not in fact affect business. While he did not welcome the dust and the noise of pneumatic drills, profits at the store are up.

Brendan Murphy the Chief Engineer at the Paving Department of Dublin Corporation defends the decision to carry out the works during the peak tourist season. He says the works will be carried out in sections so that traffic can be kept moving.

ESB workers are already on site digging up the pavement in preparation for work.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 18 May 1962. The reporter is Kevin O’Kelly.
Credit to : CR’s Video Vaults

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