Patrick Costello TD for Dublin South Central was today speaking following the weekend pedestrianisation of College Green as ‘Notre Dame Street’.
He began, ‘Last weekend we saw the pedestrianisation of College Green as part of the festivities around the American Football game in Lansdowne Road. This is not the first time the council have put weekend pedestrianisation in place. Like those previous events, this was also a huge success, revealing the true potential for a pedestrianised plaza.’
‘We also saw the conclusion of the weekend pedestrianisation of Parliament Street which took place over July and August. Just as was the case with its temporary pedestrianisation last year, it again was a huge success and needs to made permanent as we have seen with Capel Street.’
Reflecting on the future potential he continued, ‘This is a huge opportunity now to implement a positive change for our city and its citizens. The council and national government need to work hand in hand to make this a reality. The government should be looking at purchasing the Old Parliament, now Bank of Ireland, on College Green as a flagship project for the pedestrianisation process.’
Concluding he remarked, ‘As we know most banking services have moved online with very little staff onsite in branches, this is also the case for BOI at College Green. Given the historic significance of the building it is being vastly underutilised in its current capacity. The Minister for Public Expenditure should engage BOI in talks about the purchase of the site on behalf of the state. The potential for the site as a museum on the history of parliamentary democracy and as an arts/cultural hub is endless. State ownership of the site would hugely enhance the planned pedestrianisation of College Green.’