Dublin, Ireland is now the 6th most expensive city to rent an apartment in. Prior to COVID, most hospitality and nightlife businesses couldn’t afford to expand into outdoor seating. During the pandemic, the government provided grants to allow businesses to accommodate health and safety regulations through expanded outdoor seating options. There is now a public desire to preserve historical, cultural spaces that haven’t been sustainable due to increased real estate prices. Recently, pub and live music venue ‘Cobblestone’ accrued over 7,000 objections to being demolished and built over by a hotel.
COVID presented a lot of contradictions and challenges in legislation that existed but didn’t have to be addressed at the time. Legislation resulted in confusion for Dublin’s hospitality industry which led to mass alcohol and substance consumption. Policing suffered as well. Now, officers are asking for clarity and certainty in their enforcement roles, so they don’t have to opt for personal discretion. While these districts are facing new challenges in legislation, guest Gerry Farrell is optimistic that unveiling these inconsistencies is a step towards progress. “There will be positive, perhaps even radical, changes in terms of improvement,” Farrell says, “Most people I know just can’t wait to get out and feel happy and safe and secure and enjoy themselves with their friends”.
Gerard Farrell is the Director of Operations for DublinTown, one of the largest BID organisations in Europe, which represents almost 2,500 businesses in Ireland’s capital city. He has worked for the organisation since 2009. DublinTown is also a member of the Association of Town and City Management, and the International Downtown Association. Gerard is the coordinator for the city’s Purple Flag scheme and is also an experienced assessor for Purple Flag.