Speaking at a ‘Doing Business in Kinsale Meeting’ at the Blue Haven Hotel last month, Minister Jim Daly proposed an ambitious plan to pedestrianise the main street (Pearse Street) of the town, and to create an outdoor space for recreational and increased footfall purposes.
Mr. Daly said, “We need to bring back the market street and town squares to our rural towns. We need to create age friendly spaces for everyone to hang out, chat, sit, browse shop windows and socialise in general. Every town should have central hub for people to congregate for whatever reason, and busy vehicular streets have robbed many of our towns of the very essence of what they are supposed to be.”
Minister Daly didn’t stop there, he wants to roof a portion of the open spaces so that markets and social functions such as street entertainment can be planned and held regardless of the weather, “anything is possible now, hit a button and the roof will open on the fine day, and close on a bad one” said Mr Daly.
“This must be a ground up proposal and receive the support of the local businesses and the community at large, if there is a will there is a way. I would be very confident we can overcome any obstacles and concerns that traders may have such as parking, with some creative thinking and making the most out of facilities that are already in the control of the local Council,” he said.
A further meeting is planned with stakeholders in the town in the coming weeks to formally progress the idea with Cork County Council.