One of Ireland’s most historic streets –Thomas Street in Dublin’s south-west inner city – has received a makeover thanks to a community clean-up organised by local business stakeholders. Dozens of volunteers turned out to participate in the clean-up, including residents of Thomas Street and surrounding areas, as well as business-owners, service-providers, retailers and other local interest groups. Armed with bags, gloves and brushes, the volunteer cleaners were sent on their way to the sounds of Brazilian drumming by MaSamba Samba School, a locally-based performance group.
The clean-up was organised by the Thomas Street Business Association (TSBA) in partnership with Dublin City Council and St. Catherine’s Church. It took place as part of a 90-day plan initiated by the TSBA at the beginning of May, aimed at rejuvenating Thomas Street and making it more attractive for tourists, shoppers and permanent residents.
Some of the successes of the 90-day plan forThomas Streetto date include:
* A commitment from NAMA – which has ownership of a number of derelict properties on Thomas Street – to completely redecorate six buildings on the street.
* Ongoing work by Dublin City Council to address the problems of litter, dirt and graffiti on the street. The Council is also supporting the installation of flowering window boxes along the street.
* Redecoration of shop fronts by a number of local businesses, including Manning’s Bakery, Reilly’s Pharmacy, the Hilltop pub, Baker’s pub, Café 53, the Clock pub and the Ferocious Mingle Marcade – with commitments from other businesses to improve their premises before the end of the 90 days.
* The establishment of a number of community-based art and heritage projects, involving local artists, students from the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) and community groups such as D8CEC (Dublin 8 Community Education Centre). One of the projects, spearheaded by the 24hr Community art collective, is now operating out of premises at138-140 Thomas Street, donated by local property-owner Gerry Smith.
* Ongoing collaboration with Fáilte Ireland in relation to its ‘Dublin’ tourism initiative, which encompasses Thomas Street.
* The development of a new brand and website for Thomas Street, which will be launched in the coming weeks.