THE old Dunnes Stores in Sarsfield Street should be knocked and the Arthur’s Quay Park extended, a councillor has said.
Independent City East Councillor John Gilligan wants a transformation of the southern side of the river in the same manner the northside has received a facelift.
Chief among his wishes is the demolition of the Dunnes Stores, which has been closed since August 2008.
But the former mayor also wants the pathway between the historic quarter of the city and the tax office to remain open seven days a week to facilitate tourists.
Speaking of Dunnes Stores, he said: “This is a total eyesore - we should demolish it and make it part of the public park beside the river.”
The potato market also needs to be purchased by the council, so the walkway between the Potato Market and Sarsfield Bridge can be reopened.
“Until we start doing things, we are just dreaming,” he said.
Cllr Gilligan’s ideas won widespread support in the chamber.
Labour councillor Tom Shortt said: “It is crucial we get this right. Opening the area up is the only option. We need to remodel the southside of the river and make it more attractive for people to come to.”
Independent cCouncillor Kathleen Leddin said she hopes redeveloping the southside of the river is as successful as the redevelopment of the northern side, which has seen a boardwalk on Clancy Strand, as well as other upgrades in tourist paths.
She wants to see a playpark in the Arthur’s Quay Park, saying “It is a very important area. A small play park there would be ideal. It would enhance the lives of children in the city.”