Malahide road row: woman with dementia has ‘Temple Bar’ outside her window

by Gazette Reporter

A MALAHIDE resident directly affected by the closure of New Street to vehicular traffic has hit out at the council scheme and claims it’s making life a misery.

Majella Dunne, who lives half way down the busy street, cares for her mother who lives with dementia and is less than impressed with the pedestrianisation.

She said: “Many people have said to me ‘isn’t it great there’s no more cars on the street?’, but I don’t mind the cars. 

“Now we have a Temple Bar-like situation right outside my elderly mother’s bedroom window, with buskers and people eating and drinking on our doorstep. 

“We feel trapped, but nobody seems to care. My family has lived here for generations, and it was always a busy street, but this is very different and extremely upsetting. 

“We just want this to be fixed and the road re-opened. It feels like our concerns are falling on deaf ears.”

Fingal County Council introduced a temporary car ban earlier this summer and eight weeks into the ten-week trial some Malahide businesses and residents are still up in arms.

The trial on one of the vilalge’s main commercial streets, which the local authority says was implemented to facilitate Covid-19 social distancing, has divided opinion.

Some people have welcomed it with open arms while others claim it is a gateway to permanent pedestrianisation “by stealth”.

‘Save Malahide Village’, a group of businesses and residents, including advocacy group Shop Malahide, has been leading opposition to the complete closure of the street to motor vehicles. 

Joe Kenny, owner of ‘Sale e Pepe’ restaurant, said: “We are asking for a fair hearing through a proper public consultation process.

“Some of the effects this road closure is having are absolutely appalling. We have a HSE health centre on the street with many older and infirm people attending the clinic.

“When the road was open to cars, they were able to be dropped at the door of the building or park on the street.

“Now they have to walk a considerable distance, which many of them are barely able to physically do. It is heart breaking to see. 

“I can’t help thinking if that was my mother, who passed away last year, how outraged I would be by the situation. We need a solution that benefits everyone, not just a select few.”

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