Temple Bar plan to curtail drinking problems
Frank McDonald, Environment Editor
Staggered closing times for pubs to curtail the intensity of public drunkenness is one of the measures being proposed in a rescue plan for Dublin's Temple Bar area, due to be published next month.
Officially called an urban framework plan, it also proposes banning street music and horse-drawn carriages after 10 p.m. to reduce noise levels in the area, as well as curtailing late-night queues outside nightclubs.
A co-ordinated cleansing strategy is to be put in place so that the area becomes a "model of urban cleanliness".
Property owners would also be required to maintain their buildings or risk being included in a "rogues' gallery".
Drawn up by architects Howley Harrington for Temple Bar Properties (TBP), the plan says rowdy public behaviour must be tackled before any major improvements can be carried out in the city's "cultural quarter".
The plan says public drunkenness has been magnified in Temple Bar because of the density of licensed premises. Publicans in the area would have to admit that there was a problem and take responsibility for it, including an active role in the dispersal of their customers, assisted by well-trained doormen and gardaÃ on the beat.
The plan also underlines the need to link the licensing and planning codes so that they can be properly enforced - for example, against licensed premises which have been developed at variance with their permissions.
Noise levels in the area are to be reduced by sound-proofing music venues, setting and enforcing maximum decibel levels and even putting rubberised mats on the cobbled streets to soften the fall of beer kegs.
The plan also proposes to widen footpaths, narrow carriageways, reduce signage clutter, plant more trees and replace mock-Victorian lamps with modern streetlights.
The recommendations are being considered by the board of TBP and its parent body, Dublin City Council, prior to an official "relaunch" of the cultural quarter in mid-February.