old newspaper cutting of Smithfield (April '97) . . . before redevelopment.
The way I remember it, apart from the monthly horse fair, the fruit & veg market illustrated was just a spill-out from the market sheds and stores along the west side of Smithfield and was mostly a Saturday morning thing.
But, even with this limited use, and accepting that there may have been an architectural deficit, little urban enclosure, and no towering gas braziers, the space 'worked'!
It can't be rocket science to just stick a open-air market into Smithfield at weekends and just see what happens!
The Meeting House Square market in Temple Bar is fine if you don't mind paying â‚¬4.50 for a loaf of bread, but it too small and too arty to really satisfy. The Marlay Park and Peoples' Park, DunLaoghaire markets have their charms but are too far out to make a contribution to the city, and are equally arty and over-priced, IMO.
Is there any reason why a city the size of Dublin couldn't have half a dozen decent unpretentious open air markets within the city centre area, enlivening dead spaces and drawing people into the ghost areas of the city centre?
Why would Smithfield and Newmarket not be the obvious places to start?