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    This is happening far to often lately; although in this case a big congrats to the local Gardai for ensuring the return of this artifact. A few facts need to be put out there.

    1. The owners of historical buildings including churchs, Cathedrals do not have unlimited funds to put in manned security guarding.

    2. The Gardai don’t have the resources to fully protect old buildings from theft.

    3. If post theft restorations are to be authentic then metals do have to be used; commercial alternatives such as mastic asphalt are simply not an option.

    Therefore to solve this blood boiling issue the problem needs to be looked at as to what happens after the crime.

    Current position

    1. Thief steals item
    2. Thief sells to antique dealer or scrap metal dealer for cash
    3. Thief is home free
    4. Scrap dealer / antique dealer (to a lesser degree) gives bogus receipt and or description of vendor.
    5. DPP advise Gardai that sufficient evidence does not exist to pursue recipient of stolen goods.

    UK experience

    In the UK metal theft has been a real issue affecting millions of people due to metal thieves stealing communications cableling serving commuter trains. In addition English Heritage estimates that some £770m (€947m) of damage was caused by metal thieves last year.


    1. Ban all scrap metal purchases in cash; where bank transfers cannot be made the cheques would need to be made bearing information that such instruments were not transferable to third parties.

    2. Set up a list of protected articles housed in protected structures to be held by police and the Irish Antique Dealers Association.

    3. Create manditory fines for handling stolen antiquities from protected structure of not less than 10 times the value estimated by a valuer appointed by the Minister for the Environment and Local Government.

    Any other ideas?

    in reply to: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches #774741

    Happy Christmas Praxiteles, I hope you have a rewarding year in all senses.

    in reply to: Shopfront race to the bottom #776288

    Tourism is a competitive game; I’d imagine that the competitor cities cannot believe their luck from these images which seem to be presenting themselves at ever more sensitive and central locations. Do all the enforcement section staff live in Lucan and commute on the no. 25 bus?

    The Bachelor Inn, what a massacre of what was easily one of the best pub exteriors in the county. Change of brown bread supplier would get the food crowd in who would buy multiple pints out at €4; but only when people trusted the exterior to get an authentic Dublin meal. €3 pints do not make money…….

    What kind of morons are getting control of what have the potential to be good businesses and when will senior management at DCC get the message tourists do not have to visit Dublin they have a choice in avoiding visits to what is rapidly becoming a tacky environment.

    I would greatly support the Fruit Market project receiving DCC funds, which are tight, but what is the point is creating a flagship project when built enviroment standards are going down the toilet elsewhere?

    DCC need to get ontop of their patch in the way credible local authorities do and have retailers appreciate that consent is granted when appropriate and that attempts to get away with it are an expensive mistake punished by Inns Quay’s finest earners.

    in reply to: college green/ o’connell street plaza and pedestrians #746641

    I think DCC should adopt a similar policy to the Shaftsbury Estate on food offer; independent is best but if multiples do get in then they must comply with the same rules as everyone else. Starbucks do not need additional singage at this location; that unit trades very well and they have nothing to fear from Costa.

    in reply to: Dublin Fruit Market #745204

    It is encouraging to see a flagship project such as this moving forward. This type of project would in my opinion give the national skills agency a perfect oppotunity to retrain a large number of unemployed construction workers previously building 16 to the acre generic units some value added conservation skills. The benefits would be multiple; reduced labour costs, potential EU grants, a strengthened service industry.

    If this gets done and occupied quickly I have no doubt as the market recovers the adjoining land holdings will look after themselves without any need for further state intervention. Well done DCC for showing some vision on your own doorstep.

    in reply to: Dublin Fruit Market #745200

    The Fruitmarket is a true gem; the €425m Kelly proposal is clearly dead. DCC are going to have to either fund this themselves on the cheap or do a JV if they can find someone with deep pockets to take a 25 year view.

    The food angle was nice when it could be afforded; looking at this in cold financial terms, the building is costing DCC money, the ideal solution is to offer the existing traders new pitches in the Fishmarket at a discounted rent and do turnover only license deals with restaurants and bars in the Fruit Market. The rates payable to the council would be huge; in contrast to the low income, low functionality it currently provides the city……. This area has onlt one catalyst in the 4 Courts, that is a day time only driver, it badly needs another…..

    in reply to: college green/ o’connell street plaza and pedestrians #746633


    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777291

    Sorry I could have been clearer; I was referring to the Metropoles and 6 sheet installation concessions granted all over the primest spot in the city in return for a few bikes and wayfinding signage; which as you have clearly confirmed is being done Yellow Pack style.

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777289

    Are you surprised?

    Someone needs to have the Valuation Office made aware of this signage if they are not; this is extremely valuable outdoor advertising; the country needs all taxes collected. If shortcuts are made then more tax is due.

    in reply to: Shopfront race to the bottom #776261

    Shocking photo. I’d have that shop re-rated by the VO to take account of the value of the outdoor advertising…..

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #731556

    @gunter wrote:

    I think it’s time that Dublin City do the decent thing and employ Graham to sort out the city.

    Graham Hickey, Dublin’s first directly elected Mayor perchance? :clap:

    Something quite appealing about the Players Please sign alright gunter, i’ve always liked it, not that you’d dream of errecting anthing of its ilk today of course *cough*

    in reply to: Shopfront race to the bottom #776235

    double sized sign removed

    To be welcomed, the finishes maketh the City in visual terms…..

    in reply to: Shopfront race to the bottom #776232

    Supermacs took the former Beshoffs on the basis of the retail being zoned grease; they are limited in the premises they can take due to the policies in the development plan limiting proliferation of take away establishments; what may be appropriate is to take the same approach to take aways as pubs and make them licensed and allow the licenses to be transferred; that way a change of use application from the late 1980’s could be reversed and Supermacs get a unit that is better suited to their needs.

    I agree on a level of balance, but to be fair to the reports authors every one of the signs highlighted are so inappropriate as to render balance an inappropriate word in the same sentance. I highlight the McDonalds signage as it is far from classical, far from invisible but it is successfully applied in so many diverse locations. If an international retailer can get it right; why can’t a local operator who should be nimbler in planning matters.

    I take your point on the footpaths; but only by significantly reducing the level of buses will the specific pedestrian experience improve at this location; if Luas were run down here and buses relocated this would go back to the Wide Streets Commissioners vision of the grand boulevard.

    It really is a pity the way signage is done at this location on the borders of the most frequented tourist zone in the City.

    in reply to: Shopfront race to the bottom #776230

    Onq you miss the point on this; as someone who works in retail real estate I can say that there is no way you can ignore the design quality of a specific street in terms of which streets are successful and which aren’t; particularly on secondary pitches.

    There is no way that any landlord if these streets were shopping centres would allow any of the signs highlighted in this report. Shops become vacant eithert through insolvency or retailers simply not renewing leases; then the focus goes to filling the space, 90% of leasing decisions are made on receipt of the brochure, could you presaude a retailer that has no presence in Dublin to book a flight on spec to consider a store opening in a shop immediately adjoining any of the shopfronts highlighted in this report; conversely if the opportunity offered is a shop displayed by a well taken photo with a clean shopfront such as BTs or Karen Millen or McDonalds adjoining, then that agent presents the opportunity with the prospective tenants signage phot0shopped in, would you rather present Polskadeli or Karen Millen. Go figure….

    What makes the situation even more tragic is that through empty property rating relief the councils own lack of signage enforcement is actually costing them money as retailers are deterred from taking space. Dublin needs to have a superior urban environment as there is no cost advantage and domestic consumption although begining to stabalise needs tourist revenues to become bouyant again.

    in reply to: Shopfront race to the bottom #776223

    The temporary signage issue is really quite bizarre; you can understand a Christmas trader taking a unit for 6 weeks not wanting to spend a lot of money on signage given the depreciation ratio per trading day. But how many of these stores are on short term tenancies?

    The bye-laws need to be altered to remove the capacity for any temporary signage on tenancies where the term is more than 8 weeks; it is a complete disgrace that busineses confident enough in a location to sign a ten or even five year lease can put up ‘temporary signs’ what are the legal costs of negotiating a lease, €5,000? €10,000? Cost of a proper sign, €3,000? €5,000?

    in reply to: college green/ o’connell street plaza and pedestrians #746621

    Abercrombie & Fitch will be a great addition to College Green; the impact they made on Saville Row W1 was substantial, from a sleepy extremely niche retail destination it has seen its footfall mushroom since its opening. The opening of this store combined with the former INBS branch on Lower Grafton Street converting to American Apperell will see this area become just a little to cool for school with the 16-25 fashionistas.

    It is time for Luas down there….

    in reply to: Shopfront race to the bottom #776220

    An Taisce accuses council of ‘reckless neglect’ of city centre

    An Taisce submission to Dublin City Council over “cheap garish signage” highlights a number of premises in the capital’s historic core including Charlie’s 3 Chinese takeawayIn this section »
    Elderly man at centre of shooting incident in which man in 20s injuredVolumes of waste fell by 8% in 2009, report showsHSE plan to cut queues for acute patientsOLIVIA KELLY

    THE HISTORIC core of Dublin city is becoming a blackspot of “cheap garish signage” and “lower-order shops” because of Dublin City Council’s failure to enforce planning laws, An Taisce has said.

    The national heritage trust has lodged a complaint with the council which it said was guilty of “reckless neglect” of the city centre by not taking action against unauthorised shopfronts and signage, and in some cases allowing businesses to operate for years without planning permission.

    Businesses had erected without permission signs which clearly did not comply with city council regulations for shop fronts, yet the council had not ordered their removal, An Taisce said. However, in a number of cases the council had refused permission for signs but businesses had not removed them, yet they were not being pursued by the council.

    Poor quality shopfronts was an increasing problem city-wide, An Taisce said, but was most pronounced in the historic core on streets of major civic and architectural importance.

    “The main thoroughfares immediately south of the Liffey – Westmoreland Street, Dame Street, Parliament Street and the South Quays – are becoming a blackspot of lower-order shops and fast-food restaurants with cheap, garish shopfronts and signage,” the submission said.

    The recession was creating a big increase in closure and vacancy rates, and a proliferation of discount shops. In this environment, increased vigilance was needed to uphold standards and prevent major deterioration in streets, An Taisce said. “Instead, there seems to be no planning enforcement in operation at all.”

    Westmoreland Street had seen the most severe deterioration of any city-centre street in recent years, in the wake of the closure of Bewley’s in 2004, it said. The west side of the street had “descended into an appalling collection of low-order shops competing with each other for signage clutter, while there were significant stretches of dead frontage on the east side”.

    It highlighted a number of premises on Westmoreland Street breaking shopfront regulations including Supermac’s, which had been refused permission for certain signage and alterations made to the shopfront in October 2009 and Charlie’s 3 Chinese takeaway, which had been refused permission for its shopfront and to operate as a fast-food restaurant in 2005, yet remained open.

    Managing director of Supermac’s, Pat McDonagh, said the signs referred to by An Taisce were temporary and Supermac’s was in the process of applying to the council for permanent projecting signs needed to attract customers. “An Taisce musn’t know there’s a recession – without these signs, which are less garish and more delicate than the flat signs, people could walk by and not even know we’re there.”

    The owner of Charlie’s 3 was not available yesterday.

    Among the premises An Taisce highlighted on Dame Street was a Spar shop which had in September 2009 been refused permission to retain certain aspects of its front window design but which remained in place. In a statement the company said it took its responsibilities in relation to planning very seriously and worked closely with the authorities in relation to its stores.

    Parliament Street had started to “go downhill” in the last 18 months, An Taisce said. One fastfood restaurant, Mezza, had been ordered by the council to remove its illuminated signs by August 2010 but had not done so. Owner Eileen Monaghan yesterday said she had received no such notification from the council and was unaware of any complaints.

    The council said the submission from An Taisce would be investigated and “where appropriate enforcement action will be taken”.

    The thing is Pat, your competitors think big and go with cool urban modern design;

    fast food is not only recession proof if priced right it is a giffen good just look at the shareprice graph for Micky D’s;range=5y

    DCC need to look at enforcement as a revenue raising tool; there must be a way to use the by-laws to issue enforcement notices, levy fines directly and get a credit collection oriented legal practice to collect.

    in reply to: college green/ o’connell street plaza and pedestrians #746617

    You can’t beat a pieballed pavement !!unless you combine it with an overscaled stainless steel lamp that is 3x appropriate scale.

    Buses are the problem at this location; you can see the early 1960’s planners widening the road space in all directions for traffic; this has been partially reversed with the larger traffic Island; finish the job put Luas down to O’Connell Street and have no bus pass Church Lane in the direction of TCD; then 2 College Green and TCD can be truely appreciated by visitors. A civic space of this quality can only be fully utilised if it is pedestrianised.

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777269

    LONDON (Dow Jones)–The U.K. competition regulator Thursday said it would probe whether contracts with some U.K. public bodies offered by outdoor advertising giants JC Decaux SA (DEC.FR) and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. (CCO) break competition laws.

    The Office of Fair Trading said it would probe contracts the two companies offered local authorities for advertising on street furniture, such as bus shelters and information panels, in particular looking at the long durations of the contracts and potentially restrictive terms.

    “There are some concerns around barriers to entry and expansion for media owners and the OFT has launched a competition investigation in order to assess whether certain street furniture agreements are compatible with U.K. and E.U. competition law,” Heather Clayton, the OFT’s senior director of infrastructure said.

    “No assumption should be made at this stage that there has been an infringement of competition law,” Clayton added.

    The OFT said it had decided that it wouldn’t refer the matter to the Competition Commission yet.

    The U.K. has a two-tier competition regulation system, with the OFT probing possible competition concerns and then referring the matter to the Competition Commission if it believes that antitrust rules are being broken.

    The OFT said it had looked at the whole of the U.K. outdoor advertising market. It said that while the market seemed to be functioning well, it had some concern over a system of rebates. It said it had some concerns that the rebates could distort how advertising campaigns are booked and recommend that advertisers take steps, such as using media auditors to monitor campaigns, to ensure agencies and specialist buyers act in the advertiser’s best interests.

    Under the rebate system, when an advertiser pays for an outdoor campaign, the media agency and the outdoor buyer receive commission, the OFT said. At the end of a year, the outdoor buyer receives a payment from the outdoor media owner and is entitled to volume rebates related to the aggregate amount spent with the media owner over the year. Rebates tend to be negotiated with the larger outdoor media buyers.

    France’s JC Decaux and Clear Channel of the U.S. are two of the biggest outdoor advertising companies in the U.K.

    -By Steve McGrath, Dow Jones Newswires; 44-20-7842-9284;

    Was a second bidder even asked to submit a proposal in Dublin?

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777268

    Advertising revenue set to drop by 5% this year
    ADVERTISING REVENUES are on track to fall by more than 5 per cent this year, but will stabilise next year and return to growth from 2012, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

    Growth of 12 per cent in internet advertising will only slightly mitigate an expected 5.8 per cent decline in television advertising in 2010, PwC’s Entertainment Media Outlook report states.

    Despite the return to growth in 2012, traditional advertising channels such as radio, outdoor and press will decline over the next five years, PwC said.

    Across the Irish entertainment and media sector as a whole, internet access and advertising, video game revenues and TV subscriptions will be the main growth areas. Traditional branches of the sector will “continue to struggle”, in particular if they are dependent on advertising spend.

    Overall, the sector will grow by a compound annual rate of 4.1 per cent over 2010-2014, when total revenues will reach €4 billion.

    However, this rate of growth falls short of PwC’s forecasts for the global entertainment and media sector. The accountancy firm expects the global market to grow 5 per cent annually between now and 2014, reaching $1.7 trillion (€1.2 trillion).

    The uncertain economic background “has done nothing to slow the ever-advancing digital transformation or the rapid consumer uptake of new media experiences”, PwC said.

    “The trends in Ireland are similar to what is happening worldwide. The advancing digital transformation is driving audience fragmentation to a level not previously seen,” said Susan Kilty, a partner in PwC’s entertainment and media division.

    DUBLIN City Council has been criticised for passing up on hundreds of thousands of euro in potential advertising revenue from a company it allows to hang posters on public property around the capital.

    The local authority has had a longstanding agreement with Irish Poster Advertising Ltd (IPA) – an events promotion company – which advertises gigs and other events on hoardings and in public spaces.

    The terms of this contract need to become public knowledge; are the city council even collecting business rates on these fittings? Its not like they don’t know they are there…

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