From what I have observed on St. Patrick’s Street, Cork; Cornmarket St., Cork; Limerick Railway Station; and, Tralee, there appears to be a formula of sorts including:
Limestone paving, laid to an irregular pattern, with some colour or granite thrown in for good measure
Some timber or stone plinths for seating, but not so comfortable so as to encourage one to stay too long
Stainless steel or maybe timber block traffic bollards with some stainless or colourful bike racks
And some funky light fittings
All involved in the reallocation of vehicular space to pedestrian space.
Personally, I would like to see more green in these Public Realm spaces – grass; trees; green walls – even herb or vegetable beds maintained by locals. I think that they would encourage greater use by the city residents and visitors.
I would also love to see a sail like covering similar to the Limerick Milk Market and Temple Bar Square – then a town/city would have a useable multi-functional space and would facilitate gatherings and events.
I am a fan of public sculptures and believe that they should be introduced in such Public Realm spaces – as Westport did successfully.
Decent seating would be an improvement.
My recent visit to Dungarvan added another item to that wish list.
My first impression was that the redeveloped square was very much to type. That was until I spotted the inclusion of pieces of heritage and history in artistic form. These elements were not in-your-face obvious but are well worth looking out for. Similar to Liverpool, it required some looking down.
Having photographed all of the engraved stone thresholds, I called into Liam Rossiter’s butchers shop as he was cleaning down after the day. I learned that the subject matters engraved on the stone were selected by the local historical society.
Some of the engravings, such as Dan Fraher and All-Ireland Medal winner, were specific to one of the buildings on the square. The vast majority were general and were allocated on a lottery basis.
Rossiter’s Butchers appeared very happy with their choice of An Spailpín Fanach – journeyman casual labour. I cannot blame them for that opinion.
I queried the meaning of some of the carvings and learned that the fossil of a Mammoth was discovered near Dungarvan at Shandon Caves. I hadn’t even known of the caves, not to mind what was discovered there.
Ernest Walton was born at Abbeyside, Dungarvan in 1903– which has cropped up in a tweet this week as the birthplace also of rugby star, Niamh Briggs who now appears on a postage stamp. With John Cockcroft, Ernest Walton developed a machine that split the atom, for which they were congratulated by Albert Einstein.
The Dungarvan Leader newspaper has run a series of weekly stories about each of the engravings should you wish to while away some time learning of the history of the area. You could do worse, much worse.
Dungarvan Market. Dungarvan Coat of Arms. Augustinian Abbey. First Cycle Club in Ireland.