Plans to transform Letterkenny’s Market Square into a European-style plaza have taken a significant step forward with the publication of a detailed design.
From today (Thursday) the public will be able to have its say on the redevelopment proposals which will see many of the square’s existing features either relocated or removed altogether.
It is just over a year since the winning submission for the area’s rebirth was chosen following an open design competition.
Landscape Architect Joseph McCallion’s vision incorporated an open plaza with spaces for sitting, gathering, markets and events. The general layout was inspired by the archetypal social plazas found in mainland Europe but with an “Irish twist”.
Planning documents for the complete revamp of the long maligned Market Square reveal that Donegal County Council and Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce intend to stay true to the winning proposals.
The proposed development, titled ‘Reimagined Market Square’, includes:
• T Demolition and removal of the existing bandstand, adjoining embankment to the rear, steps, walls, trees, shrubbery and planting
• Two new plazas including a water feature
• New public seating, lighting, street furniture and cycle stands
• n Installation of public art
Removal of existing taxi rank in front of Market Centre and construction of replacement rank on Main Street
Set to remain, albeit in a different location within the public realm project, is The Rabble Children sculpture. Created by Maurice Harron and erected in December 1994, the statues are a reminder of the hiring fairs once held in Letterkenny when children between the ages of 11 and 16 were hired out for periods of six months, many to large farmers of the Lagan Valley.
Jimmy Kennedy runs the Brewery Bar which looks out on to Market Square. He said he looked forward to seeing the redevelopment start to take shape.
“I’m definitely in favour of it because in my opinion there is far too much vegetation and the bandstand is only a den for drinking,” Mr Kennedy said.
“Take any European town and they have a plaza where you can sit and have a coffee. I’m sure there are people who go to Mass in the morning who would love to come down and sit for a while and chat. We need something attractive and these plans seem to be moving in the right directon.”
Particulars will be available for inspection online and in the council offices at Letterkenny Public Services Centre.
and County House, Lifford, from today until August 19. Submissions and observations must be lodged before 4.30pm on Monday, September 5.