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08th Apr 2024

Dublin’s historic fruit and vegetable market set to finally reopen

Fiona Frawley

dublin fruit and vegetable market

Redevelopment of the Victorian inner city landmark is due to go ahead at a cost of €25 million, Dublin City Council has confirmed.

Five years after its closure and after countless calls for a permanent market space to be established in Dublin, the fruit, vegetable and flower market on Dublin 7’s Mary’s Lane is set to finally reopen.

As first reported by the Irish Times, the market will reopen in just over two years time “following an extensive refurbishment and fit-out programme”.

In a statement shared by the Times, chief executive of Dublin City Council Richard Shakespeare said “We are about to go out to tender for construction in the next three to four weeks, and in a similar time frame we will be looking for an operator. We reckon it will open in autumn 2026.”

The new market will host a range of food producers with a “quintessentially Dublin” focus, Mr Shakespeare added.

Mr Shakespeare also said that the market’s offerings will reflect the business and restaurant offerings as part of a modern Ireland in the city today, commenting “that isn’t just Irish stew”.

The fruit, vegetable and flower market (also known as the Dublin Corporation Wholesale Markets) operated from 1892 up until its closure in 2019. At this time, the last remaining wholesale traders vacated to allow for a “major redevelopment project”, which it was understood would take two years to complete.

In the past couple of years, Dublin City Council has allowed events such as Me Auld Flower, the Night Moves club night and The Nightmare Realm to be held at the venue, introducing a new generation of Dubliners to the market and renewing the collective demand for it to be refurbished and permanently reopened. As anyone who has attended an event there in recent years can attest, the impressive building remains largely intact, with arcaded red brick walls, moulded arches and terracotta corbels depicting fruit, vegetables and fish, supported on carved granite pillars.

Speaking to the Times, Mr Shakespeare acknowledged that the redevelopment of the market has been “painfully slow”, adding “I’ll take some of the blame for that”. Mr Shakespeare was the council’s head of planning when the market closed in 2019, but now expects rapid progress in the project.

Alongside market stalls, the council’s plan for the market will see restaurants opened in the building to ensure it remains active into the evening.

“We want it to be a space that operates 10 in the morning to 10 at night,” Mr Shakespeare said.