'Fix it now, get on with it' - Iveagh Markets campaigners urge as roof collapses

By Fiona Frawley

January 11, 2024 at 10:04am


Images via Friends of the Iveagh Markets

Shocking images from inside the Iveagh Markets show the state of disrepair the space has fallen into.

Campaigners have been expressing their outrage as the condition of the historic Iveagh Markets has deteriorated even further, with images showing part of the building's roof completely fallen through and debris littering the floor.

The protected structure on Francis Street has been out of use since 1996; it was initially developed by the Guinness family in 1907. In September of last year, Dublin City Council announced €9 million in funding to provide essential conservation works for the Market, but campaigners are now questioning how many reports need to be carried out before works get underway to save and preserve the space.

Images by Friends of the Iveagh Markets show part of the roof completely collapsed. 

"Beyond repair"

An update from Dublin City Council on the status of the works says that the portions of the roof which are damaged beyond repair are scheduled to be removed and replaced, as part of the remedial works due to start in 2024.
"Some of these areas have started to collapse and come down (for example the area shown in images within the wet market), but it is important to note this material would need to be removed in any case, as it contains rotten timbers which are beyond repair.
The main structure of the roof however is in acceptable condition and will be retained and repaired with renewed roof coverings.  The design team is currently preparing a first stage tender to allow for the installation of crash decks within the market, to allow for safe access and to catch falling material from the roof".

DCC have said part of the roof of the Iveagh Markets is 'beyond repair'.

Two-stage plan

An integrated design team (IDT) appointed led by Howley Hayes Cooney Architecture & including CORA Structural Engineers, Homan O’Brien Mech. & Elec., IAC Archaeology and Austin Reddy QS. DCC have agreed a two-stage works programme for the markets, to be carried out as follows:

Stage 1

Following completion of a range of surveys including an asbestos survey, lead paint survey, invasive species survey, bat survey, drone and measured surveys, services surveys, an archaeological desktop assessment and detailed roof survey, a tender invitation is to issue in January 2024 for advanced works including removal of loose materials, installation of safe access routes, installation of crash decks & removal of vegetation. The IDT intends to have these works completed in Q1 2024.

Stage 2

Following completion of Stage 1 works above the IDT will have full and safe access to all areas which will allow them to complete the detailed design process and prepare tender documentation for a comprehensive repair programme. The repair programme will include – extensive repairs to roofs, valleys and rainwater disposal systems; protect & secure windows/doors; secure structural columns which have been exposed; repair walls and parapets; remove lead paint throughout and provide safe access to structures to facilitate a regular inspection and maintenance. The Stage 2 works are scheduled to commence in Q3 2024 and are likely to take between 12 and 18 months to complete.

"Get on with it"

As DCC outline more plans and prepare for surveys, campaigners are demanding that a solution must be found "at once" to prevent further damage to the now derelict market. In a statement to Lovin Dublin, James Madigan of Friends of the Iveagh Markets said:

"It is awful to see that no remedial works have begun yet on the Iveagh Markets. There is  significant new damage in the Wet Markets and the water ingress continues unabated.

We accept that repairs must be carried out to the highest standards but the Markets simply cannot be allowed to deteriorate any more. The Markets have been neglected for long enough.

The fragile state of the Markets demands immediate urgency in making the building water tight.

The timeline proposed by DCC needs to be hastened significantly to prevent the Markets from falling into irreparable disrepair.

The Iveagh Markets represent so much of our culture and heritage and they need to be protected for future generations.

Fix the Iveagh Markets, Fix it now. Get on with it".

What would you like to see done with the Iveagh Markets? Do you believe Dublin should have a dedicated market space, especially when historic, purpose built buildings like this exist? Let us know.