Calling all traders

Calling all traders

At last, and not before time, a traders association has been established for the Ringsend/Irishtown area. Ringsend Village has much to offer and with a little effort it could find itself becoming a destination rather than somewhere that’s just passed through on the way into or out of town.

We spoke to Martin Thomas of Artisan Parlor and Kathy Gleeson of The Vintage Inn about what they hope to achieve.

“The Village has huge potential to draw visitors from the cruise ships that dock in the port,” said Thomas. “We’re steeped in history and with a little bit of promotion we could be firmly on the map.” Kathy went on to point out that it’s not just tourists who are missing out. “There are huge numbers of people living just across the bridge who are unaware of what we have here. Most don’t even know about the park or all the places we have to eat and drink. Reaching out to people living and working in the vicinity is really important.”

The short-term goals of the association are a clean streets initiative and a village clean-up, community-based greening projects – hanging baskets, window boxes etc. – signage in and out of the village, a traders map, walking tours of the South Wall and nature reserve to encourage cruise ship passengers to visit the village, competitions sponsored by local traders, Christmas lighting and creating a strong recognisable village identity.

In the long term, they plan to work towards the development of the village amenities for the benefit of all, such as Ringsend Park and the Allotments, a Tidy Towns initiative, a website promoting the area and a Ringsend Village smart phone app featuring a heritage trail.

They also have a clear mission statement, “to establish a favourable environment for all businesses within the community by providing a forum for discussion, a voice for implementing change and promotion of the village and businesses who trade there. Encouraging community participation through our own ideas and working alongside RICC and the Our Town Initiate.”

A marker of how successful a promotion of the village could be can be seen on the Ringsend/Irishtown Facebook page. With over 5,500 likes, it bodes well for the future.

By Steve Kingston