Improvements on Quay Street
If you have been sitting at the traffic lights on Quay Street, Dundalk, in the last few weeks, you may have noticed a surprising sight. A block of refurbished buildings including a shop has appeared from nowhere.
The blocked up buildings that comprised the wall of the coal yard have been replace by two terraced houses and a shop. Georgian doorways with columns and windows bordered in brick have replaced the grey paint of the wall. And a shop called Cooney's, with a green shop front has appeared next door, its wares visible through the window. It is possible this site which runs from the traffic lights to almost opposite Butlers shop has after many years of neglect, now instantly become the beneficiary of urban regeneration.
The answer, as is so often the case, is yes and no.Of course someone has put in the time and energy to change a drab wall to a more pleasing street scape. But the shops, the houses are fake. The shop front is just that, a front, no shop.
It seems the development is part of a plan by Dundalk Tidy Towns Committee to brighten up the area. And more is on the way. Phase 2 now includes a roadway called Browns Row. A whole street running from Quay Street to the quay is visible in perspective. Again it is a fake.
So, no huge revival in The Quay as a centre for commercial development. But as you drive through the lights and on down Quay Street, you have to look twice, to check whether the houses and shops are real. And remember there were once real buildings there. Although it's quite a while since I cycled down Browns Row.