“With regard to the forthcoming event that you have advertised for Market Square this weekend, can you also contact the Town Clerk’s office for an application form for Use of Market Square”.
This followed an earlier email requesting that the Party remove the National Flag from the Square. The event they are referring to is the commemoration of the 1916 Rising.
Jennifer Green has taken issue in the past with the Council in relation to its attempt to extinguish the public right in relation to the Square. Councillor Green said “this is a blatant attempt to restrict and eventually prevent the right of assembly at the square unless it suits the Council.”
The Market Square has been at the heart of Dundalk’s civic and commercial life since the 18th century, having been first laid over a 2 acre area in the 1740’s. Councillor Green commented that it “a rejuvenation of the square was long overdue. I would like to remind the Council and the public that it was thanks to a Sinn Féin campaign that we weren’t left with a monstrosity of a 5 storey building complete with an underground car park.”
The Sinn Féin councillor was angry as she said, “my taxes and yours contributed to the refurbishment of the square so we, the public, should have the right to use it. How dare the Town Clerk expect my party or the public to go cap in hand to his office and ask his permission to use this public amenity?”
Jennifer continued “Interestingly at the time, the Architects who designed the Square as it is today are quoted as saying ‘it offers a functional space for townsfolk and visitors to meet, sit and interact.’
“The then Cathaoirleach of the Town Council at that time said ‘in addition to being the geographic centre of Dundalk, the Market Square holds a special place in the town’s collective memory and – in many ways – it’s Dundalk’s meeting place.”
Jennifer Green concluded by saying “if Dundalk Town Council have their way, the public’s right to this public amenity will be extinguished.”