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Calls for Chinese gate to mark Chinatown on Dublin's Parnell Street

There is no specific point designated for the gate yet but the aim is to have it for the Chinese New Year celebration in 2017.

A PETITION HAS been set up to try and get a Chinese gate erected on Dublin’s Parnell Street.

The street has been officially classified as a Chinatown by Google maps and organisers of the petition say this is the next logical step.

Many cities such as New York, London, Paris and Amsterdam have a gated entrance for their Chinatown areas. The gates, often referred to as ‘Friendship Arches’ are usually designed in a traditional Chinese architectural style in red and gold.

shutterstock_85701295 Seattle Chinatown Source: Shutterstock/JPL Designs

The petition for Dublin states that a gate would bring tourists to the area and boost business, saying that it would ”be good for tourism and for creating further bonds between Ireland and China”.

Lily, who works in Rongs Asian supermarket on Parnell Street, told, “I haven’t heard about it but I think it’s a good idea.”


Meanwhile, Klaus who works in 147 Deli, also on Parnell Street, said he heard about it awhile back but isn’t sure what he think just yet.


Many people who we stopped on the street hadn’t heard about the proposal but many welcomed it – saying it would be a convenient way for people to locate Chinatown.

Lanyiqiu, 23, told that it was “a good idea so that people would be able to see clearly” where to come for Chinese food and services.


Another couple on the street echoed this, saying they hadn’t heard about it but that it would be a good idea because it’s close to O’Connell street where loads of tourists would like to know where to go for Chinese stores.

One family from Canada were looking for places to buy Chinese food when they spoke to


They told this website that a marking would have been convenient for them, however they also warned that a Chinese gate was put up in Montreal but it didn’t work out as the Chinese restaurants in that area left soon after.

Businesses move – what’s Chinatown today might not be tomorrow.

Different cultures 

While there is a strong Chinese presence on Parnell Street – it is also home to a wide range of other cultures – including Vietnamese, Korean, Afro-Caribbean and Brazilian businesses.

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Social Democrat Councillor Gary Gannon told that while he thinks it would be great to mark that part of the city, he’s cautious about how it should be done.

I think it’s a nice idea but I also think it could be dismissive of the other groups down there.

Gannon said a multitude of different communities grew organically in Parnell Street and the area should now be helped to grow.

The businesses make a valuable contribution to area and they should be recognised for that. It has a unique selling point that could be beneficial to the north of the city.

He added that most commercial footfall goes to the south side of the city and that these businesses should be promoted – but in a way that is careful not to be dismissive of anyone.

So far the petition, which went live in May, has over 1,100 signatures. However, it doesn’t state how the arch would be financed.

Allison Evelyn Gower, who is representing the campaign, told, “It’s right now about getting official towards making the gate happen – as it would be a focal point that would help draw further crowds and make it a destination for tourists and a night out.”

She added that there is no specific point designated for the gate yet but the aim is to have it for the Chinese New Year celebration in 2017.

Your say 

Would you like to see a Chinese gate at Parnell Street?

Poll Results:

Yes  (4505)
No  (3474)
I don't know (892)

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