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'Customers find it impossible to get here': FX Buckley butcher says Luas works forced him to downsize

Buckley pins the drop in footfall on Moore Street to the Luas Cross City works.

Paddy Buckley has worked at the Moore Street business for nearly 50 years.
Paddy Buckley has worked at the Moore Street business for nearly 50 years.

LONGSTANDING BUTCHERS FX Buckley on Moore Street in Dublin has had to downsize its operation, with owner Paddy Buckley blaming Luas Cross City works for declining business.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Buckley said that he has had to close off a portion of his premises in recent weeks because of a downturn in business.

He also said he had to let staff members go over the past number of years as the situation has worsened.

“I’ve had to downsize in the last few weeks,” he said.

I’ve tried not to downsize but I’ve just had to… The business isn’t there, the volume of people in the street is way down over the past four, four and a half years.

Buckley has worked in the butchers in Moore Street for 45 years, following in his father’s footsteps, who opened the first FX Buckley there in 1930.

The name has since expanded into one of the most recognisable butchers in Dublin. Different members of the Buckley family operate butchers and restaurants across the city.

Paddy’s relatives operate the FX Buckley’s steakhouses, with notable restaurants off Baggot Street and in Temple Bar.

Paddy is the owner of the Moore Street outlet. As a result of a decline in business, he said he has had to close off a retail section of his store.

Luas works 

“A lot of the traders have left the area as they just haven’t been able to make it pay,” he said.

Buckley pins the drop in footfall on Moore Street to the Luas Cross City works, which have been ongoing since early 2013.

original File photo of Luas works on Parnell Street earlier this year.

The construction phase of the Luas Cross City works finished up in June, with testing of the lines then commencing. The tram line is due to be up and running by the end of the year.

“The Luas works have caused absolute havoc – they’ve cleaned it up a bit since but now the damage is already done,” said Buckley.

“The works over the years [have] done untold damage to the business. People spending hours coming in and out of town, getting stuck in traffic, the roads were left in a mess.

There were construction works on Parnell Street and O’Connell Street – we were completely surrounded.
Customers find it impossible to get here. Even friends and family, loyal customers couldn’t make it in to shop.

As a result of the downturn in business, Buckley said he has had to let staff go over the past number of years.

“I’ve tried to hold off… but I had to grab the bull by the horns and downsize,” he said.

He also said Dublin City Council should have dropped business rates in order to protect the longtime traders and sellers on the street, but that this had not been the case.

“They’ve given us no protection, the traders and sellers of the street,” he said.

Buckley’s comments echo those of other Moore Street traders, who blame worsening business on the Luas Cross City works and a lack of investment in the area.

In May, TheJournal.ie spoke to Stephen Troy of Troy’s Butchers, and Noel Dunne who runs Centra on the street. Both expressed serious concerns with the construction works, blaming their declining business on the disruption.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

As a result of this, a number of businesses are considering taking legal action against the Luas Cross City project for compensation for business lost.

As well as issues around the works, TheJournal.ie has spoken to fruit and veg traders on the street who have also seen their business drop off in recent year, blaming a lack of investment in the area.

In response to a query from TheJournal.ie, a spokesperson for Luas Cross City (which is overseen by the National Transport Authority) said that it was in no position to provide financial support to businesses.

“Luas Cross City are not in a position to provide financial support to businesses. We regret any inconvenience which is caused to businesses in the affected areas and we do all in our power to mitigate the impact of these necessary works,” the spokesperson said.

Luas Cross City  has the  authority to carry out the works, including non-negligent disruption to businesses.

The spokesperson pointed towards the Railway Order granted by An Bord Pleanála for the works.

The spokesperson said:

“In granting the Railway Order, An Bord Pleanála acknowledged in its Preamble that it:

  • “accepted that the long-term benefits of the scheme would outweigh the short-term impacts during construction”; and
  • “the construction phase of the scheme would result in some significant disruption in the city centre” and
  • “such impacts were an inevitable consequence of the scale and nature of the project”.

Read: ‘It’s absolute chaos’: Luas works are causing serious traffic issues on Moore Street

Read: ‘You just feel like no one cares one bit about us’ – Moore Street traders working in the shadows of history

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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