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Friday, 6 February 2015

The Dublin Fruit Market

The Dublin Fruit Market is a hidden gem in the back streets behind the Four Courts building. It was purpose built in 1893, and still operates to this day. It is a wholesale fruit site, supplying restaurants and small grocers/shops, but plans are underway to develop part of the building to accommodate small traders and artisan cafes.

The Dublin Fruit Market
3 February 1959
The building is a fine example of Victorian architecture, with ornate facades masking the interior steel structure. A sharp-eyes passerby will notice decorations signaling the goods traded within: carrots, fruit, fish. Statues over the colonnaded front entrance were designed by Charles Harrison.

Some of the produce available at the Fruit Market
3 February 1959
The redevelopment of the site is part of the overall regeneration of the markets area. Smithfield Square has already been overhauled to great success, and the city council’s intention is to bring people and businesses back to the empty buildings that remain between Smithfield and Abbey Street.

Bargaining at the market
3 February 1959

But back in 1959, when this series of photographs were taken by the Lensmen photographers, the market was still an essential part of a city centre Dubliner’s life. These photographs show the traders, the customers and the produce being bartered over on the morning of 3 February 1959.

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