Improvements to Dublin's O'Connell Street halt as the builders go on holiday at the height of the tourist season.

As part of improvements for the Millennium, the Department of the Environment awarded Dublin Corporation £200,000 to give O’Connell Street a much-needed face-lift. The footpath in the centre of O’Connell Street is being widened and traffic lanes are being reduced. Street lamps have been specially commissioned and new benches and plant pots are planned for the street.

The renovation work got underway but then stopped because the building contractors went on annual holidays for two weeks leavening O’Connell Street a rubble-strewn thoroughfare rather than Ireland’s answer to the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

Public Relations Officer for Dublin Corporation Noel Carroll says the Corporation started the job as soon as the money became available.

The timing is something we don’t have control over and I think it’s only nit picking for people to start complaining about the timing, on the balance of sort of complaints people are happy with it.

And indeed one man interviewed on O’Connell Street says he loves it, but another man surveying the rubble, broken pipes, cable and mounds of earth say it looks

A bit messy.

A woman interviewed cannot understand why the work was not completed before the tourist season started. And an English man comments,

It’s a terrible eyesore and a bit of a shame, but the Irish have their own way of doing things and presumably they’ve obviously a very good reason for it.

However, some backpackers are impressed with the completed section of renovation work at the northern end of O’Connell Street. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 11 August 1988. The reporter is Brian O’Connell.