We often say Ireland “would be a great little country if we could roof it,” well Carrick’s Market Yard is taking that advice and hopes to create a “weather independent space” in the middle of town.
The Regeneration of Market Yard drawings, visions and plans were launched on Wednesday night, October 24. The visions incorporate Carrick’s important water resource with an innovative roof feature shaped as two rowing boats.
The plans include a stage area as well as a recreational space which can be used in all of Ireland’s various weather situations. Although the designs are bold and different they also tie in with the heritage buildings and historic feeling of the Market Yard. It is hoped that the new designs will increase visitor usage of the centre.
The Market Yard, or Shambles as it was known, was founded in 1839 by Charles Manners St George, to principally sell linen and butter. It soon became the main market in the county for most other farm produce. The market ceased trading after the establishment of Kiltoghert Creamery, but in the 1990s it was restored to it’s glory as the heart of Carrick-on-Shannon.
MRD Ltd is a community company founded in Carrick in 1989 whose aim is to facilitate the development, management and promotion of the resources and assests of Carrick for the benefit of the whole community. They restored the Market Yard to it’s current state in the 1990s and now wish to take it further and higher by making it weather independent all year round.
MRD Chairman, Gerry Murtagh said “Both Main Street and Bridge Street need a shot in the arm. We feel this redevelopment of the yard is exactly what is now needed. We see the roofing structure as offering the whole community a tremendous new resource. We see it being a design statement for a new self confident Carrick; where Limerick has its new Milk Market, Dublin the Aviva Stadium and Belfast the Titanic Centre, we will have The Market Yard.”
The Market Yard is the heart of Carrick-on-Shannon and currently has six retail outlets, giving employment to upwards of twenty people.
Its weekly Thursday Farmers Market (listed in the Top Ten by Food Ireland) is a major asset for the town, it also has community rooms that host classes and meeting rooms. The Historical Society Museum and Chamber of Commerce are also housed in the Market Yard.
Gerry Murtagh said “We want everyone in Carrick to feel they ‘own’ this space. We want it to be more attractive, convenient and accessible. We want people to feel proud that it is in Carrick and not Roscommon or Sligo. For coming generations we want them to automatically think about the Yard in a positive way when anyone mentions Carrick.”
Although the yard will need to secure planning permission and match funding, It is hoped to have the refurbished Market Yard completed before the end of the Carrick 400 celebrations next year.