Businesses asked for €10-20k for legal and PR fight against Dublin City Centre traffic plan

— Group with strong car park interests looks to challenge Dublin City Centre Transport Plan.
— Plan part of Pathfinder’ programme aimed at accelerating climate action in terms of transport.

A group set up by property developer and solicitor Noel Smyth to oppose previous traffic changes in Dublin City is fundraising for a legal challenge against the Dublin City Centre Transport Plan.

The Dublin City Centre Traders Alliance seems to carry out no other public activity other than opposing a number of sustainable transport projects in the city centre. It has no known website or social media presence. The group is heavily linked to businesses with interests in car parks.

It was set up in 2016 to campaign against the proposed College Green Plaza and has only had intermittent public mentions since then against sustainable transport and public space measures.

Councillors, in a recent special meeting of Dublin City Council, directed officials to go ahead with the plan while engaging in further and continuing consultation with disabled persons’ groups. The plan includes bus gates on the quays to prioritise buses by blocking through traffic while still allowing car traffic.

Unless legal action blocks the plan, measures are expected to start being rolled out in August. A key element of the plan is to give more space to pedestrians, cyclists, public space, and greenery.

At one point, Smyth, as director of the group, threatened legal action against the Liffey Cycle Route and Covid measures to give people more space on streets but never carried through. This time, Smyth is actively seeking businesses to join his efforts against the plan.

The Business Post yesterday reported that Smyth has written to businesses asking them to pony up between €10,000 and €20,000 for “appropriate” legal, engineering consultancy and PR services against the City Centre plan.

The Business Post reported that “existing members of the group, namely Arnotts, Brown Thomas, Jervis Shopping Centre and Smyth’s Fitzwilliam Real Estate, had already contributed around €20,000 each”.

The newspaper said that the Dublin City Centre Traders Alliance is holding an invite-only briefing this Wednesday, May 8th, to discuss the traffic plan and rally businesses to join the group.

The Business Post quotes Smyth as writing: “Our hope is that after the meeting… the invitees will agree to join the DCCTA and progress with our strategy of seeking legal recourse to stop the proposed scheme.”

The newspaper reported that the letter outlines how Ronan Hannigan, a solicitor at law firm Clark Hill, will provide “details on the dynamics, options, and prospects of legal action” against the council’s plan.

Hannigan is a partner at the US legal firm’s Irish operation, which was formed after they acquired HBMO Solicitors, formerly Noel Smyth and Partners.

In addition to the recent vote by councillors on the plan going ahead, the car-reduction goals in the transport plan were backed by another vote by councillors to approve measures in the Dublin City Development Plan.



  1. When I read news like this… I just can’t… I don’t understand what’s inside the heads of people like this. Why are all the most expensive shops located on pedestrian streets? Why is Grafton Street so successful?

  2. Scandalous corrupt conniving group that are out for self interest, nothing more.yoy

    Thank you for exposing them.

    Let’s hope DCC has the cojones to resist and win.

  3. Be nice of them to publish a full list of contributors so I can avoid them. They clearly don’t want money from the likes of me

  4. If it goes to court I hope the judge does not block the installation of measures in the interim. I also hope the judge doesn’t fancy themself a planner, as they are often want to do. The city centre is far too congested these days – it makes it really unpleasant to be on the quays etc.

  5. The super rich just park up on the footpaths anyway- they don’t use the car parks. See them blocking Wicklow Street or other streets off Grafton St all the time.
    Can’t understand why the city centre doesn’t bring back a few traffic wardens- that should be part of the new plan.


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