Joseph McCallion’s vision for a re-imagined Market Square is to become a reality.
Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Donegal County Council is pleased to announce the winning submission is Landscape Architect Joseph McCallion’s design.
The layout has is a functional and contemporary celebration of Letterkenny town’s past, present and future. The general layout is inspired by the archetypal social plazas found in mainland Europe, but with an Irish twist.
The design proposes to relocate the tourist office to add further reason to visit the Square. Mobile coffee vans, cinemas and emergency vehicles can all access the new Square, and a new water fountain creates an exciting space brimming with life, even on ordinary days.
Accessible routes for disabled users are included in the design thinking. The Square is to be open and airy, designed to deter potential antisocial behaviour and to tranform what is a car dominated space into an airy part of the town full of trees and life.
President of Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce, Michael Margey said: “Letterkenny Chamber is delighted to have led on this initiative and to play our part in enhancing Letterkenny town centre as a place where business and civic life can thrive. We are extremely pleased to announce the winning design concept submitted by Joseph McCallion and look forward to its further design development and consultation. The winning concept is an exciting vision for a flexible, multi-user space incorporating a plaza with creative spaces for sitting, gathering, markets and events. The winning design also explored the potential of enhancing the links between Market Square and the Cathedral Quarter as well as wider enhancements that could be made to Main Street.”
Launched in July 2020, the competition invited concept design proposals to redesign Market Square as a great public space that people want to experience and spend time in.
An Evaluation Team assessed the submissions to shortlist 6 design concepts and the public were invited to vote for their favourite during April 2021. Following the public vote, the Evaluation Team took account of all relevant matters and selected the submission of Joseph McCallion as the winning design concept.
Cathaoirleach of Letterkenny-Milford Municipal District, Cllr Donal Coyle outlined the importance of the competition saying, “I would like to thank all the participants and to warmly congratulate Joseph McCallion for his winning design concept. The public also played their part in casting over 3,000 votes for their favourite design. The outcome of the vote reaffirmed the assessment of the Evaluation Team as the winning design also received the largest share of public votes. This is a great endorsement that the winning design concept can be developed further to meet the needs of the town and its people and will provide great benefit to businesses in positioning our town centre as a welcoming place for people.”
Toni Forrester, Chief Executive Officer of Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce said, “This initiative came about as a result of our Bank of Ireland award as ‘Irelands Most Enterprising Town’ in 2018 from which the Chamber wanted to explore innovative ideas to position Letterkenny as an attractive place for visitors and residents and to support a compelling business case for investment and job creation in our Regional Centre. In thinking about the possibilities, we saw Market Square as a great opportunity to start to prioritize high quality public spaces to enhance the town centre experience and be more agile and adaptive to the challenges and dramatic changes facing all town centres as well as Letterkenny. We are excited to reach this milestone. We recognize that the winning design is an early stage concept proposal that will require further development including further stakeholder consultation and design and we look forward to continuing to work with Donegal County Council to make a new Market Square a reality on the ground.”
Liam Ward, Director of Community Development and Planning Services, outlined the next steps in relation to progressing a new public space at Market Square saying, “The winning design concept provides a superb basis from which we will undertake more detailed work to consult directly with key stakeholders and the wider community and further develop and adapt the winning design so that it is achievable and can be implemented effectively. This work will lead to a more definitive design that will be published for consultation purposes later this year in order to secure Part VIII planning consent and it will provide the community further opportunities to feed into the more detailed design of the space.”
The winning design can be viewed at:
As the project develops further, updates will be posted on www.donegalcoco.ie and through Facebook and Twitter.