Vacancy Rates highlight need for Town Renewal Strategy


O’Dwyer urges people to engage with survey on future of our towns and villages.

With a vacancy rate of up to 25% in some towns, Labour Local Area Representative, Chris O’Dwyer, is urging the people of Dublin Mid West to engage with his survey on the future of our towns and villages to chart a way forward to restoring and improving our vital local urban centres. 

O’Dwyer said:

“The Business Post at the weekend reported a vacancy rate of up to 25% in the commercial properties in many towns. This shocking result shows the need for a comprehensive plan for urban renewal and regeneration in our towns and villages.

“Between the closure of bank branches, loss of retail and the move to online services, the future of our towns and villages have never been more at risk. The pandemic has shown the importance of local services but also accelerated the move online endangering more shops. 

“The Labour Party is carrying out a major national survey to hear what the people think needs to be done to rescue our main streets and save our towns and villages.

“We can’t continue to lose commercial services, banks, post offices, shops and pubs and expect our urban centres to thrive. We need a major rethink about what we can do to save our town.

“Just last week the government launched another plan to save rural Ireland but we’ve seen it all before. 

“With the Covid-19 pandemic there have been radical changes in the way people live and work. So many more people are working at home, and less are commuting. For example, there is so much potential for remote working hubs in some of the many empty buildings left behind by bank branches. 

“The pandemic has also reminded us how important our local shops and amenities are for providing us with the products and services we need. The loss of pubs and restaurants reminds us of how important these are as social settings.

“I would ask the people of Dublin Mid West to engage with the survey and share with us their views of what we can do too.”

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at


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