Lidl reviewing plans to stay in Fortunestown and rebuild store

By Mary Dennehy

AS LIDL reviews its future in Fortunestown and whether to proceed with its plans to build a new store on site, a united effort is made by the community to encourage the German discount giant to stay in the area.

Last Friday, it wasn’t just Lidl that was robbed. A community was robbed of its sense of security and a local supermarket that is needed by many.

Lidl15

The Lidl boarded up on Fortunestown Lane on Wednesday

People were robbed of the positivity and fun that the snow had delivered, as outrage set in across the entire community.

However, last Saturday morning there was a shift.

People remembered that these actions were those of a small minority, and neighbours grabbed their shovels, turned their kettles on, checked on elderly neighbours and got back to doing what Tallaght does best.

As the community moves on from last Friday’s event, the focus is now on Lidl and whether they will stay in the area.

On Wednesday, Lidl confirmed that based on the recommendations of its team of engineers and consultants that a decision has been reached to demolish the building in the “interests of health and safety”.

A final decision on the future plans for the site have not yet been made – with Lidl confirming in a statement on Wednesday, that it is reviewing its plans to re-open and whether to proceed with approved plans to build a new, larger store on site.

Free bus service

In the meantime, Lidl will run a free bus service starting this Friday, March 9, from directly opposite the Fortunestown store – which will bring people from Fortunestown to the Lidl store on Whitestown Way.

“We are aware that some of our customers in the Fortunestown area are experiencing difficulty in accessing and doing their shopping in other Lidl stores in the locality after the devastating events of last Friday night,” Lidl said.

“We have been overwhelmed by the messages of support from the community and to show our appreciation to our valued customers we will be offering a complimentary shuttle bus service from Fortunestown to our store at Whitestown Way, Tallaght.”

This free service will run once a day, with the 40-seater bus, which will operate on a first come first served basis, leaving Fortunestown at 10.30am and returning at 11.45am.

Lidl has support of community

A contingent of Tallaght South Sinn Fein councillors are this week hoping to meet with Lidl management about staying in the area.

Councillor Cathal King told The Echo: “We are hoping to meet with Lidl to put forward the views of the community and to let them know that they have the support of the community.

“This Lidl is 100 per cent needed in the area.”

He added: “What happened last Friday was down to a very small number of people, with a few others jumping on board and it wouldn’t be right to pull out over these.

“Lidl is a very community orientated business and I hope that this will shine through in their decision making.”

Peter Byrne, the CEO of the South Dublin Chamber, has been asked by councillors to also meet with Lidl.

Mr Byrne told The Echo: “We are happy to help Lidl with the re-engaging and re-building process and we will help in any way we can... and the Chamber is happy to go and meet with Lidl and support them in redeveloping in the area.”

“Lidl is an important cog in the local economic wheel as well as at a national level. However, everything comes back to local and Lidl in Fortunestown was good for the local community, the local economy and it gave people a choice.

“I would hope that Lidl will stay.”

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