Wednesday 22 October 2014

ESB may cap iconic towers against rain

By Alan O'Keeffe

Published 04/08/2014 | 09:34

THE Electricity Supply Board is weighing up the idea of capping the iconic Poolbeg towers to protect them from the elements.

The redundant chimneys became an unlikely source of pride for Dubliners when chief executive Pat O'Doherty mooted the suggestion of demolishing them.

blight

He said that it may not "be possible at all" to leave the famous chimneys standing, and the ESB said it would decide by the end of the year whether to knock them down.

Mr O'Doherty said that retaining the 680ft-high stacks may not be the best use of resources.

He added in a letter to then Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar that "some view their 40-year presence on the Dublin skyline as iconic while others see them as a blight on the landscape".

Dubs turned out in their thousands to voice their opinion on the retention or demolition of the towers at the mouth of the Liffey, near Ringsend.

Now the ESB has said it will consider capping the chimneys to protect them from rain and snow.

The old power station in Poolbeg ceased operation in 2010. The ESB is now in the midst of a tendering process which is at a "commercially sensitive stage".

Previously, warm flue gases had maintained the structural integrity of the towers.

competition

Some proposals for the stacks include a "Dublin Sky Bridge" concept from designer Michael O Mara who said they could become as iconic as the London Eye Ferris wheel.

Local Fianna Fail councillor Jim O'Callaghan called on the ESB and the city council to launch a competition for Irish creatives to transform the chimneys into works of art.

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