Wednesday 22 October 2014

Councillor will fight to prevent iconic Poolbeg towers' demolition

Published 11/07/2014 | 11:33

Two stand up paddle boarders pass the poolbeg towers in Dublin Harbour. Photo: Laura Hutton/ Photocall Ireland
Poolbeg chimneys from across Sandymount Strand (Photo: Denise Calnan)

A Dublin city councillor has said he will submit an emergency motion to prevent the iconic Poolbeg towers being demolished if necessary.

Dublin City Councillor Dermot Lacey responded this morning to the ESB’s suggestion that the now-defunct power station’s chimneys could be demolished by the end of the year.

The councillor and historian’s previous motion to list the 207-metre high striped chimneys as protected structures when the power station closed in 2010 was rejected.

“This was something I had predicted and I was concerned about them being demolished, they have become iconic structures,” Cllr Lacey told independent.ie.

Poolbeg chimneys from across Sandymount Strand (Photo: Denise Calnan)

Dublin's Poolbeg towers could be demolished

Should the Poolbeg towers be knocked?

  • Yes, they are a waste of resources 20%
  • No, there is potential for tourism 80%

“I don’t believe the ESB have a right to damage our heritage unilaterally.

“If it comes to it I will resubmit an emergency motion with a proposal to preserve these towers as protected structures.”

Cllr Lacey’s comments come following a report in the Irish Times today that the ESB have told Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar the structural and repair works to keep the twin chimneys standing may not be ‘the best use of resources’. They added that the towers may need to be knocked.

The towers, owned by the ESB, are visible over much of Dublin city and are listed as some of the tallest structures in the country. 

Dermot Lacey defended the payments to councillors, but said sums claimed for conferences were an issue. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Dublin City Councillor Dermot Lacey responded this morning to the ESB’s suggestion that the now-defunct power station’s chimneys could be demolished by the end of the year. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Cllr Lacey said he plans to follow the issue up with Tourism Minister Varadkar.

“I will be following it up with Minister Varadkar, he is a man who doesn’t want to waste public money but he was supportive of preserving the structure at the time,” he said.

The councillor suggested the ‘largely unused’ area could be a potential tourism site.

“The ESB are a successful and very profitable company and there is a large amount of underused land in that area. There is potential for an industrial museum there,” he said this morning.

“Even an unimaginative guy like myself can think of ideas like cameras at the top of the towers where people can snap panoramic views of the city on a nice day, an educational information centre, it’s next to the swimming area, there could be a cafe, it could be a potential tourism destination.

“These chimneys are one of the first things people see when they arrive in the city and one of the last things they see when they leave,” he added.

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