Thursday 27 November 2014

O'Connell Tower blast damage to be put right at cost of €200k

Published 14/02/2014 | 02:30

Brian Hayes, TD, Minister of State at the announcement of the restoration of the internal stairway in the O'Connell Tower Monument at Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin. Picture: Chris Bellew / Fennells
Brian Hayes, TD, Minister of State at the announcement of the restoration of the internal stairway in the O'Connell Tower Monument at Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin. Picture: Chris Bellew / Fennells

IT IS more than 40 years since a loyalist bomb blew up part of the O'Connell Tower in Glasnevin Cemetery in one of the more pointless paramilitary 'actions' of the Troubles.

Now the staircase of the tower built to mark the final resting place of 'the Liberator' is to be restored.

The loyalist bomb – part of the campaign of bomb attacks on Irish monuments – destroyed much of the stairwell of the tomb and the windows and window frames were blown out.

At the time of the bombing in 1971, the attack was regarded as "retaliation" for the blowing up of Nelson's Pillar on O'Connell Street five years before.

Restoration of the staircase, spearheaded by the Glasnevin Trust at a cost of €200,000 and launched yesterday by Minister of State Brian Hayes, will allow the public to climb the tower once again. Visitors will be able to look down from the top of the O'Connell Tower – some 110 feet above sea level – and cast an eye on nearly 200 turbulent years of Irish history.

Parnell, Michael Collins, De Valera, Arthur Griffith, Kevin Barry, Roger Casement, Maude Gonne and Constance Markievicz are all laid to rest at Glasnevin.

Irish Independent

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