Wednesday 20 September 2017

Open university: Luas takes detour through Trinity

Artist’s impression of the new Luas ‘Belltower’ stop in Trinity College and the new Luas map
Artist’s impression of the new Luas ‘Belltower’ stop in Trinity College and the new Luas map

Edmund Burke

A major error in the laying of the new Luas line through parts of Dublin city centre means the track is too wide.

The new joined-up track running around College Green was built based on designs for trams in 1916, rather than the 2016 model.

However, the new cross-city line will still open on time this summer, as it will now run through the middle of Trinity College campus.

The Trinity Luas stop will be based at the iconic belltower on the Campanile.

The development will make the Trinity courtyard the focal point for all public transport in Dublin city centre.

The move is expected to open the college to vastly more visitors, leading to some speculation the students will have to be moved out to a new campus based on RTÉ's spare lands in Montrose.

The location, adjacent to UCD's Belfield campus, will allow a twinning arrangement between the two universities, to be known as the Greater United College of Civic and Interurban Dublin (GUCCI Dublin).

The historic cobblestones of Trinity's campus won't be damaged during construction.

Each stone will be individually named after a graduate of the college and numbered to be reinserted in the same spot.

Trinity graduates will be encouraged to 'Sponsor a Stone' by donating 3 shillings and 5 pence (€67.38) to have the rock named after them in perpetuity.

However, the excavation works are expected to unearth new details of Dublin's first brewery, which is buried under the college.

It is thought there may still be some kegs of malt beer stored under the Dining Hall, although there are suggestions they were 'liberated' by a group of medical students in the cold January of 1953.

The construction of the Luas line will mean taking a skelp off the east wall of the magnificent 18th-century Old Library building, where the Book of Kells is currently on display.

The knock-on effect means the 9th-century book - which is regarded as one of Ireland's greatest cultural treasures and the world's most famous medieval manuscript - will have to be moved back to Kells in Co Meath for storage in the local post office.

To avoid any loss of tourist revenue, Trinity will display a 3D printed version of the book, complete with rich decorations of the four Gospels.

Irish Independent

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