THEY'RE affectionately known as 'Laurel and Hardy'.
And a historian believes the iconic Poolbeg chimneys on Dublin Bay, should be saved from the wrecking ball.
The twin stacks, built in 1971, are a famous landmark on the capital's skyline and have featured in postcards, films, TV adverts and even a U2 music video.
However, their future may be threatened by the ESB's decision to close down the Poolbeg power station within the next three years.
The unmistakable 680-foot candy-striped stacks were designed to minimise atmospheric pollution.
Dublin historian Pat Liddy said yesterday: "The Poolbeg chimneys are a familiar and accepted feature of the Dublin Bay landscape now.
"Dublin people are actually fonder of them than of the Spire."
Mr Liddy, who is also an artist and active conservationist, added: "I think they should stay to provide a link with the past. But they must be properly maintained or else they will become a big eyesore.
"They must be regularly cleaned and painted and the aircraft warning lights must be serviced.
"The chimneys may be declared protected structures if Dublin City Council is convinced of their cultural heritage."
The ESB announced last month it would close the Poolbeg station along with other plants in counties Cork, Wexford and Kerry. The deal was made with the energy regulator to reduce the firm's monopoly on the Irish electricity market. The ESB said a decision on the Poolbeg stacks would not be made until after the plant was shut down, sometime in 2010.