Saturday 22 October 2016

Proposal to relocate Parnell monument in bid to ease Dublin city traffic

Laura Larkin and Colm Kelpie

Published 07/09/2015 | 16:16

A statue of Charles Stewart Parnell on Dublin's O'Connell Street.
A statue of Charles Stewart Parnell on Dublin's O'Connell Street.

A historic monument could be on the move to a different part of Dublin's O'Connell Street as part of a proposal to ease city centre traffic.

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The Charles Stewart Parnell monument is more than a century old and is situated at the northern end of the capital's main street.

It is now subject to a proposed move, with Fine Gael councillor Naoise O Muiri set to table a motion to that effect at tonight's monthly meeting of Dublin City Council (DCC).

"There is a lot of traffic - pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles - that goes over and back at the top of O'Connell Street and the Parnell monument is somewhat in the way at the minute," Mr O Muiri told the Herald.

"I know that there are people who will argue that it bookends O'Connell Street, but I think moving it 50 yards down the street will make that crossing much less congested without taking anything away from its purpose," he added.

"I'm not talking about taking it away … but I think if we are going to move it now is the time. I imagine it will assist with the new Luas system because that area will be a big turning point for the Luas.

"I think the street could benefit from more space at that end."

The Parnell monument was first unveiled in 1911.

Irish-born sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens was commissioned to sculpt the statue.

Dublin City Council took charge of it in 1913.

A 2003 report commissioned by DCC states that the Parnell monument "terminates the parade of nationalist statues on the primary thorough- fare of the capital".

If city councillors agree the motion tonight, council traffic engineers will have to prepare a report outlining possible new locations for the statue.

Meanwhile, the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) has denied reports of a massive new 'airport city' within the next 15 years - but still has plans for a business park on the site on a smaller scale.

A DAA source said the numbers speculated in one Sunday newspaper report yesterday are "completely incorrect".

It was reported that the DAA was seeking to develop a €1bn 'airport city'.

"This is a 25-30 year project and if we delivered 60,000 square metres of development in the first 10 years we would be doing well," the source said.

"DAA has stated since 2013 that it intends to redevelop a 70-acre site at Dublin Airport over a 25-30 year timeframe," a spokesman said.

"The site in question, which has high technology zoning, is not required for direct airport operations. It is too early at this stage to speculate on the quantum of development that may take place over the next three decades."


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