Thursday 24 October 2019

Demolition job: Anger from heritage campaigners as 19th-century distillery building is knocked down

All change: The Irish Distillers Building in Smithfield before its demolition
All change: The Irish Distillers Building in Smithfield before its demolition
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

The demolition of a 19th-century distillery structure has stoked anger among heritage campaigners.

The Irish Distillers Building, converted in the 1970s and located beside the Jameson Distillery, was demolished as part of the Distillers Building development plan.

The Irish Distillers Building after its demolition
The Irish Distillers Building after its demolition

Property firm Linders of Smithfield was granted planning permission by Dublin City Council in 2016 but had to keep the limestone facade. Office space will be developed within the 20,000 square metre two-storey development.

"Approval was given by Dublin City Council to demolish the building except for the eastern wall.

"But when the demolition happened, the developer discovered a structural issue which meant the eastern wall would also need to be demolished," said Dublin City Council.

"Dublin City Council gave approval for this on health and safety grounds.

"However, the developer has been instructed to rebuild the eastern wall as part of the works," it added.

But a statement from the heritage group An Taisce said: "A significant heritage building in the Smithfield area has been demolished in contravention to planning permission conditions."

Ian Lumley, from An Taisce, told the Irish Independent that the incident on Bow Street was a "clear breach of planning permission which provided for maintenance of a 19th-century stone wall".

Separately, an appeal by the Limerick chapter of An Taisce is under way in a bid to stop the demolition of a 200-year-old red brick Georgian building, Curragower House, which could be torn down to make way for a private residence, an apartment block and cafe.

Limerick City Council approved the application by Derry Corbett to develop the land.

But An Taisce is attempting to block the demolition.

The council said that it could not comment on the issue because it was under an appeal.

Meanwhile An Post is also set to alter the facade of the 20th-century General Post Office, on Lower Cecil Street, in Limerick.

Planning documents show An Post is seeking to remove part of the timber frame facade and to remove existing ceramic and mosaic tiling finishes.

An Post is also set to overhaul the interior of its St Andrew's Street post office in inner city Dublin and to "upgrade" a post office in Newbridge, Co Kildare.

Both are 20th-century buildings.

A spokesman for An Post said: "Limerick and Newbridge will be two of the concept post offices across the country.

"It will be quite innovative," he said.

The projects are part of a €9m plan to "refresh" the An Post brand nationally.

"We are upgrading the post office network.

"Any work taking place in Limerick will be done so sensitively and within planning regulations," the spokesman added.

The Irish Independent attempted to gain comment from the developers in Limerick and Dublin without success.

Irish Independent

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