Thursday 21 March 2019

Demolition of homeless protest building Apollo House to get under way this week

Kodaline and Glen Hansard performing at Apollo House in Dublin City centre during protests there. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Kodaline and Glen Hansard performing at Apollo House in Dublin City centre during protests there. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Preparations for the demolition of Apollo House, the building which last Christmas became the focus of Dublin's homeless crisis after it was occupied by activists supported by celebrities including the singer Glen Hansard, will get under way on Friday.

The Sunday Independent understands that a Newry-headquartered firm, Tinnelly Demolition, issued tenants operating a car-parking facility at Apollo House with a notice to vacate the property by this Thursday, in order to clear the way for its destruction.

News of the building's imminent demolition comes just over five months after An Bord Pleanala granted planning permission for the removal and redevelopment of both it and the adjacent Hawkins House, the current home of the Department of Health.

The site now occupied by Apollo House is set to be used for the development of an 11-storey office building, and will form part of a wider scheme to create a new 'mid-town' area of Dublin city centred on George's Quay, and consisting of shops, restaurants, a public plaza and pedestrianised street.

Apollo House is set to be redeveloped by Nama-appointed receivers to developer Garrett Kelleher's Cuprum Properties Ltd, while the Office of Public Works will be responsible for the replacement of Hawkins House, a 1960s property which has long been considered one of Dublin's ugliest buildings.

A plan by developer Johnny Ronan's company, Tanat Ltd, to build a 22-storey (88m) landmark tower comprising offices, a hotel and rooftop restaurant on nearby Tara Street, forms another key component within the George's Quay Local Area Plan.

Ronan's proposal was recently the subject of a two-day oral hearing at An Bord Pleanala after it was rejected by planners at Dublin City Council.

A decision on the appeal is expected shortly.

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