Wednesday 19 June 2019

Council tells developer to rebuild demolished historic 19th century distillery wall

The Irish Distillers Building in Smithfield after its demolition
The Irish Distillers Building in Smithfield after its demolition

Laura Lynott and Callum Lavery

The demolition of a 19th Century distillery structure has generated 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.

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

Dublin City Council said: “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.

The Irish Distillers Building in Smithfield before its demolition
The Irish Distillers Building in Smithfield before its demolition

“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.”

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 Independent.ie 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 underway 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 it could not comment on the issue as 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.”

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 addded.

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

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