Thursday 19 April 2018

Good and bad memories crumble with Ballymun tower block

Demolition machines dismantle tower block 8 on Sillouge Road in Ballymun
Demolition machines dismantle tower block 8 on Sillouge Road in Ballymun
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

THE dull thud of a giant wrecking ball steadily shattered two giant eight storey tower blocks in Dublin's Ballymun.

But it also shattered some memories of those who lived out much of their lives in Ireland's most controversial experiment with high-rise living.

As a massive demolition exercise got under way, a group of Ballymun residents looked on with mixed feelings, while this place of memory for many cascaded into a mound of concrete.

Although the huge flat complexes harboured various social problems over the years – most notably as a hotbed for the capital's burgeoning drugs problem – for the majority of the residents it was simply a place they called home.

"I lived there for 39 years," explained mother-of-three Maria Lunney, her eyes misting over with the memory of times past. "They were brilliant, if I could go back to them tomorrow I would. There was a better sense of community compared to living in my house."

However, the darker side of life in the Ballymun Towers was laid bare by Richard Kinsella who lived in the flats for 30 years. "There was a lot of crime and drugs, it was a major problem."

It is expected the towers will be no more by next summer when demolition work is finally completed.

Irish Independent

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