Saturday 7 December 2019

Councillors turn up heat in battle to protect Poolbeg chimneys

Poolbeg Power station at the Pigeon House in Ringsend, Dublin City. Picture:Arthur Carron/Collins
Poolbeg Power station at the Pigeon House in Ringsend, Dublin City. Picture:Arthur Carron/Collins

Alan O'Keeffe

THE battle to keep the Poolbeg chimneys on the Dublin skyline has been boosted after local representatives agreed an emergency motion aimed at saving them from demolition.

Councillors in the Dublin South East area, where the towers are located, will now take their motion to the City Council.

They want to have the 680ft high red and white pillars listed as protected structures.

Labour councillor Dermot Lacey said the debate over the towers has arisen following reports that the ESB was considering demolishing the chimneys.

The company ceased using them as part of its electricity generation process in 2010.

He said the company had assured the council in the past it would not demolish them before engaging with the council.

Mr Lacey said the landmark chimneys were iconic structures, an integral part of the city's "skyscape" and a symbol of the city's industrial heritage.

His party colleague Mary Freehill called for Dublin people to be consulted before any decisions were made.

"They're not iconic structures. They're a landmark and people are emotionally attached to them," she said.

She said the Eiffel Tower was "not great" but people became attached to it. The people of Dublin should be asked for their opinions as it was a citywide issue, she said.

The committee's new chairperson Mannix Flynn said the chimneys would be "an enormous loss" if demolished. When flying into Dublin, they act like a lighthouse giving "a sense of home," he said.

However, Independent councillor Ruairi McGinley disagreed with the proposal and said the disused chimneys "are going to degrade and the laws of gravity will not stand still".

"If people wanted to keep alive their memory of the towers, they could always download their images from the internet in the future," he said.

The emergency motion was passed with the support of councillors from all parties.

Irish Independent

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