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Phoenix Park gates will be restored for €825,000

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The Phoenix Park gates were removed ahead of Pope Francis's visit. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA

The Phoenix Park gates were removed ahead of Pope Francis's visit. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

The Phoenix Park gates were removed ahead of Pope Francis's visit. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA

The refurbishment of the famous Phoenix Park gates, which were removed in advance of the visit of Pope Francis, will cost €825,000.

The Office of Public Works (OPW), which commissioned the work, is hoping they will be rehung by the end of this year with their restoration now expected to be completed by September.

Records obtained following a Freedom of Information request show refurbishment of the eight pairs of gates will cost €726,735, excluding VAT of 13.5pc.

The contract for the work - which the OPW has described as highly specialised - has been awarded to Dublin-based Dunfox, also known as Bushy Park Ironworks.

The gates, which range in age from 114 to 187 years old, were first taken down in August 2018 before Pope Francis gave an open-air Mass to 132,000 people.

Gerard Kennedy of the OPW said: "[We had] to determine the extent and nature of the restoration works and repairs that would be necessary, with all works to be undertaken in compliance with conservation best standards."

It was decided to break the project into two separate contracts, one for restoration and a separate tender for the restoration of adjoining walls and support piers along with traffic management.

The original contract was to be given to a contractor with "demonstrable expertise" in the type of conservation work required.

Irish Independent