Wednesday 17 October 2018

A colonel writes . . .

Sir - In the course of his article under the heading, 'Whatever happened to . . . Nelson's Pillar', in last Sunday's edition, your correspondent Rory Egan stated: "Army engineers were brought in to remove it [the stump]. Their 'controlled' explosion caused more damage than the original blast, much to the amusement of Dubliners."

Could I refer you to the 2004 Review of the Journal of Irish Mining and Quarrying Society (Extractive Industry Ireland 2004) and an article written by its editor, Tony Killian, titled Exploding the Myth: the Truth about the Demolition of Nelson's Pillar. Mr Killian is a member of the Institute of Explosive Engineers and worked as a technical engineer with the explosive supply industry since 1951, specialising in the design and supervision of blasting operations in the quarry and civil engineering fields. He has carried out numerous building and chimney stack demolitions in Ireland and the UK throughout his career.

Following the first blast on March 8, 1966, Mr Killian, who at the time was the technical representative with the main commercial explosives supplier in Ireland, was asked by the Gardai to inspect the remains of the monument, with a view to giving an opinion on methods and quantities of explosive used by the perpetrator, whoever he or she might have been.

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