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Now Georgian Society wants to save Liberty Hall

DUBLIN'S much-maligned Liberty Hall building has found an unlikely admirer in the Irish Georgian Society.

The tower is the subject of a planning application by trade union Siptu which, if granted, will see it demolished and replaced.

However, the Georgian Society, which usually lobbies in favour of centuries-old architecture, has urged Dublin City Council to consider the merits of Liberty Hall before allowing it to be knocked down.

It has asked the council to take into account the "architectural interest" of the building, which is "one of the few examples of international modernism in Dublin".

The society also wants the council to consider the impact of the proposed new tower "on the Custom House and on architecturally sensitive views within the city".

Tycoon Dermot Desmond, who has become a regular objector to major planning applications, has criticised Siptu's proposal.

He said the blueprint for the new structure "proceeds from a complete failure to recognise that a building of such height cannot work at that location".

Mr Desmond said it is "misconceived and mistaken" to assume that just because there is an existing 17-storey building "there is some kind of established planning use" for high- rise at Eden Quay.

But far from praising the existing building, he describes it as "uninspiring", "ugly" and "poorly conceived".


Heritage body An Taisce has also objected to the scheme, as has the Lansdowne and District Residents' Association and several other individuals.

Siptu applied last month for permission to demolish its headquarters and build a new 20-storey complex.

If approved, the building height from footpath level will be 88 metres. The ambitious blueprint, which offers panoramic views of Dublin Bay from a top floor 'skypod', was unveiled in early October.

Siptu has promised that the new Liberty Hall will have a "wow" factor second to none in the capital.

Designed by Gilroy McMahon Architects, who were also responsible for Croke Park, the facilities will include a 300-seat theatre at lower ground level.