Do we have the vision to build a shining new city?
You are probably too young to remember them pulling down the Theatre Royal. People used to go to Hawkins Street to watch the demolition and read the notices that said “positively final week of performance”, that kind of thing. This wit, such as it was, did not compensate for the loss of the magic. And what magic for the 3,600 the Royal accommodated at a time! You could hear Menuhin and Rubinstein. If your tastes ran in another direction, you could admire the Royalettes, high-kicking but rather decorous by our present standards. Then, if you had a few shillings, you could dine on Italian cuisine next door in Ostinelli’s. But that’s enough nostalgia. None of us knew then what exactly would replace the Royal. I for one hoped for a decent modern building. Pastiche would have done at a pinch. We got Hawkins House. Opinions vary as to which is the most hideous building in Dublin, but Hawkins House is close to the top of the list along with O’Connell Bridge House, the Civic Offices, the ESB offices and the Central Bank. And Liberty Hall. So I cheered the news that they mean to pull down both Hawkins House and Liberty Hall.