Nothing happens quickly in stately Dún Laoghaire, so it came as a surprise when this week the Harbour Board did what it said it would do in July, and started pulling down the 1960s sheds on Carlisle Pier, where millions of emigrants said goodbye to Ireland as they passed through the old mailboat terminal.
Yesterday, the board lodged an application with the council for temporary permission to open up Carlisle Pier “as a viewing, general exhibition and promenade area . . . in sympathy with the surrounding environment”. Original cast-iron columns and anything else that can be kept from the original 1850s railway shed will be preserved, says a spokesperson for Dún Laoghaire Harbour. And it seems from reports by conservation architects Shaffrey (advisers to the board) that these are more or less all that’s left from the 1850s building.