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September 12, 2009

Demolition marks last stop at historic Dún Laoghaire pier

The 150th anniversary of the opening of the railway station on Carlisle Pier almost went unnoticed – but for the few concerned people who noticed it was being knocked down to make way for a car park. With the demolition by Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company of the original Victorian railway station on Carlisle Pier where the old mailboat terminal was located, Ireland has lost one of its most historic points of arrival and departure. And this tragic loss has passed almost unnoticed, except by a handful of conservationists. Dún Laoghaire-based architect Adam Hall, who had photographed the old railway station both inside and out, was shocked to discover that it was being demolished to clear Carlisle Pier for the development of a public car park and promenade; there was no warning in advance of a mechanical digger moving in on August 31st. Ironically, the work got under way just a day before the Oireachtas Committee on the Environment heard evidence from An Taisce’s heritage officer, Ian Lumley, and others about the adequacy of architectural heritage protection in Ireland and our failure to comply with the Council of Europe’s Granada Convention. Hall was incensed by what he saw happening and used his camera to document what he described as a “scandalous” demolition. Earlier this week, he wrote to both the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, and the chairman of the Heritage Council, archaeologist Conor Newman, calling on them to take “urgent and strong action” to stop it.

The Irish Times

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