Bring on the wrecking ball


Knock ’em. Nuke ’em. Let the wrecking ball swing. The news that two of Dublin’s most reviled buildings are to be demolished has revitalised the enduring national conversation concerning the very worst examples of architecture to be found across the State. There will be few tears shed when the brutal Hawkins House and Apollo House – two concrete monstrosities unsympathetic and out of scale with their surroundings – are levelled, but they will leave behind an extensive list of buildings we love to hate. Yes, we mean you, Liberty Hall, Cork County Hall, the Central Bank, Galway Cathedral, Busárus and, for that matter, most of the country’s soulless suburban shopping centres. Artist Robert Ballagh says the news that “hideous” Hawkins House will soon be no more is to be welcomed, even if he is not a fan of the kind of public-private partnerships which are behind the planned demolition.

The Irish Times