Reply To: Office blocks @ Kilmainham Gaol & Royal Hospital

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Paul Clerkin

Opponents of a controversial office block planned for a site opposite
Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin are stepping up their campaign today with a
protest outside the prison.

The protest, which starts at 3 p.m., is likely to cause some traffic
disruption at the start of the bank holiday weekend.

The Friends of Kilmainham group yesterday lodged an appeal to An Bord
Pleanala against the planned development, claiming that it will
overshadow historic buildings in the area.

Dublin Corporation granted planning permission for the development last
month, subject to 22 conditions. These include the preservation of any
remains found on the site, which the corporation says is of “immense
archaeological importance”.

The development is designed to provide almost 400,000 square feet of
office space, a three-level underground car-park for 600 cars, and three
retail units totalling almost 5,000 square feet. It is being proposed by
well-known Dublin property developers Mr Johnny Ronan and Mr Richard
Barrett through a company called Charmside Developments.

Mr John Callery, chairman of the Friends of Kilmainham, said the
development would “completely overshadow” a number of historic sites in
the area. These included the gaol, Kilmainham courthouse, the
Richmond Gate of the Royal Hospital (IMMA) and the Irish National
Memorial Gardens along the Liffey.

Kilmainham Gaol dates from 1796 and has strong associations with Irish
history. The leaders of the 1916 Rising, including Padraig Pearse, were
executed there. Last year, the museum attracted almost 200,000

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