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Looks like there will be no start to the Spire tomorrow!

From today’s Irish Times….

Design difficulties delay Spire again
By Kitty Holland

The erection of the Spire in Dublin has been delayed again amid fears that it may end up looking like a barber’s pole.

Mr Michael O’Neill, project engineer, dismissed reports that assembly of the monument would begin on Friday.

“There won’t be any activity before the weekend,” he said. He hoped things would begin to happen next week. “But we’ve got to get the finish right first.”

Mr O’Neill said two weeks ago, amid problems with the application of a protective masking material, it was “hard to predict” when the Spire would be ready for shipping to Dublin.

The protective masking material, necessary while the design is being applied to the surface, has now been successfully applied.However, there is now a problem because of a lack of consistency in the design application.

When the tiny beads of metal are shot at the stainless steel surface to polish and embellish it, in an engineering process known as shot-peening, “the design is having a tendency to stripe”, said Mr O’Neill.

“It’s making the design look a bit like a barber’s pole,” he said. “It has to be a consistent finish and getting that right takes a bit of time.

“It is only time, though, and it has to be right. If we got it wrong, if it looks ugly, no one would forgive us.”

Asked what was causing the inconsistency, he said there were “a hundred-and-one permutations” of factors that could be causing it, including “the pressure of the application, the nozzles, the shroud around the nozzles”.

The Spire, which is under construction at Radley Engineering in Dungarvan, Co Waterford, is in six sections. The first 10-metre section will be the first to have the design shot-peened on to the surface.

Experts in shot-peening from the Metal Improvement Company in London have arrived in Waterford to help apply the design, said Mr O’Neill.

At present, engineers were practising the application on waste metal.

“Once we get it right and start applying it, it will be a matter of two or three days to complete the application.

“I would reckon we would have news by the end of the week, on when it’s ready to come up to Dublin.”

Gardaí in Dungarvan say they still have not been given notice of when the first two sections will leave Radley Engineering works. According to Mr O’Neill, the sections will be escorted through each county by that county’s gardaí on a tarpaulin-covered lorry.

They will be brought to the outskirts of Dublin and held there until given clearance by the Dublin gardaí for the final journey to O’Connell Street, said Mr O’Neill.

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