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  • in reply to: Basements in Ireland #763948

    Thanks for the heads up on the FT article and the links KerryBog2. Thanks also for flagging the water table implications Wild Bill. Food for thought.

    I would plan to use the basement space for (a) workshop/hobby space and (b) gym/exercise space, since currently all the gear for these is taking up 2 bedrooms (one each), and when the house only has 3 beds that’s not popular! This would mean the basement area would be used frequently (daily) but not for more than an hour or so by any individual at any given time, so I wouldn’t be as fussed about huge quantities of natural light compared with if it were being used for more intensive living space (living room, bedroom etc.)

    I don’t think retrofitting a basement under my existing house would be cost effective. (Certainly not with the retrofit costs quoted by KB2.) However, I’m wondering whether it could be worthwhile to incorporate a basement under a new side extension at the time of building. (Only under the new extension, not also going sideways under the existing house.)

    Compared with just having ordinary foundations, a basement would obviously mean:

    • digging deeper;
    • more intensive waterproofing;
    • design implications for the underground space (ventilation, light, emergency access/escape);
    • ???possible stability implications for neighbouring (shallower) foundations under existing house;
    • fitout costs since used as habitable space not empty shell (although flooring etc. will be fairly basic since just workshop/gym area)..

    I guess it’s really an approximation of these extra costs I need to get a handle on, since I would hope including a basement as part of a new build would still come in a lot cheaper than a retrofit under an existing building.

    in reply to: Basements in Ireland #763945

    I’m just wondering about the additional costs associated with basements, compared with just building over ordinary foundations. At present my house (end of terrace) has a side extension that’s horrible in just about every conceivable way – appearance, layout, construction quality… I plan to demolish this and replace it with one that’s better designed, and I’m mulling over the possibility of getting extra floor space by including a basement.

    From what I’ve read so far, it seems that the cost of retrofitting a basement under the main house would be prohibitive and might also have implications for my neighbours in the terrace. However, if a basement is included in the new extension (just under the new bit) at the time of construction I presume it should be somewhat more cost effective.

    Obviously this would have implications for the layout and costs will also vary hugely depending on spec, but could anyone hazard a very, very general guess on how much extra it might cost (either as % or €) to build 2 storeys over basement instead of 2 storeys only? The footprint would basically be a narrow slice between the main house and a tall side wall (I’m guessing about 2.5-3m wide by 9m front to back).


    in reply to: Irish say no to PVC windows #745039

    Update: Back at No. 39 Westland Row, there was a guy working on the frame of the original (unreplaced) first floor window today – seemed to be busily sanding away. Hopefully that’s the start of its restoration.

    in reply to: Irish say no to PVC windows #745028

    Good news: Dublin City Council’s Conservation Research Manager and a council enforcement officer went to the site, and requested that works should cease. No work had been done on the other first floor window at that point, and the one that had been replaced was still on site. They said they’ll be pursuing the owners to reinstate it and to conserve all the windows. Fair play to Emmeline in the IGS and to the city council officers for reacting so promptly.

    @ KeepAnEyeOnBob: Yes, there are PVC sash windows. I don’t know enough about window styles to answer the rest of your query, but my gut instinct is that if the frame doesn’t match the opening (rectangular frame in arched opening) it’s probably a shoddy replacement. In my own home, both the window opening and the frames are arched. I assume you mean something like this (from a post of GrahamH’s on page 5 of this thread):

    You can see that while Oscar’s replacements are rectangular frames in arched openings, the house next door has arched frames in arched openings.

    in reply to: Irish say no to PVC windows #745026

    I rang An Taisce and the Irish Georgian Society earlier. Emmeline Henderson in the IGS rang the planning enforcement dept and she asked them to try to get out this morning while the second window’s still there, as it’ll probably be gone by the afternoon.

    The second window’s still there at the moment, but it looks like they’ve finished the first. Here’s hoping they take a long lunch before doing anything more!

    in reply to: Irish say no to PVC windows #745024

    Yep, PVC going in. They don’t even match what they’re replacing. PVC ones are divided into panels (12 panes over 12) by stuck on glazing bars, while the old wooden ones are just one over one. Hideous.

    in reply to: Irish say no to PVC windows #745023

    I’ve just walked up Westland Row and they’re in the process of stripping out the first floor windows of No. 39 (over the language shop). What’s the betting they’ll be replaced with horrid PVC ones? The old wooden ones were already replaced with lumpen PVC on the top floor of the same building some time ago. Surely a protected structure? I presume they couldn’t have got planning permission for that?

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777081

    No, but I saw the sign on the island outside the Bleeding Horse in action the other morning. You could kind of ignore it in the daytime when it was just a static image, but it’s now illuminated and has a vertically scrolling ad. I’m sure I’m not the only person who found it really distracting.

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777078

    It’s also stated here that “one side of one of these panels in a prime location costs €2500 for a fortnight”. I think magicbastarder posts on Archiseek too… Maybe he can confirm info.

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777077

    Two articles in today’s Sunday Times:

    August 24, 2008
    Advertiser puts spoke in bikes scheme
    ‘In-your-face’ billboards on Dublin’s streets come under fire
    Colin Coyle

    IRELAND’S largest advertising agency has advised its clients not to advertise on JC Decaux’s controversial street billboards. The 72 panels are part of a “bikes-for-billboards” scheme with Dublin city council to offer the public free bicycle use. But they have been criticised by councillors, TDs, business groups, the National Council for the Blind and An Taisce, the planning watchdog.

    Stuart Fogarty, of AFA O’Meara, said a public backlash against the free-standing panels on Dublin’s streets could damage the credibility of companies that use them.

    “If there is a [public] backlash, then those who advertise on the panels will be associated with it. They are all in prime locations, with huge visibility . . . but I have advised my clients to tread cautiously,” he said.

    Fogarty said his agency had declined a request to endorse the billboards by appearing in advertisements. “The likelihood is that people will blame the advertisers for cluttering up their streets,” he said.

    From next month JC Decaux will be free to sell advertising space. The council will retain the use of 38 “faces” for public information campaigns.

    Fogarty, a former president of the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland, estimates that the adverts are worth ¤100m to JC Decaux over the duration of the 15-year contract. “That’s a huge price to pay for 450 bicycles,” he said. He described the roll-out of the scheme as “a PR disaster”. “Why did they put up the ads a year before the bikes are due to arrive? It creates the impression that JC Decaux is getting something for nothing,” he said.

    August 24, 2008
    Dubliners taken for a ride
    Critics tell city officials to get on their bikes over a cycling scheme that depends on a huge street advertising scheme
    Colin Coyle and Ruadhan MacEoin

    When Bill Clinton visited Copenhagen in 1997, he left with an unusual gift. Instead of the tasteful, culturally appropriate piece of local craftsmanship usually handed out by city officials, the then American president was given a bicycle. In a city where one third of commuters go to work on two wheels, City Bike One, as Clinton’s gift was called, was the perfect symbol.

    Dignitaries visiting Dublin are unlikely to leave with a similar gift. Although the city council has put the wheels in motion on its own “free bike” scheme, the fledgling project is already having a bumpy ride.

    Instead of following Copenhagen’s model and funding the programme by allowing sponsors to attach their logo to the bicycles, the council chose to clamber onto a financial tandem with JC Decaux, a French advertising company.

    In exchange for 450 bicycles, Decaux has been given 72 lucrative advertising billboards, which have begun to sprout up around the city centre and inner suburbs. But the bicycles will not arrive until next spring, at the earliest. Critics say that on this tandem, one of the cyclists is getting an easy ride. Stuart Fogarty, of AFA O’Meara, Ireland’s largest advertising agency, believes Dubliners have been saddled with a bad deal. “They will be the most expensive bicycles in the world. Those advertising sites are worth at least €100m and we are swapping them for a few hundred bicycles, a few advertising panels and some signage for tourists,” he said. “There are too few bicycles to make any real impact on traffic, so what’s in it for Dublin?”

    Fogarty’s reservations have been echoed by An Taisce, the Dublin City Business Association, the National Council for the Blind in Ireland, a popular architectural website, and several city councillors. Ciaran Cuffe, a Green party TD, has described the scheme as “a dodgy deal”. Questions are being raised about how the Dublin scheme measures up to others around the world. Are Dubliners being taken for a ride?

    IN 2004, officials from Dublin city council’s architectural and planning departments visited Lyon in France and the City of Westminster in London to investigate their outdoor-advertising strategies. The Velov scheme in Lyon, where JC Decaux has provided 3,000 bikes in exchange for exclusive advertising opportunities in the city centre, must have had a greater impact on the visiting officials than the sedate streetscapes of Westminster.

    “We get lots of visits from overseas officials but I can’t imagine why they came here in relation to outdoor advertising,” a spokesman for Westminster said. “We have no similar bicycle scheme and tough restrictions on advertising within the eight square miles of the city. Westminster is a Unesco World Heritage site with several thousand listed buildings. We wouldn’t see it as our business to swamp the area with advertising.”

    The scheme that Dublin city council is now peddling has much more in common with Lyon, a city similar in terms of population and scale. Andrew Montague, a Labour councillor and chairman of the Dublin Cycling Committee, said the scheme had a positive impact on traffic in Lyon. “Their scheme started with 2,000 bikes and there are now 3,000, which is testament to its success. It’s disappointing that we will begin with just 450,” he said.

    “To have a real impact, it’s important to have a high density of bikes in the city but at least it’s a start. Once people get out of their cars and see how convenient and enjoyable it is to cycle, who knows where it will lead?”

    Montague believes that Dublin is ideally suited to cycling. “The city centre is relatively flat, the trucks are gone since the Port Tunnel opened, and a recent study by the cycling committee found that it only rains on about a dozen days a year during the 8am to 8.30am peak time when most people go to work,” he said.

    Proponents of the scheme say that if it can work in Paris, it can work anywhere. In the French capital, the Velib scheme run by JC Decaux has caused a “velorution”, as one city newspaper put it. Parisians can cycle around the city on one of 20,000 bicycles, and often smoke or talk on mobile phones while negotiating the notoriously treacherous streets.

    Although nearly 249 miles of cycle lanes were laid in the seven years preceding the scheme in Paris, three Velib users have been killed so far — hardly surprising when 71% of Parisian cyclists admit jumping red lights, more than one third regularly cycle the wrong way up one-way streets, and helmets are not à la mode.

    As in Lyon, registered bikers pay €29 a year for the service, while occasional cyclists can pay a one-off fee. But unlike other cities with bicycle schemes, vandalism has been a problem, with more than 3,000 bikes damaged in the first year and stolen bikes turning up as far away as Morocco. Despite this, the scheme will soon be rolled out to a ring of neighbouring towns. JC Decaux, which has not responded to criticism of its Irish scheme, admitted that Paris has put a spoke in its profits, with vandalism and spare parts costing the company €20m in the first half of 2008.

    It is much less likely to post a loss in Dublin. In Paris the company pays an annual rent of €2,000 per advertising panel. Dublin is getting nothing for its signage. Paris has 12 bikes per billboard, Dublin gets six. Emer Costello, a Labour councillor who favours a bicycle scheme but opposes the current model, said: “We’re paying too high a price. We’re selling our streets for a few hundred bikes and we have no idea how much JC Decaux is making.”

    The council says the JC Decaux deal was the best on offer after competitive bidding. It said five companies offered to provide outdoor street advertising in exchange for “street furniture”, but one company withdrew, leaving four bidders.

    Three of these included a bicycle scheme in their bid. JC Decaux’s won because it was cost-neutral. But what is the real cost of the deal? “There was, and still is, an incredible lack of information about the scheme,” said Dermot Lacey, a Labour councillor. “How much is it worth to JC Decaux, for example? We are elected to make decisions but aren’t being given the necessary information.”

    Costello accused the council of failing to carry out a cost-benefit analysis. “The project was brought in through a strategic policy committee but it was never voted on by the entire council. The unsightly signage has been placed disproportionately in the north inner city but its local area committee was never consulted,” she said.

    Dublin city council says it will carry out a cost-benefit analysis once the bicycles arrive. It says residents had an opportunity to bject to planning applications for the advertising billboards. Many did, including the then taoiseach Bertie Ahern, who objected to one in Summerhill.

    “Instead of one application for the whole scheme, each billboard was applied for individually, making it impossible to oppose,” Costello said. “The scheme in its entirety will have an impact on the character of the city’s streetscapes and the proposal should have been assessed in its entirety. And as often happens, fewer people objected in working class areas.”

    Of the 120 applications for advertising hoardings lodged by JC Decaux, 48 were turned down, including a number for O’Connell Street.

    Archiseek, an architectural website, estimates that it would have cost €26,400 to appeal against all of the advertising panels to An Bord Pleanala. “Of the original scheme, fortunately only half managed to get through,” it said last week. “Any so-called ‘metropole’ unit that was appealed to the board was shot down 100%.”

    More have since been removed, after motorists complained they were blocking sightlines and pedestrians said that they were a potentially dangerous obstruction. JC Decaux has agreed to indemnify the council against possible accidents.

    So, why has JC Decaux experienced such a rocky road in Dublin? Fogarty said that introducing the advertisements before the bicycles was a bad PR move. “It creates the impression that JC Decaux are getting something for nothing,” he said. But could Dublin have done any better? Or are we just moaners abusing a free ride?

    IN Copenhagen an unusually high percentage of the unemployed become bicycle repairmen. Most learn their trade while working for Bycykelservice, a city-run agency that repairs Copenhagen’s 2,000 free bikes. Thirty are taken on every six months and most end up as bicycle repairers or as lorry drivers.

    It’s an example of the pragmatism of the Danes’ approach to their cycling programme. Unlike the Lyon model that turned the heads of Dublin city council’s officials, the Danish scheme is funded solely by commercial sponsors who attach their logo to the bicycles and on the city’s 110 bike racks.

    The Bicing scheme in Barcelona, run by Clear Channel, has a lot in common with the Copenhagen model. It is funded by a combination of subscriptions, with every user paying an annual fee of €24, and parking fees introduced to reduce traffic in the city. In the scheme’s first four months, 80,000 people signed up.

    London is likely to follow a similar model, paying for a proposed scheme with new congestion charges targeting vehicles with high emissions.

    Lacey said the council should have tendered specifically for a bicycle scheme, instead of outdoor advertising. “Local government isn’t being funded properly, so we end up going cap in hand to an advertising company when what we really want is a bicycle scheme,” he said.

    “The councils seem to have gone with JC Decaux because it was cost neutral but what were the alternatives? We may be paying nothing in cash, but what price are we paying by cluttering our streets with unnecessary signage?”

    The council says that if the scheme is a success, it will introduce more bicycles, and not necessarily JC Decaux’s. “We would have to re-tender the contract,” a spokesman said.

    Lacey said the brakes should go on now. “I asked the city manager to suspend the scheme at the start of August. At a minimum, we should call a halt to it and renegotiate. Four public toilets that were originally part of the deal were dropped recently so if the deal can be diluted, it’s not set in stone,” he said.

    in reply to: New street and redevelopment for Dublin ? #764636

    From Breaking News section of The Irish Times:

    Last Updated: Monday, July 28, 2008, 15:16
    Arnotts gets go-ahead for ‘Northern Quarter’

    An Bord Pleanála has today given the go-ahead for a major redevelopment by Arnotts in Dublin city centre.

    The company is planning a €750 million redevelopment of a 5.5-acre block bordered by Henry Street, Middle Abbey Street, Liffey Street and O’Connell Street into a new shopping, entertainment and residential zone, called “Northern Quarter”.

    An Bord Pleanála gave the green light subject to 26 conditions, including the preservation of several protected buildings in the area.

    An Post, An Taisce and the Rail Procurement Agency were among the parties that had appealed planning permission for the scheme, which was granted by Dublin City Council last summer.

    Among the conditions laid down, an Bord Pleanála has ruled that the developer has to provide for 24-hour public access to all of the proposed new public streets and spaces, including Abbey Square.

    The board also said there must also be a year-round festival ticket office at ground-floor level, appropriate childcare facilities, and an archaeological appraisal of the site.

    An independent road safety audit must be done, and a parking-management plan prepared and agreed with the planning authority, the board stipulated.

    Details of shopfront design – including any associated signage, lettering, lighting or security screens – is subject to a further application for planning permission.

    An Arnotts spokesman said: “We are delighted with the news. It gives certainty to the very ambitious Northern Quarter project. We will work with the city council to deal with the various conditions An Bord Pleanála has made.”

    The retailer refused to comment on a previous announcement that 580 of its 950 staff will be let go when the store moves temporarily to Jervis Street Shopping Centre, which is one-third the size of Henry Street site.

    Boyers on North Earl Street will also be converted to an Arnotts furniture and home store.

    “The news has come a bit faster than expected, so Arnotts will now sit down to assess the detail of what will happen next,” the spokesman added. “Over the next few weeks, management will also work to bring clarity to the workers.”

    Linda Tanham, an official with trade union Mandate, which represents most Arnotts’ workers, said staff are still unsure as to what will happen next. “We are expecting to meet with management this week to get an update on a timescale for trading and intended job losses,” she added.

    When completed, the Northern Quarter – bordered by the Middle Abbey Street, Henry Street, and Liffey Street – is expected to employ over 5,000 people, with one-fifth of those working in the new Arnotts store.

    It is envisaged one of the main features will be the re-creation of Prince’s Street as an urban street and pedestrian thoroughfare with a new public square at its centre.

    Gina Quin, chief executive of Dublin Chamber of Commerce, said the massive redevelopment will reinvigorate the heart of Dublin city centre.

    “Not only will it have a significant impact on the city’s retail variety and range of offerings, but this development will also help to transform the Henry Street area into a vibrant residential, leisure and entertainment hub,” she said.

    “The Northern Quarter will offer residents, shoppers and tourists a wide range of activities in the evenings and will play an important part in the transformation of Dublin’s city centre into that of a world class city with a quality of life that is second to none.”

    The Construction Industry Federation said the scheme will make a huge contribution to the sector.

    “There are a number of large scale projects in the pipeline or which have already begun and the Arnotts redevelopment is a huge construction opportunity, particularly for those in commercial construction,” a said spokesman.

    In April, an Bord Pleanála had rejected several aspects of the development, which is planned for the site of the department store in Dublin – including a proposed 16-storey tower.

    The board told Arnotts to cut the height of the tower by nine storeys and ensure that no other building in the development was higher than seven.

    In its letter to Arnotts, the board said then the development would be “unduly obtrusive on the skyline” and would “seriously detract from the balance and architectural coherence of these streets”.

    Additional reporting PA

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777023

    @Smithfield Resi wrote:

    There will be an item on this on the Breakfast Show on newstalk tomorrow (Thurs 10th July) at approx 8am.
    Please send your comments to or text 53106
    Appreciate your further support.

    @ Smithfield Resi – I take it you’re the bloke who was on Newstalk this morning, and MadsL on boards(you’ve got them well roused over there!). Fair play for spearheading this and getting a result with the councillors. Pity the Newstalk slot didn’t have more time to explore the issues. The interviewer sounded sympathetic but really, there was no time for anything but the most cursory treatment of the subject.

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777016

    You forgot the “…for 30 cent”!;) Gotta keep Denis O’Brien in the money.

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777014

    @notjim wrote:

    and it’s gone!

    Good news. It’s just depressing that DCC didn’t take on this simple message back when this proposal was first mooted:

    (1) For the majority of people, the reason they don’t cycle is not that they don’t have or can’t afford a bike, it’s that they feel unsafe cycling on Dublin’s streets.

    (2) To encourage people onto bikes – and because it is itself a desirable objective – the streets need to be made safer.

    (3) The size, nature and location of these advertising units make the streets LESS safe.

    ……(a) For goodness sake – they’re deliberately designed to catch motorists’ eyes. A motorist looking at an ad = a motorist not looking at the road.

    ……(b) They also obscure pedestrians’ and road users’ views of one another.

    ……(c) By taking up so much of the footpath, they greatly increase the likelihood that a pedestrian will hop out onto the road to get round the obstacle – probably straight into the path of a cyclist – because they “didn’t hear any traffic”. No, bikes don’t have noisy engines.

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777013

    @lostexpectation wrote:

    can’t find it where is it?

    Not Google Maps, but they’re shown on these maps here.

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777005

    An interesting article on the Parisian scheme in today’s London Times:

    The Times – July 8, 2008
    A year on, the cycle experiment has hit some bumps
    Charles Bremner in Marie Tourres, Paris

    As Paris marks this week the first anniversary of the appearance of public bicycles on its streets, other cities are watching ever more closely a hugely successful experiment in self-service public transport.

    Since Bertrand Delanoe, the city’s Mayor, took the gamble of putting 16,000 vélibs, short for vélo liberté, or bike freedom, at the disposal of Parisians, the stately grey machines have been taken out for a spin a total of 27 million times. To the pleasure of the left-wing council and the frustration of drivers, cycle traffic has jumped by 70 per cent as Parisians take advantage of the almost-free service.

    But as Boris Johnson, an regular cyclist, ponders a similar scheme for London, he may well consider the downside. Paris’s vélibs are used for 120,000 trips a day, each one averaging 22 minutes. However, the pedal boom has been attended by a jump in cycle deaths and injuries. Three vélib riders have been crushed under the wheels of heavy vehicles and about 70 have been injured since January this year. After a 35-year-old violinist was killed by a municipal bus in a bus lane in May, her father called on the Mayor to suspend the vélib scheme.

    The authorities are blaming the cyclists as well as the city’s notoriously aggressive drivers, although the overall accident rate has declined by 20 per cent. Many accidents involve inexperienced riders or careless tourists.

    Police are handing out football-style yellow cards this week to cyclists, drivers and pedestrians who commit minor but potentially dangerous offences. Last year 7,000 fines were issued to cyclists, double the previous year. Yet few riders of the vélibs bother to wear helmets or high-visibility attire and more than half do not stop at red lights.

    The bikes, which are free for the first 30 minutes and are available from 1,200 high-tech docking zones, have proven more vulnerable than expected to thefts and vandalism and less robust than they were supposed to be.

    JCDecaux, the firm which operates the bicycles in return for concessions in display advertising, acknowledges that it found the scheme tougher than it had expected. About 3,000 of the €400 (£320) bikes have been vandalised or stolen, it said. Hundreds have vanished, and Parisians are sighting them in Romania, Casablanca and more exotic spots in Africa. Last month Le Parisien published a picture of a boy showing off his vélib in a Romanian village. Rumours fly that port customs officers are discovering containers loaded with vélibs. Albert Asseraf, the strategy director at Decaux, said that London should consider a few rules for the scheme: “Install a dense network with docking stations every 350 metres; keep the hire cost minimal; base it on credit [payment] cards, and make sure the maintenance system is up to scratch.” A spokesman for Mr Johnson said yesterday that the Mayor “has already had very productive discussions with Transport for London regarding plans to create a bicycle hire scheme in London, along the lines of the hugely popular vélib scheme in Paris.”

    Vélo city

    – Paris’s vélib scheme is by far the biggest in the world. The total number of bikes will reach 20,000 by the end of the year.

    – 1,500 bikes are repaired every day, most at the docking stations.

    – The fee system is designed to encourage short hires. A day ticket costs €1 (80p), a weekly one €5, an annual one €29. The first half-hour is free, with an additional cost of €1 per half hour.

    – The city of Paris has made about €30 million profit in the first year but JCDecaux, the firm that supplies the bikes, is reported to have spent millions over budget because of greater than expected wear and tear, theft and vandalism.

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777004

    Strikes me as the kind of thing Morning Ireland could take an interest in (I think Cathal MacCoille cycles in from the Northside, and surely must care about road safety), and they appear to have more time to spend on features in this summer season. Need some hard-hitting interviewer like him or Aine Lawlor to grill (and crucify) JCD/DCC. Email sent – I think! (Used and it didn’t bounce back.)

    in reply to: Fr Pat Noise Memorial #777648

    From today’s Irish Times:

    Plaque to fictitious ‘Fr Noise’ to be taken off bridge again
    Alison Healy

    He secretly arrived on Dublin’s O’Connell Bridge in 2004 and remained there for two years before his cover was blown. But now Fr Pat Noise’s days on the bridge are finally over.

    Dublin City Council will make a second attempt today to remove the mysterious Fr Pat Noise plaque from O’Connell Bridge after pranksters replaced the original, which was removed a couple of months ago.

    The bronze plaque commemorates the fictitious priest who “died in suspicious circumstances when his carriage plunged into the Liffey on August 10th, 1919”.

    The plaque was brought to public attention by the Sunday Tribune last May, although video footage supplied by the hoaxers showed it being mounted on the busy bridge in April 2004 as pedestrians passed by. It was thought that the work was carried out by two brothers and was a tribute to their father.

    The name “Fr Pat Noise” is a play on pater noster , the Latin for “our father”. The portrait on the plaque is said to be a likeness of the men’s father. Dublin City Council did not know about the plaque until the media drew attention to it.

    A council spokeswoman confirmed that the plaque had been taken away by the council two months ago while work was being carried out on the bridge. She said it was difficult to pinpoint when the replacement arrived, but it would be removed today.

    The spokeswoman said that the council had not identified the hoaxers, but if they had been caught they could have faced charges for defacing public property: “It’s quite serious. It has damaged the bridge.”

    She added that the council would be taking steps to ensure that another plaque could not be mounted on the bridge. The plaque was placed in an indent left when part of the ill-fated “Millennium Countdown” clock was removed.

    In an e-mail to The Irish Times last year from a “friend of the artist”, the hoaxer wrote that the interest in the plaque “reflects our famous sense of humour, and that unquantifiable Irish quality that sees us fight for the underdog every time, something that others never understand”.

    Last December, the south-east area committee of Dublin City Council spoke in favour of leaving it in place. The plaque generated interest at home and abroad, with websites conducting polls asking whether it should remain or be replaced by a permanent memorial to some cause.

    © 2007 The Irish Times

    in reply to: Irish say no to PVC windows #744958

    @GrahamH wrote:

    How do you mean it ‘wouldn’t be on’, cobalt, to have glazing bars applied to the surface of the glass? Granted, the notion sounds preposterous and truly hideous in concept, but in execution it’s quite a good compromise.
    As featured earlier on the thread, here are Wynns Hotel’s in Dublin doubled glazed sash windows as newly installed about two years ago

    The building’s listed. The windows are in a terrible state (cracked glass and rotten frames) – I got a guy out to look at them and he was of the opinion that they’d have to be replaced, not repaired. If I’m getting new windows, I’d like to them to be as energy efficient as possible, but at the same time as close to the originals as possible. If I could just put 2 layers of glass in rather than one, and have them otherwise identical to the originals, that would be great. But I wouldn’t want to change the dimensions of the glazing bars (which are quite narrow). And having a stuck-on frame would just annoy me with its falseness every time I looked at it. Besides, I doubt the planning authorities would permit it… although surely Wynn’s is listed? How did they manage that?
    I know Ventrolla is permitted – I need to look into it more. Also, I presume I could (single) glaze with high efficiency glass – how effective/costly would the best quality single glazing be in comparison with conventional glass double-glazed?

    in reply to: Irish say no to PVC windows #744955

    @galwayrush wrote:

    it would be impossible to include double glazing without having the bars a minimum of 40MM

    Is this really the minimum? I was going to explore the possibility of double glazing in my windows but bars 40mm wide just wouldn’t be on – nor would sticking on a framework that makes it look like the window has separate panes. Guess I’ll just have to do without.

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