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  • in reply to: Parnell Square redevelopment #751226

    @Morlan wrote:

    The new design for the child rape memorial in the Garden of Remembrance has been released.

    I love the way the only car park spaces shown are for the disabled… And who said that that this is just a meaningless politically correct exercise in tokenism?

    I see now a large prominent tricolour is to fly as well. In keeping with the “symbolism”, if only the designers had written on it “I O U”, that would round off the scheme perfectly.

    in reply to: Parnell Square redevelopment #751225

    It really is heartening to see this be properly questioned.

    The whole scheme smacks of such politically correct tokenism, I wasn’t sure if it would get the right attention.

    In particular I welcome that people are objecting on the basis of the confused relationship that the proposed memorial would have with the existing monument to the struggle for national independence.

    Councillor Mannix Flynn, who himself previously suffered institutional abuse, puts the matter most succinctly, describing it as “wholly inappropriate” and that the memorial to “the integrity of those who gave their lives for an equal society as declared in the proclamation of 1916… should not be tarnished with this State memorial which is a shameful part of Irish history created by the Irish state”.

    It is most welcome to see Dublin City Council planning department do a thorough job by requesting a half dozen points of additional information, which further adds to my cynicism as to the entire project being at best a rushed bit of politically correct tokenism.

    If the State considers this matter to be of such significance, why don’t they hold an open competition, seeking suggestions regarding both form and location?

    Of course, in my opinion, the best memorial the State could do regarding this matter would be to reopen the deal by Michael Woods under Bertie Ahern that indemnified the RC church from prosecution from victims – with instead compensation paid over at the cost to the Irish taxpayer.

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #731541

    @GrahamH wrote:

    > Runner Up Award, 1972 Tidy Towns Competition, Category: Rural Sub Post Offices.

    in reply to: Zap the childrens shop – High Street #715821

    @Paul Clerkin wrote:

    A good few years ago, when this thread was started, I had emails from interested parties demanding its removal…..

    @Paul Clerkin March 03, 1999 wrote:

    My earliest memories of High Street is with both sides pulled down or about to be for the new dual carriageway. I agree with Paul on the pram shop that it should be removed btw.


    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777266

    @PVC King wrote:

    The €170m in advertising revenue not paid if the Sunday Times article is on the money.

    The ST stated it; the Examiner ran it, as did other media outlets. No dispute of the amount was ever made afaik.

    €170m / €12.5m p.a. – think of what could be done with now 😡

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777260

    It is to be welcomed that the city council is apparently adopting a bicycles without billboards approach. That this is seemingly now the agenda of City Hall, is in no small part down to discourse on this site and a number of concerned city dwellers.

    The bicycles of themselves have been a tremendous success – and it was a real pity that they were ever tarnished by association to the rotten billboard element, where massive cash was missed out on – and the city’s aesthetic appearance degraded.

    I really wish the billboard-free extension well – Dublin can be a great city for bikes, and despite many reservations voiced here and elsewhere, neither have bicycles been stolen nor have there been any fatalities / serious accidents. The localised selection of location of the stands seems to have worked far better than the Paris model, in that passive security was clearly a priority and resultingly, far less vandalism, theft, and general anti social behaviour has taken place. So credit where its due.

    Of course we must continue to monitor the scheme with vigilance. Regrettably past experience has led one to not have confidence in key people centrally involved with the scheme and its implementation:

    @PVC King wrote:

    Would €170m invested directly in cycling facilities over 15 years not have been a better outcome than 500 bikes and few signposts?

    This is a key point that must never be forgotten – €170m revenue potential in exchange for 500 bikes and some finger posts was a scandalously atrocious deal in the first instance; I laugh every time I hear that the bikes are ‘the most used bikes in the world’ – of course they are because so few were provided in exchange! And obviously major issues were raised earlier this year by dcc’s misuse of Part 8 in developing another couple of billboards for JC Decaux… Hence by experience to date, vigilance must be maintained – its highly likely the city would be getting plastered with dodgy billboards right now, were it not for sites like this and posters therein.

    Provided bikes without billboards proceeds ‘as it says on the tin’, the city can be onto a real winner. The extension is intended to take place over ten years, which seems reasonable to me – yet at the same time ambitious as an extra 500 bicycles should be coming on stream each year.

    It also throws up new planning challenges; anti-cycle one-way streets should be re-evaluated. To my mind there’s absolutely no reason that we continue to have streets such as Kildare, Francis, and Werburgh Streets as one-ways (to name but three), if we have moved on from a mindset of 50 years ago, when the aim was to facilitate motor traffic moving at the fastest speed possible through city streets. It is shameful that both Kildare and Francis Streets are left one-ways, as each of them has ample roadway capacity to allow two-way vehicular traffic. In other instances, where roads must remain one-way, I would favour adopting the Paris model where cyclists are allowed cycle counter-flow – this is clearly road-marked, I hasten to add. Another suggestion I would make is that the bicycles should each have a clearly identifiable registration plate, so as to deter dangerous / illegal misuse by DB users – hutton just survived being part run over by a tourist going the wrong way last week 😀

    Now if councillors will put as much enthusiasm as they have focused on the bicycles into other matters – such as the deteriorating appearance of city centre areas like College Green / Westmorland St – we can be on the way to having a successful city 🙂

    in reply to: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street #775495

    @Morlan wrote:


    The ESB has told the council “that it is essential that the plan include a height range of up to eight storeys for commercial use if the final adopted policies in support of major employment and economic growth in the city centre are to be realised”.

    They cannot be serious.:confused:


    *hutton begins to prepare a few mortars*

    Mark my words – if ESB proceed with such a vanity project, which no matter what way you want to put it, effectively takes cash away from the exchequer, citizens will take to the streets and ESB CEO Padraig McManus will be as popular as Marie Antoinette in 1789.

    How out of fucking touch can one state company get? :rolleyes:

    in reply to: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street #775493

    @Morlan wrote:

    Do the right thing, ESB.. give us back our Georgians

    Yeah but that’s not their plan from what I am hearing… if they proceed, expect the application to be ‘contemporary’ and ‘iconic’ – i.e. again out of character, but this time much greedier in terms of blowing the parapet height skywards… and if they do file such an application, I’ll have all the more fun planting the proverbial bombs in the system – ‘terrorism through paperwork’ as it were 🙂

    in reply to: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street #775491

    @wearnicehats wrote:

    given this,

    and the takeover of NIE, along with debts incurred by defaulters and the massive cost overrun of the network upgrade I fear this baby is flowing down the drain with the bathwater

    I don’t fear nothing – this project was conceived in a totally different environment.

    While Irish consumers pay the highest price per kilowatt to this greedy monopoly company, ESB’s CEO Padraig is paid an outrageous 750K per annum; at the same time ESB are charging €86 disconnection fee to households who are unable to pay their bills in these straightened times – in my opinion this is simply scum corporate standards 😡

    There are vast amounts of empty idle office space nearby to ESB HQ if space is needed – not least of all the soon-to-be-empty Bank of Ireland HQ which is adjacent on Baggot St.

    If in such circumstances ESB were to proceed with what is a vanity project, they would become the focal point for public rage at out-of-control unaccountable state owned companies – and I for one would be leading the charge

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #731500

    Interesting thoughts there StephenC. It would of course be an ideal time to act on actually enforcing the law here. But then again, the primatic trivision sign directly below the former Baileys sign was erected since the IAP was embarked upon, with no authorisation.

    Who is the main city official for this patch? Who is at the rank of say, Assistant City Manager? What are they at and why are they being paid for services not done?

    in reply to: what now for Irish Times D’olier Street buildings? #749357

    On a slightly more humorous if waspish note, the new rooftop disaster scheme needs an appropriate name in the well established Dublin tradition, as in ‘Robo-block’ or the ‘Yoke on the Oak’…

    I know I’ve already used the term ‘Wibbiley Wobbley Blunder‘ above, but may I also suggest:

    Prefab Sprout


    in reply to: what now for Irish Times D’olier Street buildings? #749356

    Insightful and incite-full analysis there Graham.

    A few of my own thoughts, some of which have been touched on already so I’ll avoid repetition:

    The ‘top up’ roof extension is an absolute disaster. Not only are the Irish incapable of creating vista closers, in this instance one of the city’s most important vistas, looking south down O’Connell Street, has been mauled beyond belief. If its possible for the RIAI to award a negative prize, the ‘Wibbiley Wobbley Blunder’ should get it.

    It is all the more remarkable that the roof extension was permitted, while the faux attic storeys were seemingly wastefully left alone and empty. 6 houses would have yielded about 500 square metres in additional space, had the space been harnessed. Was this option even looked at by the City Council? If not, why not?

    It seems the worst outcome was achieved, whereby a ‘lets-pretend-we-don’t-see-it-as-it-camouflages-against-sky-loike-really’ was opted for. It does not. Nor is it a contemporary foil to historic buildings. What it is however, as has already been noted, is a symptom of a failed city council who are seemingly either unwilling or unable to protect the core fulcrum triangle at the heart of the city. What was the primary motivation of this? Was it so that a corporate roof top office with ‘spectacular views’ could be advertised for let at a higher price? If so, particularly in view of the visually blocked photomontages provided, the planners should have smelled a rat – and realised it would inevitably stick up as a visual one finger salute on the skyline, representing perhaps a private gain to one developer at the cost to the wider civic appearance and the greater community.

    It is also all the remarkable given the previous row as to the adjacent Treasury development of Westin Hotel 10 years ago, which Lancefort Ltd tried to block by way of a Supreme Court case – yet this new addition actually achieves making that rooftop scheme look admirable as a scheme that fitted in. And there in lies an interesting downward trajectory:

    1. The 1950’s replica in-fill took advantage of the previously faux attic storey, and gleaned an extra circa 170 sq metres at roof level, without any visual imposition.
    2. The 1990’s Treasury Westin scheme got through amidst much controversy, yet ultimately did not destroy the vista looking south from O’Connell Street.
    3. This ‘Celtic Tiger’ scheme utterly screws the vista closure looking south from O’Connell Street.
    4. If another scheme occurs in another ten years, what are we to expect? 😮

    > DCC Planning Dept / Fail 😡

    Finally regarding the lights, I fully agree the new suburban shopping mall style strip lighting is an absolute failure. I passed the other night, expecting that as the new units were at such an aesthetic cost during daylight, the night time result must be that the lighting would be to great dramatic effect. It is not. Perhaps an attempt at an under statement, the lighting is a failure and achieves sweet F.A. in terms of any effect. Utterly pointless.

    I also note the elegant mid-twentieth century dual globe street lamps unit that used to stand on the street has been removed – with nothing put in its place. Daft – that is unless the council is actively trying to create dark no-go areas in the city at street level, which I am actually beginning to suspect they are trying to do!

    At least the brickwork has washed up well, with of course the most unfortunate exception of returning the replica in-fill to a colour different in appearance to the rest of the street. The hanging baskets don’t bother me at all, though I do find it perhaps unintentionally most appropriate that the icing on the cake is, well, hanging baskets on a basket case block.

    Aside from this scheme itself, there is one key lesson that contributers should learn from all of this: while a postmortem is all very well after the fact, for those that actually care about the city, it would be far better to get involved and take an active interest at planning stage so as to avoid such monstrosities happening. We certainly can’t rely on those authorities that are supposedly charged and paid to do such a task if this is the best they can achieve. “Premortems” folks, would perhaps be to far better effect than postmortems – and also active participation in the planning process, be it as individuals or by way of NGOs such as An Taisce.

    Will we read any criticism regarding this scheme in the media publication previously housed here? Somehow I doubt it… unless that is, someone is writing a book and wants to raise their profile before book launch :rolleyes:

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777245

    @StephenC wrote:

    An interesting move by the new UK Govt reported in the Guardian

    Decluttering UK streets

    Now if only Mr Cuffe could put some pressure to bear on Irish city and town councils.

    StephenC, you beat me to it 🙂 … And DCC take note!

    The crappy public domain standards inflicted on civic society by engineers, and led by the UK in particular, are now being rolled back.

    We as a little post colonial nation have emulated the brits worst standards in this regard. The JC Decaux fiasco is simply an extension of an impoverished mindset that places little value on our public domain, and short sells consequently.

    The obstructive visually insulting junk thrown up at College Green as signage in the name of ‘busgate’ is another very recent example of the same.

    Apart from the aesthetic argument, from the article below, it would seem that the Hans Monderman school of thought has been proven correct – “When busy Kensington High Street in central London was stripped of excess road furniture, for example, it helped reduce accidents by 47 percent.”

    Dublin during the bubble was at the forefront of erecting street junk – DCC were not alone; RPA with Red Line Luas and other agencies were also at it… So now London authorities are correctly removing the same such junk – leaving Dublin as possibly a ‘World Class Centre of Excellence’ for uncoordinated and dangerous street junk.

    Happily, perhaps now that the brits are removing such crap, we might follow?

    In the meantime, I look forward to DCC enforcing the independent level 3 safety reports on the JC Decaux units already erected – as was conditional with each planning consent granted back in 2007 / 08. Otherwise in the event of a road accident, wouldn’t it be an awful bloody shame if officials hadn’t enforced such an essential condition – potentially leaving them personally liable for any court actions that may arise? 😉

    Britain being “overrun” by street signs

    LONDON | Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:29pm EDT
    (Reuters) – The British government has declared war on the profusion of unnecessary road traffic signs, railings and advertising boards, saying they blight towns’ English character.

    Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has written to local council leaders in England, calling on them to cut the number of unsightly signs and other “street clutter.”

    Even traffic lights are in the firing line.

    Ministers want the public to inform local authorities of particularly bad examples of excess signage, to clean up the national landscape.

    “Our streets are losing their English character,” Pickles said. “We are being overrun by scruffy signs, bossy bollards, patchwork paving and railed-off roads — wasting taxpayers’ money that could be better spent on fixing potholes or keeping council (local) tax down.”

    The government says that in some cases traffic signs are installed by councils in the mistaken belief they are legally required, when they are not.

    Hammond said the abundance of so-called street furniture often makes towns resemble “scrapyards,” confusing motorists and obstructing pedestrians.

    For signs to be most effective, ministers say, they should be kept to a minimum.

    When busy Kensington High Street in central London was stripped of excess road furniture, for example, it helped reduce accidents by 47 percent.

    The Department for Transport is reviewing traffic signs policy and new advice on how to reduce clutter will be published later this year.

    (Reporting by Stefano Ambrogi; Editing by Steve Addison)

    in reply to: Carlton Cinema Development #712186

    @culchiebuilder wrote:

    How common / big of a problem is this around the O’Connell street area?

    Moore Street and O’Rahilly lane area primarily. It’s not really such a big problem provided the developer has done their homework, realizes its a brown field site and makes allowances in advance. I have been aware of this re Carlton site for years. The story as headlined is making news in a summer season when this is already long since known. A quick glance at Rocque’s 1756 map shows Moore Street as “Brick Lane” – in the 1730s Brick Lane would have of course been on the outskirts of the city, and the bricks produced here would have been used for Henrietta Street.

    Hope this is of help – welcome to the site 🙂

    in reply to: Irish say no to PVC windows #745057

    @GrahamH wrote:

    You can use them to erase pesky parapets.

    Lol 😀

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777215

    By my calculation, each new bicycle would be working out at €390,000 per bike…

    Have a look at the rates on the JC Decaux Ireland website if you want; my calculations are based on €1250 for 1 of 4 adverts x 2 if the metropole is dual-aspect, x 26 fortnights in the year x 15 years.

    There are 3 DCC swimming pools slated for closing; Seán MacDermott Street, Crumlin, and the Coolock.

    Each pool costs €400,000 per annum. By my calculations, DCC could erect 5 metropole billboards which could generate €1,300000 and this would keep all 3 swimming pools open. The €100,000 left over could cover the cost of admin and allow for empty periods.

    So there you have it, rather than allowing JC Decaux erect 10 billboards, why doesn’t DCC itself consider erecting only 5? These could easily be accommodated along the N11 dual carriageway between the UCD Flyover and Donnybrook bus depot, as it passes by Montrose. (Unlike lower-income areas, for some odd reason the leafy N11 wasn’t included the last time).

    3 swimming pools for half the amount of new billboards? Tis a no-brainer 🙂

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777213

    @hutton wrote:

    So once again, it appears Dublin City Council may be prepared to give away the revenue potential of €39 million over 15 years in exchange for 10 bicycles.

    Oh well, at least Dublin is getting taken for quite the ride it was as last time :rolleyes:

    This should of course have read” it appears Dublin City Council may be prepared to give away the revenue potential of €39 million over 15 years in exchange for 100 bicycles”

    and also “Oh well, at least Dublin is not getting taken for quite the ride it was as last time”

    D’oh! 😮

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777206

    Okay a couple of quick points regarding the use or abuse or even misuse of Part 8 and this proposal:

    1) Dublin City Council are attempting to let advert Co. JC Decaux use Part 8 to build private billboards on public land, with all revenue generated going directly to the private company and not to the council. As far as I understand it, Part 8 is to allow local authority developments, not developments by private companies.

    2) The planning precedent is that the council previously permitted the developer to make their own separate applications, which was not handled as one scheme (and hence did not have an EIA), and as such, these developments must again be treated as separate development applications.

    In my opinion the story re bikes-for-billboards so far is this:

    – The bikes are the fringe benefit of a much bigger grubbier scheme, with advertising being the primary game.

    – Over €350 million worth of advertising potential revenue was being foregone by DCC for 450 bikes – until a ruckus saw 1/2 the billboards scrapped. (The 20% figure of refusal below fails to mention DCC was going to give at least 150 + sites, until uproar by merchants and others led to applications being withdrawn

    – It was done on by way of a secret rezoning map

    – Most of the billboards were dumped on lower-income areas, while the majority of the bikes went into leafy Dublin 2

    Of course when the scheme is bedeviled by under-capacity at the outset, it looks like a “victim of its own success”. Paris got almost 13 bikes in exchange for each billboard – we got less than half that.

    Naturally one of the most obvious questions thrown up by the new proposal is this:

    The new deal would deliver 10 rental bikes for each new billboard; why then did Dublin only get half that amount with the main primary deal?

    There’s a question I’d be interested in hearing the answer to. *Not holding breath*

    Notably an advertisement poster costs €1250 per fortnight for one of four sheets on one side of the current “metropanel” units – with the fee including the printing costs; the majority are dual-aspect – having two billboards on the one unit.

    Each dual-aspect metropole may carry 4 adverts on either side, resulting in a turnover of €10,000 per fortnight – which over 15 years may generate €3.9 million per unit.

    So once again, it appears Dublin City Council may be prepared to give away the revenue potential of €39 million over 15 years in exchange for 10 bicycles.

    Oh well, at least Dublin is getting taken for quite the ride it was as last time :rolleyes:

    in reply to: The Park, Carrickmines #739461

    @Frank Taylor wrote:

    The sad thing is that Bailey has spent huge amounts over the past decade promoting himself and is now likely to be elected to the next Dáil on a FG upswing. Maybe he’ll be the next planning minister.

    Imo, Ombudmans report stating Leinster House can no longer hold Cabinet to account + financial treachery of NAMA = broken formula.

    No difference between maFFia and blueshirts. Political perspective that is begotten in the grave of a shared bankrupt ideology that has, and continues to fail the citizens of what should be a republic. A false dichotomy.

    Still if the rot continues, and in my opinion it is now far worse in the absence of penalty, wouldn’t it nonetheless be appropriate, yet another symmetry; we could have a Bailey as planning minister while the Bailey brothers continue to turn up at the Planning Tribunal… and our children’s bare feet and hungry stomachs will be such a collective civic badge of respect to be able to acknowledge such men of importance. Bastards.

    in reply to: The Park, Carrickmines #739460

    @thebig C wrote:

    Hutton, perhaps the “ecomentalist” tag was undeserved in your case. However, I do feel it actually applies to certain elements who are definately against any form of development. The current economic decline just plays into their hands and raises more excuses for objecting to any form of development.

    I agree with you that many aspects of planning in Ireland stink to high heaven. I just don’t think this is one of them. Its perhaps natural, but regretable, that after the shenanigans of the past any Councillors involved in rezoning are now smeared.

    In my opinion, whilst over development and corruption are obviously bad. The kind of extremist anti-rezoning, anti-highrise anti-everything policies that alot of Councilors have made a career of can be just as damaging!

    The big push is to establish a retail/town core at Cherrywood, once the Luas is completed. However, given Liam Carrols financial situation, potential litigation regarding the site, question marks over Government ownership and the recession, nothing will be built there for a long time. In fact, despite Gormley pontificating about Cherrywood being appropriate as the designated growth centre, attempts in recent years to begin to develop this area in line with increased public transport have actually been stymed by none other then the Green Party and An Taisce. Both of whom strenuously objected to office developments on the grounds of height!! And were successful.

    My point was. At 10,000sq/m its a very small development in a Dublin context. We are not talking about a potential Liffey Valley or Dundrum. If The Park ( such an imaginative name) is already a destination for certain types of retailing, why not also include a supermarket as an option. That will actually save in terms of car journeys.

    Lastly, I am not a planning official. Nor am I employed in the property industry or a developer. Heaven forbid:)


    thebig C, I appreciate your retraction re “ecomentalists”. However I must dispute much of your core analysis. The current situation isn’t simply a recession in the old way we might have known it 20 years ago – there simply is not and can never be a return to the gross speculative bubble during the last decade for which we are all paying for now. That wasn’t an economic cycle, it was madness, a fraud on a grand scale masking a future theft – the results of which are best currently seen by the closure of swimming pools and other facilities in working class areas of Dublin city.

    The current economic decline just plays into their hands and raises more excuses for objecting to any form of development.

    Actually I don’t believe this on two counts; firstly it is not simply “current” by my reasoning above; we need a better stick to measure the progress of society by than crude GDP, and the the UN has a number of them – such as HDI, the Human Development Index. Secondly, the recession actually provides a new justification by way of promising “jaaaaaaahhhhbbs”, i.e. supposed jobs – a cruel, hollow, cherry that in reality masks the actual decline of further loss of jobs that will occur by way of sucking indigenous Irish retail commerce away from existing town centres such as Dun Laoghaire, and instead the british Tesco, who predominantly pay taxes elsewhere, have already said they want to set up at Quarryvale Nua. At this stage I suspect that if the developer, Michael Cotter, was to suggest that he could create jaaaaahhhbs by way of opening a concentration camp – perhaps a US style Guantanamo franchise – he could get the backing of some councillors.

    Regarding Cherrywood, it is actually not Liam Carroll but primarily Noel Smyth – who has already threatened legal action if the Quarryvale Nua proceeds and eats his lunch. It’s not that I give a damn about him, I don’t, and actually I believe this whole row is utterly farcical because in any event, you are right thebig C, nothing of significance is going to get built. Not that that’s going to stop existing land owners from moving to protect the mythical speculation value on existing plans, whether or not they go in to NAMA.

    The icing on the cake for me in all of this mess is the way the Luas has been perverted so as to no longer follow the former Harcourt Street railway bed, but instead, end up in the middle of nowhere, west of Bray and not connected to the main Dart line. Oh well at least Two Cars Cuffe and his GP mates are happy, with a toy that has less than half the capacity of Dart on a line that is already over capacity further down. Idiots 😡

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