herald

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Council to remove love locks from the Ha'penny Bridge

Locks on the Ha'Penny Bridge
Locks on the Ha'Penny Bridge

THE capital's 200-year-old Ha'penny Bridge is to be saved from the weight of padlocks as lock-pickers organised by the council will begin to remove the 'love locks'.

The protected structure, which was opened in 1816, was becoming damaged by locks placed on it by loved-up tourists and locals alike.

Next week a group of lock-pickers will begin removing them individually, shunning the use of any cutting devices, as organised by Dublin City Council (DCC).

Some of the locks are secured very tightly around the railings which meant DCC had previously been hampered trying to cut them and not damage the city landmark.

Furthermore, the locks were causing the paint to chip on the bridge which led to rusting.

The council is teaming up with a city centre lock picking club, Tog, which also runs a weekly lock-picking class.

The project is being run from the City Architects division of the council.

The plan is, from next week, to remove the 'love locks' once a fortnight and then review the progress.

The trial is also looking at giving tourists another option to place their declarations of love.

One idea that is mooted is a 'love tree' as seen in London and Moscow. In London, couples placed a heart-shaped lock on a tree make a donation to the British Heart Foundation.

Last February, DCC appealed to the public not to place locks on the protected bridge which was extensively repaired by DCC in 2001.

"Please do not put padlocks on the bridge as they are causing damage," read the laminated notice.

People have also started attaching padlocks to the newly opened Rosie Hackett bridge.

The locks first started appearing on Dublin's first pedestrian bridge in 2011 as the trend took off across Europe.

A popular spot for the locks is on the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris.

But last June, as a result of the weight of the locks, a part of the bridge collapsed.

jfegan@herald.ie

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