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Saturday 3 December 2016

End of an era as demolition begins on last of Ballymun's seven towers

The remaining Ballymun tower 'The Joseph Plunkett Tower' which was due to be demolished today
The remaining Ballymun tower 'The Joseph Plunkett Tower' which was due to be demolished today
The remaining Ballymun tower 'The Joseph Plunkett Tower' which was due to be demolished today
The remaining Ballymun tower 'The Joseph Plunkett Tower' which was due to be demolished today
The remaining Ballymun tower 'The Joseph Plunkett Tower' which was due to be demolished today
THE DEMOLITION OF MC DONAGH TOWERS ,BALLYMUN ,YESTERDAY. K O HALLORAN
The remaining Ballymun tower 'The Joseph Plunkett Tower' which was due to be demolished today.
The remaining Ballymun tower 'The Joseph Plunkett Tower' which was due to be demolished today.

Work to demolish the last remaining tower block in Ballymun was due to commence today, bringing an end to the housing project launched nearly 50 years ago.

The 15-storey Joseph Plunkett Tower was the last of the seven tallest tower blocks to be built in the late 1960s.

But the ground surrounding it was being cleared today to allow a long-reach hydraulic 'nibbler' access to it to begin the process of breaking it up from the top down.

The process is expected to take three to four weeks.

The same method was also used to demolish four of the original towers, and all 29 of the eight and four-storey blocks.

Two 15-storey towers were demolished using explosives.

McCallum Brothers Ltd have been retained for the demolition project.

The rubble remaining from the scheme is scheduled to be reused for projects such as road construction, while removable fixtures are being sent for recycling.

Joseph Plunkett Tower, which was built in 1967, contained 90 two- and three-bedroom apartments.

U2 famously made reference to the "seven towers" in their Joshua Tree hit Running To Stand Still.

The total scheme comprised of 2,900 flats, which were built on the outskirts of Dublin but eventually swallowed up by the expanding city.

As they fell into disrepair over time they eventually became examples of a bad social housing planning involving massive population density with few amenities.

As the Ballymun Regeneration Project got under way and the towers were gradually removed from the landscape, the residents were housed in new units built locally to a modern standard.

Despite its demolition, many former residents of the towers remember them fondly as being spacious, with a good community atmosphere in the early days, and have been saddened to see them disappear over the last few years.

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