Glass Christmas tree to leave O'Connell St
DUBLIN'S main thoroughfare O'Connell Street will go back to basics this Christmas -- with a traditional Christmas tree replacing the glass version that has stood there since 2008.
And Smithfield will gain from the move: the glass Christmas tree will now reside there for the festive season.
Christmas will officially begin on O'Connell Street when the tree's lights are switched on by Lord Mayor Naoise O Muiri on Sunday, November 25.
The glass tree is moving to a new home in Smithfield in an attempt to boost footfall in other areas of the city centre over the Christmas period.
The decision by Dublin City Council was taken following discussions between the city council, Dublin City Business Improvement District and the Dublin City Business Association.
The glass tree was designed by French firm Blachere, which created the lighting for the Eiffel Tower. It cost €300,000.
The 18 metre, five-tonne, eco-friendly tree is illuminated by 100,000 bulbs.
When first erected in 2008, a Dublin City Council spokesperson had said that the controversial and expensive artificial tree would be used for the next 10 years.
A council spokesman said today that the plan was to move the artificial tree to "other areas of the city that need a boost".
Much work has been done in Smithfield this year, particularly to the square, which is now fully pedestrianised and is also home to a children's playground.
A new power supply is also in operation in the square.
A council spokesperson revealed that the decision was taken to move the glass tree from O'Connell Street because of traffic considerations.
The artificial tree, which was described as "bright and cheerful", was not being moved because of any objection by the public, he said.