South City: Restored bridge over Dodder will honour late Lord Mayor
A HISTORIC bridge is to be restored to its former glory and will reopen this summer with a plaque dedicated to one of the city's most distinguished citizens.
The Beaver Row footbridge over the River Dodder at Donnybrook will honour the late Lord Mayor Joe Doyle.
Mr Doyle was central to the plan to install the Spire of Dublin in O'Connell Street during his tenure in the Mansion House in the late 1990s.
Now he will be remembered on a plaque on the bridge he used everyday.
The bridge - a protected structure - was built around 130 years ago.
The wrought iron and wood crossing will be restored at a cost of €450,000 and a contractor will be appointed this month after a tender was advertised by Dublin City Council. The bridge will be ready for use in July or August of this year.
"The bridge is in need of refurbishment to extend its life," a city council spokeswoman said, adding that the estimated cost includes planning, design and construction.
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Fine Gael councillor Paddy McCartan is behind the campaign to have a plaque in Mr Doyle's memory included in the restoration.
"Joe lived beside the bridge and used it on a daily basis. It was agreed by the Naming Committee that a memorial in recognition of Joe be integrated into the works," Cllr McCartan told the Herald.
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"Notwithstanding the considerable costs in restoration and refurbishment, I hope that it will serve the residents of Donnybrook for at least another 130 years," he said.
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The former Lord Mayor, Mr Doyle - who famously stood as playwright Brendan Behan's best man - passed away in 2009 at the age of 73.
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Also serving the Dail and the Seanad, Mr Doyle was a public representative in the Pembroke Ward over two decades from 1979 and he was Lord Mayor from 1998 to 1999.
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Taoiseach Enda Kenny described him as an outstanding public representative and a "Christian in every sense of the word", when he died.
Mr Doyle is survived by his wife Peggy and three children David, Michael and Roisin.