Thursday 27 October 2016

Work begins to tear down last of Ballymun's iconic tower blocks


THE last of the iconic Ballymun flats are expected to be razed to the ground by October.

Demolition work has begun on the remaining two flat blocks on Balbutcher lane in the northside suburb.

The tower is the last remaining of those erected in the 1960s to house inner-city residents.

Initial demolition work is also expected to be completed on the Joseph Plunkett Tower - the sole 15-storey block - within four months.


Though some of the other towers have been levelled using controlled implosions, the Balbutcher blocks will be demolished mechanically.

Originally it was planned to raze the towers last year, but work on the site was pushed back.

Though there are no immediate plans for development on the site it is expected that it will be included in the area's next local development plan.

The demolition of the towers, which were all named after signatories of the 1916 proclamation, began in 2004.

Local Sinn Fein councillor Noeleen Reilly said that it is "great" to see work finally beginning on the last phase of the works.

"They have become an eyesore in recent times and they are a well-known site for antisocial behaviour," she told the Herald. Ms Reilly said that she would ideally like to see a mix of social and private housing being developed on the site.

Though the demolition of the derelict buildings is welcome, she said there has been a lot of nostalgia and fond memories among the communities in the area as the iconic towers were being torn down.


"People have been stopping by to take pictures of the buildings before they're gone," she said.

"The landscape here in Ballymun has totally changed and this is the last piece of the jigsaw to be undone."

Meanwhile, councillors last night voted on the disposal of land in Balcurris on the main street in Ballymun for €1.8m.

A shopping complex will be built on the site, though it will be much smaller than the mall proposed by Treasury Holdings 15 years ago on the adjacent Ballymun Shopping Centre site.

In nearby Glasnevin, plans were unveiled yesterday for a four-storey €14m student centre for DCU, due to be completed in 2018.

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