Sunday 17 December 2017

Bid to save Poolbeg towers up for debate

An emergency motion to save the Poolbeg chimneys from demolition is to be put forward by Dublin councillors tonight.


The motion to have the two stacks included on the county's list of protected structures will be discussed at the south east area committee meeting.

It was tabled by Labour councillor Dermot Lacey who said the ESB has had a written agreement with the council since 2010, saying it would inform the local authority is there was any question of demolishing the towers.


"We wanted the chimneys on a list of protected structures four years ago and the ESB asked that we wouldn't do that on the basis that if there were any intentions to do anything with them, they would come back and talk to us again," said Mr Lacey.

"I recall that there was no case for them being listed architecturally, but there is an argument for protecting them on a heritage basis."

While the ESB has said it is considering demolishing the chimneys, Mr Lacey insisted: "I'm saying no way."

Tonight's motion follows indications from the ESB last week that the future of the former power station was being reviewed and a decision would be made before the end of the year.

The ESB plans were listed in a letter to minister Leo Varadkar just before he moved to the Department of Health.

Mr Varadkar had written to ESB chief executive Pat O'Doherty about preserving the chimneys.

Mr O'Doherty had responded that this "might not be possible at all".

He added that "some view their 40-year presence on the Dublin skyline as iconic while others see them as a blight on the landscape".

Damien Cassidy, chairman of the Environment Group of Ringsend, said local people felt the chimneys should be retained and protected.


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