Friday 18 January 2019

Bring down 'Soviet Luas wall', urge neighbours

Gwen O’Dowd (second left) with Jenny O’Dunlaing and her children, Sean (7) and Rose (5), at the walled-off old station
Gwen O’Dowd (second left) with Jenny O’Dunlaing and her children, Sean (7) and Rose (5), at the walled-off old station

Residents living in the Broadstone area of north Dublin have said they are horrified by a Soviet-style wall erected at what will be the new Luas stop.

They say the concrete structure is an eyesore that all but obliterates the historic Broadstone railway station.

Protesters intend to march on the site next Saturday to highlight their concerns.

The wall is part of the Luas Cross City (LCC) project, linking the city centre to Phibsboro and DIT's new campus at Grangegorman.

The €368m extension of the Luas Green Line will connect with the Red Line and will add 13 new stops when completed by the end of next year.

Local people who object to what they claim is an irreversible eyesore have mounted a campaign called Bring Down the Wall.

More than 1,200 names have been added to an online petition urging LCC to "reduce in height and finish in a style appropriate to the surroundings, the sheer and brutal solid concrete wall that has been erected in front of the old Broadstone station".

Artist Gwen O'Dowd (59), who has lived in the area for more than 30 years and founded the Broadstone Community Garden, said: "We want it brought down just like the Berlin Wall was brought down. We want to see the former railway station."

The building, which was once one of the four grand railway terminals in the capital, was built in a neo-Egyptian style and was the former jewel in the crown of the Midland and Great Western Railway Company.


It used the building as its headquarters and a terminal until 1937 before it was finally closed in 1961.

It was then taken over by CIE which uses the building as its headquarters for Bus Eireann. The large forecourt is used as a staff car park.

The wall was built to prevent car park users from contact with the tram line and passengers below.

LCC said Transport Infrastructure Ireland is "actively considering" options to improve the visibility and view of the Broadstone building.

It said the concrete wall will be finished in natural stone cladding.

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