herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

We were told the Spire would be self-cleaning so why €227k bill?

DUBLIN City Council will spend more than €227,000 on maintaining the Millennium Spire this year, according to new figures.

The astonishing sum will be spent on extensive cleaning and maintenance of the Spire structure, which was lauded as 'self-cleaning' when it was first erected.

In total, DCC will spend €227,960 plus VAT this year, while in 2010 it spent more than €219,086, and in 2009 it spent over €193,990.

A spokesperson from the council said: "The typical maintenance works involve cleaning, and bringing in specialist equipment to do this, because of its size."



Contract

"Cleaning and maintenance are carried out on a regular and ongoing basis. There are 22 categories in the (maintenance) contract schedule, and only two of these are cleaning."

He added: "The size of the structure creates certain difficulties and you can only do the cleaning at certain times, so the street has to be clear while it's going on, so that would add to the cost as well."

However councillors from the central area have said the cost of the maintenance works are "exorbitant" and they are urging the council to examine if they could be scaled down.

Cllr Christy Burke said: "Even if you were to halve that amount and give €115,000 towards special works for people with disabilities, like ramps, handrails, bath rails, rails up to their homes, you'd get a few cases sorted out."

"I'm sure the Spire is important for tourists and I'm sure it's important for our own country. But I'm sure if you were to halve that budget, you'd get a good clean.

"That budget needs to be looked at, and it needs to be addressed. I don't need to see it spic and span. Everyone knows it's there and people are not going to be forensically testing it to see how clean it is."



Slanted

The 'Monument of Light' was supposed to wash itself by keeping its sheen as Dublin's plentiful rainfall rolled down its slightly slanted sides.

The monument -- one of the tallest pieces of sculpture in the world -- replaced Nelson's Pillar, which was blown up in 1966 by the IRA.

After a planning appeal and a High Court case, the Spire was completed in February 2003 at a total cost of €4m.

hnews@herald.ie

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