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Old April 28th, 2010, 02:56 AM   #1
Catmalojin
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Restoration of Dublin to its Georgian glory urged by report

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Restoration of Dublin to its Georgian glory urged by report

OLIVIA KELLY

Wed, Apr 28, 2010



College Green: underground traffic routes which would allow the pedestrianisation of areas such as College Green are recommended as is the removal of all trees and municipal furniture.


The plan envisages the Rotunda Gardens being restored to their former glory.


O'Connell Bridge redesign with reduced numbers of lanes and trees and grass planted.

CONSTRUCTION OF subterranean traffic routes, removal of trees from College Green, and a prohibition on the use of overhead wires on the new cross-town Luas line are among ambitious proposals for the restoration of Dublin’s historic core in a report to be published tomorrow.

The report, by the Dublin Civic Trust and commissioned by the Dublin City Business Association (DCBA), contains a large number of recommendations which would radically change the appearance of Dublin city centre.

It focuses on the reinstatement of historic Georgian “set pieces” such as the Rotunda Gardens at Parnell Square, and the civic piazza at College Green, as well as the refurbishment of boulevards including Westmoreland Street, Marlborough Street and Grafton Street.

Detailed plans are recommended for these areas which would necessitate removal of most traffic; an increase in pedestrianisation; a ban on bus parking; restoration of derelict buildings and sites; creation of new plazas; reinstatement of granite paving; removal of unnecessary signage, bollards and other “street clutter”; and, in some cases, a complete redesign.

The plans are not costed but the report says their realisation is essential to attract national and international investment to Dublin, retain shoppers and meet the expectations of tourists and citizens.

College Green is the focus for some of the more radical proposals. The area in front of Trinity College and the Bank of Ireland, originally built in 1729 to house parliament, was now “unrecognisable” from the grand civic space it was intended to be, with inappropriately sited and overgrown trees, poor-quality paving and crude engineering works carried out as part of the “bus gate” project, the report said.

The location of trees and public toilets in front of James Gandon’s portico and entrance front to the former House of Lords were particularly unsightly, it said.

The report seeks the pedestrianisation of the majority of the space, the removal of all trees and municipal furniture, the construction of a high-quality paved civic piazza, and the prohibition of overhead power lines proposed as part of the Luas BDX line to connect the north and south of the city.

The prohibition of overhead Luas wires should be extended to O’Connell Bridge, O’Connell Street and the primary streets in the historic core through which the line would pass, it says.

The pedestrianisation of College Green and other important civic areas could be facilitated through the use of underground traffic routes in the city centre – these would reduce congestion but maintain accessibility.

There are similarly ambitious plans for the site of the current Rotunda Hospital at Parnell Square. The original hospital building from the 1750s had become almost entirely lost in a “sea of tarmacadam”, and 20th-century additions had covered much of its gardens, according to the report. The plan seeks the reinstatement of the Rotunda Gardens, which would involve large-scale demolition.

Westmoreland Street is described as “the most prominent and visible stretch of blighted streetscape in the historic city centre”. It has descended into low-grade usages and closed-up shop fronts. It would benefit from pavement widening, an enforcement of the council’s rules on shop-front design and a removal of bus parking. Bus parking had “all but destroyed” the southern end of Marlborough Street, eliminating any other activity. At the northern end, there was scope for a civic plaza in front of the Pro-Cathedral, incorporating grounds of the Department of Education and Science.

The report also envisages the redesign of O’Connell Bridge, a management plan to stop the city becoming “overwhelmed” by taxis, and refurbishment of Grafton Street.

Dublin's historic core: civic trust's recommendations:
  • Increase in the number of pedestrian areas and the creation of civic plazas at Christchurch, the Pro-Cathedral, College Green, Parnell Square and O’Connell Bridge.
  • The widening of pavements and the restoration of historic granite flagstones and kerbing, instead of ugly and discordant repairs using tarmac and poured concrete.
  • Prohibition on the use of overhead power lines associated with the proposed Luas cross-city line, at College Green, O’Connell Bridge and the historic streets from St Stephen’s Green to O’Connell Street.
  • The enforcement by the council of their shopfront design guidelines which aim to eliminate inappropriate signage and ensure shopfronts are in line with the character of their streets.
  • The removal of trees where their location is inappropriate, such as College Green, tree-planting schemes in areas such as O’Connell Bridge, and a reduction in the number of trees in Merrion Square.
  • A refurbishment of the Georgian squares and a reinstatement of their residential use. Development levies for redevelopment of listed buildings could be waived to encourage the restoration of Georgian town houses, particularly in the squares.
  • An end to the practice of “laying over” or parking out of service buses on many streets, including the quays, Mountjoy Square, Marlborough Street and Westmoreland Street.
  • The construction of underground traffic routes which would allow the pedestrianisation of areas such as College Green while still providing access for motorists to the city centre.
© 2010 The Irish Times
Seems like an excellent report. It's hard to disagree with anything said in this, particularly the bus parking in the city centre and shop fronts (O'Connell Street and Westmoreland Street are by far the worst), though the tunnels for road traffic would be quite expensive!

Nice to see they also support pedestrianising College Green.

Hopefully the city council come out in support of this, our city would be the better for it!

Last edited by Catmalojin; April 28th, 2010 at 03:08 AM.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 08:44 AM   #2
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Give me strength.
tbh I don't know much about the 'Dublin Civic Trust' but by their title I assume they, like An Taisce, have their HQ on Mars.
There's more chance of Elvis Presley crashing a UFO into the Loch Ness monster than much of this guff ever happening.
The issue over removing the overhead LUAS lines has been studied already and rejected on safety grounds.
You have to put power into a 3rd rail, I believe, which is activated by pressure from the tram. But not considered 100% safe for pedestrians or urinating dogs for example.
How are they going to tunnell under TCD?
Firstly Metro Nth will be tunnelling (quite deep) here. There are 2 reasons the Metro tunnell will be very deep. It has to get down low to clear the Liffey.
But equally important. TCD was built 400 years ago when they weren't too bothered with foundations. Any tunnell above the Metro will be resisted tooth and nail by TCD.
Will not happen.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 12:59 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by oneborneveryminute View Post
Give me strength.
tbh I don't know much about the 'Dublin Civic Trust' but by their title I assume they, like An Taisce, have their HQ on Mars.
There's more chance of Elvis Presley crashing a UFO into the Loch Ness monster than much of this guff ever happening.
The issue over removing the overhead LUAS lines has been studied already and rejected on safety grounds.
You have to put power into a 3rd rail, I believe, which is activated by pressure from the tram. But not considered 100% safe for pedestrians or urinating dogs for example.
How are they going to tunnell under TCD?
Firstly Metro Nth will be tunnelling (quite deep) here. There are 2 reasons the Metro tunnell will be very deep. It has to get down low to clear the Liffey.
But equally important. TCD was built 400 years ago when they weren't too bothered with foundations. Any tunnell above the Metro will be resisted tooth and nail by TCD.
Will not happen.

Give me strength indeed... It's a pity Ireland is filled with such negative/no-can-do/married to their cars attitudes.
Try visiting any beautiful/slash civic-minded city on continental Europe and see how they do it. Paris, Brussels and Berlin are great examples of cities with road underpasses in the city centre... Guess what, they also have rail-based underground transport systems and buildings of historical significance, so it's more than possible.
Even better try visiting Rome; they build undergrounds beneath 2,000 year old buildings, but somehow it'd be impossible in Dublin.
I'd also suggest visiting Bilbao, Bordeaux and countless other European cities to discover these 'future is now' trams that run without any overhead lines. They don't seem to have fallen into a state of chaos just yet with dogs and drunks being electrocuted for pissing on a tram track...

It's a fantastic article, and good to see people are finally addressing what a crumbling mess Dublin has descended into. (essentially, since the act of union)
It's the capital city of our country, and defines the first impression foreign visitors get of our country, and says a lot about us and our capabilities/vision as a people to potential investors.
To me, it is the most 'neglected' capital city in western/central Europe, which is hardly an accolade to be proud of.
It's a medieval city with buildings dating back over 1,000 years, and it is the capital of our country; we can't continue to pump cars through it and stand idly by as buildings are left to rot and decay by apathetic business owners.
Investing in the city to make it a more attractive place for citizens and visitors alike will benefit everyone in the country in the long-run.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 01:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by nordisk celt83 View Post
Give me strength indeed... It's a pity Ireland is filled with such negative/no-can-do/married to their cars attitudes.
Try visiting any beautiful/slash civic-minded city on continental Europe and see how they do it. Paris, Brussels and Berlin are great examples of cities with road underpasses in the city centre... Guess what, they also have rail-based underground transport systems and buildings of historical significance, so it's more than possible.
Even better try visiting Rome; they build undergrounds beneath 2,000 year old buildings, but somehow it'd be impossible in Dublin.
I'd also suggest visiting Bilbao, Bordeaux and countless other European cities to discover these 'future is now' trams that run without any overhead lines. They don't seem to have fallen into a state of chaos just yet with dogs and drunks being electrocuted for pissing on a tram track...

It's a fantastic article, and good to see people are finally addressing what a crumbling mess Dublin has descended into. (essentially, since the act of union)
It's the capital city of our country, and defines the first impression foreign visitors get of our country, and says a lot about us and our capabilities/vision as a people to potential investors.
To me, it is the most 'neglected' capital city in western/central Europe, which is hardly an accolade to be proud of.
It's a medieval city with buildings dating back over 1,000 years, and it is the capital of our country; we can't continue to pump cars through it and stand idly by as buildings are left to rot and decay by apathetic business owners.
Investing in the city to make it a more attractive place for citizens and visitors alike will benefit everyone in the country in the long-run.
So you think a road tunnel 100 metres deep under TCD is likely? Going from where to where?

And while you're up there on Mars, could you pop ever to the Spirit Rover and see why it's got stuck in a sandy crater?
Bring your tools btw.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 01:10 PM   #5
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Also, one thing that I would've liked to have seen mentioned in the article is the castle, and it's gardens. Many of Dublin's most important architectural gems like the castle and parliament square are hidden away from the city, and they need to be opened up to the city surrounding them. I'd say most of my friends have never actually visited Dublin Castle, Parliament square, which probably owes to the fact they don't integrate with the surrounding city very well.
Would also have liked to have seen a mention of Dame street, but glad to see the idea of a civic plaza in Christchurch Place (that place with a 900 year old building in the middle of it) being muted.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 01:16 PM   #6
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So you think a road tunnel 100 metres deep under TCD is likely? Going from where to where?

And while you're up there on Mars, could you pop ever to the Spirit Rover and see why it's got stuck in a sandy crater?
Bring your tools btw.
Well probably from Dawson street or Kildare street, in a straight line, to Tara street or Hawkins street??? Passing under the green behind Trinity and not interacting with any other underground tunnels, hence bypassing College Green. I'll draw you a map if you like, or can you just try and figure it out on google maps if you like...
While I'm investigating on Mars, try vising rue general lemonnier; a road tunnel which passes under Palais de Louvre and the two underground stations, which sit under the palace area. You'd be amazed, it's akin to rocket science!
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Old April 28th, 2010, 01:54 PM   #7
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Talking

I see. Forget the alien tunnell running from Dame St under TCD then as planned by the Dublin Civic Distrust?

Your tunnel from Kildare St will take what traffic to justify 2 trillion Euro cost?

I presume you're paying.

If you go deep enough not to disturb 8th wonder of world TCD, how you get up before Liffey?
If go under Liffey then where come up at huge cost? End of world (again) for nutter shopkeepers Champs de O'Connell.................
Actually I'm very for making Dublin more glorious and cute, but tunnell under TCD not realistic.

Reason MN going under College Green is TCD will not permit ANY tunnelling under ANY part of TCD.

Other than that, good plan

Last edited by oneborneveryminute; April 28th, 2010 at 02:06 PM.
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Old April 29th, 2010, 01:47 PM   #8
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I see. Forget the alien tunnell running from Dame St under TCD then as planned by the Dublin Civic Distrust?

Your tunnel from Kildare St will take what traffic to justify 2 trillion Euro cost?

I presume you're paying.

If you go deep enough not to disturb 8th wonder of world TCD, how you get up before Liffey?
If go under Liffey then where come up at huge cost? End of world (again) for nutter shopkeepers Champs de O'Connell.................
Actually I'm very for making Dublin more glorious and cute, but tunnell under TCD not realistic.

Reason MN going under College Green is TCD will not permit ANY tunnelling under ANY part of TCD.

Other than that, good plan
Wow, I was a bit angry in my replies wasn't I?? Anyway, much less to do at work today, so more time to reply on SSC and Facebook...

I don't necessarily agree with the tunnel Dublin Civic Trust is proposing, but I think they are, in gerneral, a viable solution to traffic problems whilst also benefitting cities superficially.
Ok, one thing we need to do is replace the word tunnel with underpass. The word tunnel just brings up visions of the port tunnel, lots of money and tunnel boring machines 50m below the surface.

Underpasses are commonplace in European cities. They're not technically demanding in construction terms and are cost effective because many link on to underground parking, which helps recoup the cost of building them.
The propsed underpasses would take enormous amounts of traffic, as central Dublin is clogged daily, and would help alleviate the necessity for an eastern by-pass for a long time to come, which would be vastly more expensive.

Another underpass would be needed around Nicholas street to divert traffic away from the city also.
Such underpasses would not only be infrastructurally beneficial in helping move traffic more efficiently, boost Dublin's dwindling tourist receipts, but would also be of huge cultural beneift to our capital city, which money can't put a price on.

I lived in Oslo and Brussels, as a child, with daytrips to Cologne, Rotterdam and Paris at the weekedends, where these things are everyhwere. That's why I'm so perplexed at the notion that they're is something ground-breaking, unusual or expensive about them.
The economic, lifestyle and cultural benefits of them far outweigh the cons!

In regards to Trinity. If underpasses are good enough for the Palais de Louvre, Spanish Royal Palace and the principal street in Oslo. they're good enough for Trinity.

For good examples check out:
Avenue du Général Lemonnier intersection with Rue de Rivoli, Paris. (google street view)
Countless areas around bridges along the Seine, Paris (google street view)
Calle Balien in front of the Royal Palace in Madrid. (google street view)
The Boulvard Ring in Brussels has loads of them (google earth)


As for actual, proper bo big, city centre tunnels which are also very common, there are also loads of other examples.
Tunnel de la defence in Paris is prob the best example of one of these...
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Old April 29th, 2010, 02:08 PM   #9
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Well n/celt your ideas won't get much traction if you fail to analyse the situation realistically. And whatever about underpasses and rationalising the traffic flow in Dublin it doesn't show much appreciation of Dublin to be arguing for traffic under TCD.
Dublin is not Paris, Madrid or Brussels. Because something is in Paris that means it is correct for Dublin?
DCC's strategy is correctly designed to discourage every driver in Ireland from the strange need to pass down O'Connel St to get from any A to B because the medieval nature of all the Streets in both the central area of Dublin and in the arteries feeding into the centre doesn't make this sensible and underpasses won't make much difference around TCD. In fact will make the bigger picture worse.
So there's no appetite for hugely expensive underpasses to move a few cars in the OCS/TCD area which will merely suck more cars into the pokey streeted area and result in zero net improvements. The solution for College Green is to simply ban cars from this area and provide more sensible arteries outside the OCS corridor.

The problem is shopkeepers who are afraid of change and resisted every pedestrianisation in the past inc Grafton St. If you wanted to put traffic back into Grafton street they'd now fight that tooth and nail.

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Old April 30th, 2010, 06:27 PM   #10
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I don't see where the report says anything about going under TCD. All that is needed is a cut and cover tunnel running through college green so that the immediate area can be pedestrianised.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 06:40 PM   #11
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I don't see where the report says anything about going under TCD. All that is needed is a cut and cover tunnel running through college green so that the immediate area can be pedestrianised.
To fit in where with the Metro Nth tunnell under college Green?
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Old April 30th, 2010, 09:05 PM   #12
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Hey, new to the forum. Not an engineer or an arcitect, just interested...

Think this is a great idea if it is in fact possible.
a question though... Does this underpass thing have to be basically straight or could you just follow the current route and not go under trinity at all.
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Old May 1st, 2010, 04:08 AM   #13
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To fit in where with the Metro Nth tunnell under college Green?
Like you've already said, the metro line is very deep in order to go under the liffey. I don't have the actual number but it's possible to find out if you look up the schematics. There will be plenty of room for a cut and cover, and it's not a particularly major engineering task, such tunnels are common around the world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thefancydanhimself
Does this underpass thing have to be basically straight or could you just follow the current route and not go under trinity at all.
Good question, the answer is I don't know, but I think they would need to be relatively straight for safety reasons.

If college green gets completely pedestrianised, I don't really see any way to keep access to Nassau street, even by tunnel. I think buses would need to get where they're going via westland row. A Dame Street <-> Pearse street tunnel might be okay.

Last edited by drnk santa; May 1st, 2010 at 04:21 AM.
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Old May 1st, 2010, 10:13 AM   #14
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Not sure it's that simple. SSG is elevated relative to College Green. MN tunnell might not be that deep. Liffey bed not that far down at O'Connell bridge, rock close to surface. Then there's a practical problem. Can an underpass be safely dug out with a metro tunnell already in place? Doubtful.
No chance of cut and cover there during MN construction since Westmoreland St will be closed for close on 2 years and cut and cover would then block Dame St also.

The other problem is that there has been a lot of pressure to get the link up line BX built. If plans for a cut and cover in College Green are pushed ahead that will put a spanner in that works.
Still doesn't address the real problem - hard to see point in funnelling any traffic into College Green area - with or without underpasses - because there's poor access into the corridors into this bottleneck.
Longer term solution is to open up -with underpasses/bridges etc - new cross city arteries East and West of the OCS corridor.

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Old May 2nd, 2010, 01:11 AM   #15
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I saw somewhere drawings showing the depth of the tunnel (might have been somewhere in all of this http://www.dublinmetronorth.ie/) its around 24m down as far as I remember so there would be plenty space for a cut and cover above. As far digging out an underpass above a metro tunnel surely that would result in less pressure on the tunnel than if it was all solid earth above it?

But anyway I do agree that it should be priority to develop other routes across and around the city and not encourage more traffic into a bottle neck at great expense and effort.


Edit: On the point of straight or follow the road underpasses; shallow underpasses would have to follow the road surely, the cut and cover technique doesn't work through buildings. Deeper tunnel boring could go straight undereverything but that would be overkill for short distances.

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Old December 3rd, 2016, 06:26 AM   #16
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Are there any updates with this 6 years later?
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 09:28 PM   #17
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Are there any updates with this 6 years later?
Well it's a bit late to ban overhead Luas wires! And removing the trees is obviously an abomination......
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Old December 4th, 2016, 01:13 PM   #18
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Are there any updates with this 6 years later?
Removing cars entirely from the city centre would presumably be the most significant move towards restoring Dublin to its former Georgian glory. Hopefully someday it will happen but they would need to remove those awful car parks etc.
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Old December 5th, 2016, 07:32 AM   #19
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Removing cars entirely from the city centre would presumably be the most significant move towards restoring Dublin to its former Georgian glory. Hopefully someday it will happen but they would need to remove those awful car parks etc.
Indeed. Restoring Georgian Dublin to it's former glory, as well as regenerating the inner city, along with creating an attractive urban space in the Docklands (a bit under-utilised at present if I am to be honest), would go a long way toward upping Dublin's stakes.

And on top of that, an improvement in our rail and road network would pay dividends. Ireland would no longer merely have beautiful natural parks and scenery, but a world class city as a gateway to those areas. We are fairly restricted here been a small island disconnected from the mainland of Europe.

But by turning Dublin into a world class city, we'll have a remarkable appeal as a country - a world class city, with natural wonders such as the Cliffs of Moher, Connemara, the Burren and the Wicklow Mountains at our doorstep. Tourism is an undeniably major component of our economy.

I just hope that DCC and the Irish Government can understand this point in time. It's one thing having world class natural scenery, but with a world class city - Ireland has the potential to greatly increase tourist revenue.

Though the DCC and Irish Government been the short-sighted dimwits as usual, I won't hold my breath.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 04:36 AM   #20
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Indeed. Restoring Georgian Dublin to it's former glory, as well as regenerating the inner city, along with creating an attractive urban space in the Docklands (a bit under-utilised at present if I am to be honest), would go a long way toward upping Dublin's stakes.

And on top of that, an improvement in our rail and road network would pay dividends. Ireland would no longer merely have beautiful natural parks and scenery, but a world class city as a gateway to those areas. We are fairly restricted here been a small island disconnected from the mainland of Europe.

But by turning Dublin into a world class city, we'll have a remarkable appeal as a country - a world class city, with natural wonders such as the Cliffs of Moher, Connemara, the Burren and the Wicklow Mountains at our doorstep. Tourism is an undeniably major component of our economy.

I just hope that DCC and the Irish Government can understand this point in time. It's one thing having world class natural scenery, but with a world class city - Ireland has the potential to greatly increase tourist revenue.

Though the DCC and Irish Government been the short-sighted dimwits as usual, I won't hold my breath.
It is essential College Green is done right. I would be curious to see there opinion on the historic footpaths and railings. At the moment the gap between the luas lines is inconsistent and it seems like the route should of been pushed slightly in certain directions. The gap should be laid with an additional luas line regardless. In an ideal world trinity would consider a study for the railings and interfaces.
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