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Old March 16th, 2010, 04:32 PM   #1
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DUBLIN | Projects & Construction

Dublin's Docklands showcase a new, hip quarter
10 March 2010



DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) - There is arguably no place more central to Ireland's capital than the River Liffey, which snakes its way through the city and divides Dublin into north and south sides before emptying into the Irish Sea at the city's edge.

It is along the banks of the Liffey that many of Dublin's most iconic sites can be found: the majestic Custom House, the quaintly preserved pedestrian Ha'penny Bridge, the Guinness Brewery. In paintings, postcards and memories, the riverbanks form the perfect microcosm of Dublin and its lifeblood, thriving with traffic, pedestrians and the buzz of the capital.

Many visitors to Dublin use the Liffey as a landmark to point them in the direction of major tourist sites. But that limits their riverbank wandering to the city center, from famed O'Connell Street down to the cobblestone warren of the Temple Bar tourist quarter and nearby museums.

Those who venture farther, however, following the river to Dublin Port, will find a new, modern Dublin along the shore, replete with dining and entertainment options in a sleek, trendy setting. Mixed in among these neighborhoods on the north and south sides, they can also find elements of the old Dublin tucked away, along with memorials and reminders of the city and country's rich history.

Following the Liffey on the north side, away from the city center, visitors will come upon the International Financial Services Centre with tenants like KPMG and JPMorgan Chase. Next to these financial powerhouses, however, is a beautifully restored building called chq -- the latest incarnation of a former tobacco store with vaults underneath.

Bright and airy, with a glass exterior, the building now houses a handful of eateries, high-end shops and the occasional art installation. The area next to the building, known as the Docklands, hosts annual events including a Fringe Festival in late summer, an Oktoberfest celebration in autumn and a Christmas market in December. Each of these events brings droves of people into the Docklands, and most feature food, artisan kiosks and various performances with an electric, festive ambiance.

Just across from this space, however, is a somber sight on the north banks of the Liffey: A famine memorial with life-size sculptures of starving men and women, and even a skeletal dog, making their way toward Dublin Port to leave Ireland's shores during the Great Famine of the 1840s. Just a few steps away, closer to the port, a replica of the ship Jeanie Johnston is anchored in tribute to the 2 million who emigrated.

A stroll farther along the Liffey leads to another anchored ship, the MV Cill Airne, which is the Irish spelling of Kerry town Killarney. Turned into a bar and restaurant, it is a beautiful place to have a drink on a sunny summer's day, surveying the Liffey's long riverbanks while enjoying a pint of Guinness on the deck. During more usual rainy weather, diners also can enjoy a gourmet meal with river views on the enclosed main deck in Quay 16 restaurant.

The rest of the north side of the Docklands features swanky new apartments and a soon-to-open conference center with a tilted glass-enclosed front. Some taxi drivers already jokingly refer to the building as "The Pint" -- a play on the former name of a nearby concert venue once known as The Point. This entertainment hall, at the edge of the quays before the port, was redeveloped and renamed the O2. It opened in December 2008 and is the largest indoor concert hall in Ireland, with 9,500 seats.

Crossing to the other side of the river -- possibly using either the pedestrian Sean O'Casey Bridge or the just-opened Samuel Beckett Bridge, both named for Dublin-born writers -- leads to an even trendier part of the city. Grand Canal Dock is a chic collection of bright lights, fashionable apartments and stylish restaurants. U2's former recording studio, Windmill Lane, is here, covered in graffiti left by hard-core fans on pilgrimages to the band's home city and haunts. A few blocks away, Facebook just opened its international headquarters in a Grand Canal Dock building, and Google's European headquarters stands a 10-minute walk away from the river, all signaling the area's arrival as a 21st-century center of commerce and technology.

Most importantly, the neighborhood is home to the Daniel Libeskind-designed Grand Canal Theatre, an asymmetric architectural masterpiece. It is scheduled to be open by St. Patrick's Day this year and will host concerts, musical theater performances and other shows.

Just a block from this cutting-edge theater, however, is an old-school pub that is a throwback to the Dockland's former identity as, well, docklands. Both sides of the river were known as rough areas until the 1980s -- the haunts of hardened sailors and dockhands. The Ferryman pub, formerly a watering hole for the local workingmen, is now more often packed with suited lawyers and other corporate types who stop in for pints after work. It is painted red on the outside and jam-packed with typical Irish pub decorations (framed photos, dusty bottles on shelves, everything that could be expected in an old-time Dublin "local." But like so many other places in this recently gentrified area, it is a great mix of old and new.
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Old July 6th, 2010, 05:39 PM   #2
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Complex is public's choice for award.
22 June 2010
Irish Times



THE CRIMINAL Courts of Justice in Dublin has been voted Ireland’s favourite new building.

The complex next to the Phoenix Park, which was opened by President Mary McAleese in January, won the Public Choice Award at the 2010 Irish Architecture Awards, announced yesterday at a ceremony in Farmleigh.

Since the shortlist of 55 projects was unveiled a fortnight ago more than 9,000 votes were cast, 20 per cent of which went to the new courts development, designed by Peter McGovern of Henry J Lyons Partners Architects on Pearse Street.

“We are delighted as a practice, it’s great to be acknowledged in this way by the public,” said Mr McGovern yesterday.

“It’s an important project for the city in that prime position beside the Phoenix Park, it was great for us and great for all the people involved in the project.”

Mr McGovern speculated that the building’s circular form was one of the reasons the public liked it.

Situated on the corner of Parkgate Street and Infirmary Road, the complex contains 22 courtrooms of varying sizes.

Other buildings on the shortlist included Eircom’s headquarters in Heuston South Quarter, the Fatima Mansions regeneration and the redevelopment of Newry Railway Station.

Some 14 projects received honours at the awards ceremony presented by Minister of State for Planning Ciarán Cuffe.

This year a new category was added to reflect the extensive high-quality work designed by Irish architects internationally.

The Brady Mallalieu practice, based in Queens Drive, London, was the inaugural recipient for its design of 199 homes in the UK capital, contained in two towers and five low-rise buildings, as well as a coffee shop and retail space, a community centre with allotments and a rooftop sports pitch.

The Engineering and Informatics Building at the Athlone Institute of Technology won the award for Best Educational Building while St Patrick’s Place, a mixed-use development in Cork, won for Best Sustainable Project.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 05:20 PM   #3
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Dublin office supply to halve
12 May 2010
Irish Independent

Supply of new offices in Dublin is expected to halve this year to 85,000sqm and fall to 32,600sqm next year and zero in 2012. This forecast from Patrick Koucheravy, economist with CB Richard Ellis was made at the annual convention of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers in Donegal last weekend.

He pointed out that about 39pc of this year's new supply has been pre-let and 24.5pc of the 2011 new supply has also been pre-let. The largest pre-let is the 13,700sqm prelet at No 2 Grand Canal Square and its neighbour at No 4 has a pre-let of 11,200sqm.

He estimates that the International Financial Services Centre currently has the lowest vacancy rate in Dublin with 12,348sqm available. Relative to other areas, low current office vacancy levels are also being experienced in Dublin 6/8 where they stand at 30,269sqm.

The highest Dublin vacancy level, 269,000sqm, is seen in the traditional office district of Dublin 2/4 where grade A space accounts for about 163,000sqm. About 25,000sqm of vacant offices in the Dublin2/4 area are either Georgian or offices in need of refurbishment.

"As the market is hugely dependent on economic recovery and job creation, take up is expected to perform below trend again this year and provincial markets are very weak," he added.

On the positive side he said that economic prospects are improving and there has been significant improvement in the competitiveness of Dublin offices due to recent falling rents. "The office market is not dead. Take-up in Q1 almost reached 25,000sqm and the growth in demand puts Dublin on track to beat 2009's take-up of 78,500sqm," he said.

"There are a number of new entrants in the office market and the decline in prime rents has made Dublin much more competitive compared to similarly-sized markets in the UK."

Following a 350pc increase in shopping centre accommodation since 1995, retail rents have declined on average by 40pc from their peak.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 12:17 AM   #4
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pics would be apreciated..
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Old August 1st, 2010, 07:04 AM   #5
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Source : http://www.pbase.com/frimpong/dublin



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Old August 1st, 2010, 07:36 PM   #6
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thanks
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Old August 1st, 2010, 11:38 PM   #7
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Docklands - Dublin

@Igor Gaspareto
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 09:22 PM   #8
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These were posted in a different thread.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalet View Post
Enjoy !!!

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Old August 3rd, 2010, 08:33 PM   #9
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looks nice! are there any plans for highrises/skyscrapers?
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Old August 5th, 2010, 06:27 PM   #10
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I visited Dublin, i like this city
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Old August 5th, 2010, 07:35 PM   #11
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^Me too, but the Docklands are extremely dull.
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Old August 5th, 2010, 08:21 PM   #12
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Plenty of plans for highrises up to 180m high particularly in the Docklands area, Most plans are on ice till property market picks up though.


Here are some proposals still on the cards at a later date

U2 Tower - 180m (on hold) Designed by Norman Foster




Convention Center hotel - 160m (in planning)







North Wall Quay - 130m - Designed by Zaha Hadid




Block G - Spencer Dock - 100m



There is more but since so many are on hold until economic conditions improve it's hardly worthwhile posting them. But there is a wall of projects ready to go when the property market permits.


Another project that just opened it's doors is the new Lansdowne Road stadium which is fairly near by this part of Dublin.

Pics from Stadium forum.
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Old August 5th, 2010, 09:27 PM   #13
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Whew, the stadium looks f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c!!! kewl!
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Old August 7th, 2010, 03:50 PM   #14
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The Irish Times - Saturday, August 7, 2010

Planning for Dublin's future proving to be a tall order

Dublin city councillors and planners are at odds over the heights of buildings. But, well designed and in appropriate locations, tall buildings enhance the city

WHAT KIND of city do we want? That’s the fundamental question about Dublin City Council’s new development plan, and particularly the fears in some quarters that it could inaugurate an era of random high-rise schemes – however surreal that prospect might seem today, with so few tower cranes on the skyline.
It would be wrong to dismiss this as an academic issue. The new city plan will set the framework for development over the next six or seven years and, being optimistic, it’s likely that the economy – and, with it, the construction industry – will have recovered during that period. So we need to lay down some markers now.

As the planners themselves say in their introduction to the draft city plan: “Following 15 years of unprecedented growth, which has transformed the city, the recent economic downturn must be grasped as an opportunity to create a shared vision for a long-term recovery, for the benefit of the city, the region and the country.”

Tall buildings are seen as necessary not just to provide landmarks in a sprawling urban area, but also because they consume less land and help to “densify” the city. Ordinary people might have their doubts about going in this direction, but the planners say there is a compelling case for skyscrapers of sorts, particularly near transport “hubs”.

The problem is that their high-rise vision for certain parts of Dublin is not generally shared by city councillors. That explains why the council has decided that a Local Area Plan (Lap) would have to be drawn up, and adopted, before any planning applications for tall buildings (above 28 metres) could be entertained anywhere in the city.

There are divided views on the issue, and apocalyptic warnings have been issued on both sides of the argument. The Construction Industry Federation believes the proposed restriction would drive investment out of Ireland, while An Taisce says that even a few badly sited towers would irrevocably damage Dublin’s character.

The draft city plan “acknowledges the intrinsic quality of Dublin as a low-rise city and considers that it should predominantly remain so”. But it goes on to say that “the merit of taller or landmark buildings in a very limited number of locations for economic and identity reasons appropriate for a capital city is also recognised”.

Chief planning officer Dick Gleeson says: “We’re only talking about half a dozen locations in the outer city area where there would be some height – the north fringe [Clonshaugh, for example], Ballymun, Pelletstown, Park West and the Naas Road – with taller buildings of eight to 16 storeys to define character and act as landmarks.”

On the much more sensitive issue of the inner city, he says councillors have agreed on a “prevailing upper limit” of seven storeys for offices and six storeys for apartments. But buildings of 16 to 24 storeys could be permitted in certain areas, such as around Heuston, Connolly and Tara Street Dart and railway stations, the docklands and Grangegorman.

The upper limit would be “defined by their appropriateness”, Gleeson says – in other words, the architecture and urban design qualities of any tall building would have to be exceptional. And, of course, it would be guided by Laps, which are to be prepared by “pulling together a big team” of architects and planners.

“In their very different contexts, the Laps will deliver bottom lines, because there is a need for clarity on issues like height: in a very simple way, people want to know for sure what a place is going to be like. And we can’t forget the requirements of making good urban spaces, to deliver liveability for the city over time,” Gleeson says.

But height isn’t just about tall, elegant “point blocks”; it also applies to any building that’s significantly higher than its neighbours. And in Dublin’s case, even in the inner city, many of the houses are only two storeys high; the difference in scale between them and the newer six-storey apartment block on Blackhall Place is quite striking.

Overall, as the draft city plan says, the policy is “to ensure that all proposals for mid-rise and taller buildings make a positive contribution to the urban character of the city [and] demonstrate sensitivity to the historic city centre, the River Liffey and quays, Trinity College, the cathedrals, Dublin Castle, the historic squares and the city canals”.

There is no doubt, however, that a number of senior planners are in favour of high-rise. Had they been able to, they would have given the go ahead for Seán Dunne’s plans to build a 37-storey tower on the Jurys/Berkeley Court site in Ballsbridge; former city architect Jim Barrett was particularly enthusiastic about it.

What stood in the way of that audacious scheme was the current city plan, which made no explicit provision for high-rise developments in Ballsbridge, or anywhere else. In the end, it was rejected by An Bord Pleanála, which said it would constitute “gross over-development” of the site – even without the 37-storey tower.

An inspector appointed by Minister for the Environment John Gormley is currently investigating a detailed complaint by An Taisce that the planners “acted systematically in disregarding” the city plan by “encouraging landowners and developers to lodge planning applications” for high-rise buildings in breach of its provisions.

Dublin city manager John Tierney rejects this, saying An Taisce’s dossier contains “substantial inaccuracies, misrepresentations and unsubstantiated allegations against this planning authority and its executives in the carrying out of our statutory duties”.

THIS WEEK, AN TAISCE and billionaire financier Dermot Desmond lost their appeals against plans by Seán Dunne to replace Hume House, next door to the former Jurys Hotel in Ballsbridge, with a far denser development of offices – which will stand nine metres (30 feet) taller than the existing 1960s block – bought for €130 million during the boom.

Dunne will not be in any rush to redevelop the site, given the high level of vacancy in Dublin’s depressed office market, with numerous newly built blocks lying vacant. These include several high-quality buildings in “prime” areas of the city, such as Nassau Street, and no tenants likely to materialise any time soon.

In the background lurks Nama and the staggeringly large pile of toxic debts it now administers. The agency has a statutory duty to get the best return for taxpayers, but does this mean that it will be seeking to maximise the value of every site? Or should it be taking into account wider issues, such as urban design and sustainable development?

The truth is that nobody outside Nama really knows – and Nama itself isn’t saying.

If it was to go for broke by getting its developer “clients” to put in for planning permission for high-rise schemes all over the place, purely as a land valuation exercise, the city planners would not be pleased; some dialogue in this area is clearly desirable.

Despite several serious plans during the boom to reach for the sky (the U2 Tower in the docklands, Watchtower, etc), Liberty Hall still holds the title of Dublin’s tallest building at just short of 60 metres – eclipsed not only by Cork County Hall (67 metres), but also the Elysian tower in Cork (71 metres) and Belfast’s Windsor House (80 metres), City Hospital (74 metres) and Hilton Hotel (63 metres).

If Siptu gets planning permission and can find the money to realise its vaulting ambitions, Liberty Hall will be replaced by a much taller (and bulkier) tower, rising to a height of 84 metres.

Architects Gilroy McMahon are to supply a raft of further information on their scheme by the end of this month – and we’ll see what happens after that.

SKY HIGH: TALL STOREYS


CITY HOSPITAL

Lisburn Road, Belfast

18 storeys

74 metres high

Iser Architects, 1986.

With its yellow (or orange?) vertical ribs, rising above a mish-mash at the lower levels, this incredible concrete hulk dominates Belfast’s skyline – and not in a good way; it is one of the worst advertisements anywhere for high-rise construction.

CENTRAL BANK

Dame Street, Dublin

Nine storeys

45 metres high

Sam Stephenson Associates, 1978

Immensely controversial in its time for being nearly 30 feet higher than it should have been, this is a structural tour de force, with all of the floors suspended from its roof. The plaza in front may be a bonus, but it’s always windy there.

MONTE VETRO

Grand Canal Dock, Dublin

16 storeys

60 metres high

OMP Architects, 2010

Designed as a diagonal counterpoint to Alto Vetro and commissioned by the same developers (Treasury Holdings), this new building – currently in the course of completion – shows how bulky high-rise can be; it lacks any sense of “slenderness ratio”.

LIBERTY HALL

Eden Quay, Dublin

17 storeys

59 metres high.

Desmond Rea O’Kelly, 1965

The new headquarters of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union (now Siptu) was an icon for the emergence of modern Ireland. It has not been looking its best since the windows were rendered opaque and its mosaic cladding was covered by mastic.

CORK COUNTY HALL

Western Road, Cork

17 storeys

67 metres high

Shay Cleary Architects, 2006

Built in 1968 and deliberately designed to pip Liberty Hall, the concrete façade became seriously eroded and was replaced by louvred glass cladding, with natural ventilation. Flanked by a colonnaded pavilion and new library, it looks better than ever.

ALTO VETRO

Grand Canal Dock, Dublin

16 storeys

52 metres high

Shay Cleary Architects, 2008

Razor-sharp residential tower in glass and steel, it is best seen from the side and really cuts a dash in views from Grand Canal Square and Forbes Street. The randomly-arranged balconies on its front and rear elevations are somewhat jarring.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 08:33 PM   #15
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Metro on a ' slow train to nowhere'
18 August 2010
Fingal Independent



Fingal Dublin Chamber chief executive, Tony Lambert, expressed his ' great disappointment' at the setback and said measures were urgently needed to finally get the project up and running.

' The application for the railway order for Metro North was first lodged with the board in September 2008, with the oral hearing starting in March 2009 and only finishing in March 2010, one year later,' Mr Lambert told the Fingal Independent. ' The board had indicated that the decision would be made this month. Metro North is meant to be part of the fast-tracking system for strategic infrastructure projects. It is now more of a ' slow train to nowhere' system.

' There is no country in the developed world which would allow major infrastructural projects like Metro North to be held up a bureaucratic stranglehold like this. How can we possibly plan for economic recovery with delays like this?' Mr Lambert noted it was nearly two years since the application was first lodged, which he said was quite simply too long. ' The chamber is calling on Government to ensure that there can be no more delays for Metro North and that the socalled fast-tracking system is completely overhauled, to be bring about more certainty in the process for future strategic infrastructure projects,' he added.

Fine Gael deputy leader, Dr James Reilly TD, said the delay was to the ' detriment of everyone', adding the Metro would benefit the area in terms of ' decades and centuries'.

' It's outrageous - it was supposed to be completed by 2012,' Dr Reilly said. ' At this rate, we'll be lucky if construction starts in 2012.'

Fianna Fáil TD, Darragh O'Brien said the additional delay was ' an absolute disgrace', noting the board had six months to progress the ' vital project'.

His party colleague, Michael Kennedy TD, accused the board of failing to understand the need to progress the project as a matter of priority and said two bidders for the scheme ' already expressed their unease' over the delay.
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Old August 26th, 2010, 07:22 PM   #16
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Deciding on the controversial site of Dublin's new children's hospital would be a problem too big even for Phil and Kirstie
22 August 2010
The Sunday Times

It will be the tallest building in Dublin and the biggest healthcare project yet undertaken in Ireland, but the National Paediatric Hospital is already causing paroxysms before a sod has even been turned.

Objectors, mostly comprising medical professionals, warn that the exchequer is about to squander €250m and, worse, endanger children's lives if the government spends €650m on a 16-storey, 445-bed hospital in the crowded and traffic-congested heart of the capital.

"They have to reverse the decision on the site," said Fin Breatnach, a retired paediatric oncologist and chief executive of Barretstown holiday camp for sick children. "It doesn't make any sense. Anybody who knows anything about the needs of children would not pick it."

Advocates of the plan dismiss calls for a review of the site as "too late in the day", pointing out that €23m has already been spent. The National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) is ploughing ahead, despite a €200m shortfall in its capital budget, which it hopes to fill "through non-Exchequer sources, such as car park, research centre, retail facilities and private clinics".

It intends applying for planning permission within the next four to six weeks, a spokesman said. The plan is to build a 68m-high building (five metres higher than the Millennium Tower, Dublin's tallest building), with 392 single-occupancy en-suite rooms, 53 day-care beds and 1,000 underground parking spaces. The building is due to be completed by December 2013 and to open by Christmas 2014.

"It's not too late at all to change their minds," Breatnach said. "They've spent relatively little when you consider €70m was spent on superb theatres in Crumlin [children's hospital] six or seven years ago, which are now going to be redundant. The information they've gathered by spending that €23m is relevant to any building wherever it goes. That's a non-argument." Breatnach is one of 28 children's doctors who backed Maurice Neligan, the Mater Hospital's retired heart-transplant pioneer, when he announced last month that he had changed his mind and now believes that the Mater site is not in the best interests of the children of Ireland.

The dissident doctors claim the site's inherent access problems, grey urban vistas, wasted space because of its vertical design, and constraints on future expansion are insurmountable. They paint a picture of worried, frightened parents trying to circumnavigate snarling city-centre traffic with sick children in their arms.

Some 12km away at Newlands Cross in southwest Dublin lies a 35-acre greenfield site which a consortium of developers and builders has offered as an alternative location for a new national children's hospital. The consortium offered to build the hospital on a not-for-profit basis, raising money through donations in Ireland and America and from the proceeds of the Dublin archdiocese's disposal of Crumlin children's hospital.

Noel Smyth, a Dublin solicitor and developer, received an unenthusiastic response from Mary Harney, the minister for health, and the HSE's chief executive Brendan Drumm in 2006 when he unveiled plans for co-located children's and maternity hospitals with an on-site hotel for patients' relatives, staff accommodation, a 24-hour laboratory and 12 acres of car parking. Smyth claimed his hospital, which would be funded and operated by a charitable trust, could save the state €250m.

The solicitor says his offer is still on the table. "I've always said I wouldn't give up until I saw the ribbon cut on the [Mater] children's hospital," he said. "Our site is 500m from the Luas line, and Metro West will run along the corner of the site.

"The plan is for 600 beds in the children's hospital and 400 for maternity. The McKinsey Report said the paediatric hospital should ideally be located beside an adult hospital, but it doesn't have to be cheek by jowl. Tallaght Hospital is a mile away from the Newlands Cross site. Yet they said they wouldn't consider it.

"It's not too late to reconsider the Mater site. I think it has to be reconsidered, even if only from an economic point of view. Surely everybody's purpose is to make sure we get the best result for our children for the next 50 years."

POLITICS has been the bane of the national children's hospital debate. Local party politics flared after Des Lamont, a former chairman of the board of the Mater Hospital, thanked Bertie Ahern, the taoiseach at the time, during a 2006 speech for promising to put the children's hospital on the Mater campus.

His words, delivered five months before an independent committee of civil servants chose the Mater site for the National Paediatric Hospital, rang alarm bells. But both the Mater and the HSE claimed Lamont's remarks had been misunderstood.

What he had meant to say, they explained, was that Ahern was committed to keeping Temple Street — one of Dublin's three existing children's hospitals — as part of the Mater.

Ahern worked in the accounts department of the Mater before entering full-time politics. Run by the Sisters of Mercy, who have donated the site for the adjoining National Paediatric Hospital, it is located in Ahern's Dublin Central constituency.

Six months before the last general election, John Gormley, now the minister for the environment, said: "We only get one chance at this and we need to get it right. Our policy has been that the Mater is a real problem. Our preferred site is one that meets with approval from all the experts and we are quite prepared to go back and listen to them."

Doctors also differ, passionately. Brendan Drumm, who has now retired from the HSE to take up a professorship of paediatrics at University College Dublin, has accused his old colleagues at Crumlin hospital, of vested interests. Drumm, who has been appointed to the development board of the National Paediatric Hospital, has alleged that the Crumlin doctors are sore over losing their hospital.

"If you're of a suspicious nature and you're looking for someone with a vested interest, you need look no further than Professor Drumm who is returning to his UCD role," Breatnach has counter-charged. The Mater is a UCD training hospital.

Dr Roisin Healy, who is retired from paediatric emergency medicine in Crumlin, runs a website opposing the Mater site. She and like-minded medical professionals and parents bought the domain name thenewchildrenshospital.ie 18 months ago.

Healy insists the planned 1,000 parking spaces will be insufficient. She says that Boston children's hospital, which has the same number of beds as are planned for the Mater site, has 1,818 on-site parking spaces plus 686 leased and 923 more outside its hospital district, connected by shuttle bus.

"Parking appears to be a particular challenge all over the world, especially inner-city areas, so why unnecessarily cause trouble, expense and difficulty for parents by putting the new hospital in the city centre?" said Healy.

Colm Feeney of JODA Engineering Consultants in Cork believes the parking imperatives make the Mater site financially unjustifiable. "In reality, you'll probably need 2,000 car spaces," he said. "The cost of providing one space above ground is €1,000 but when you go underground it's €35,000. That's €70m for 2,000 spaces before you start building the hospital. The cost of building on a tight site like that carries a premium of about 20% more than a greenfield site. You'll get all sorts of restrictions on the configuration because you're building vertically."

The hospital development board, which is planning a media briefing on Thursday, says its design plan incorporates roof- and winter-gardens, and that every bedroom will contain parents' accommodation. It promises that a proportion of the 1,000 underground parking spaces will be free for the parents of long-term-stay and critically ill children. "A facility for families to reserve a car-parking space in advance will be provided, as will valet parking in emergency situations," said a spokesman.

A further promise is that the Ronald McDonald House charity will provide family accommodation adjacent to the new hospital, as it does at Crumlin.

"There is a variety of hotels and B&Bs within a 2km radius of the site," said the spokesman.

Part of the plan is to build an ambulatory and urgent care centre in Tallaght with 28 day-care beds, three operating theatres and two procedure rooms. It will also have 26 consulting examination rooms.

"It means you'll have anaesthetists, for instance, who are all being brought together with the merger [of the three existing children's hospitals], in Tallaght and cardiac doctors will be there instead of doing outreach work in, say, Cork," complained a doctor. "It didn't help that they decided on the location before they decided on a model of care. No cost-benefit analysis was done either."

Mary O'Connor, chief executive of Children in Hospital in Ireland, said: "There are issues that need to be addressed but the need for an up-to-the-minute hospital is great. A lot of time has elapsed since the site was chosen and a lot of work has been done since. It's a pity the issues weren't thrashed out earlier."

It is hoped that, in this case, when doctors differ, patients will not die.

Troubled history of the children's hospital

1995: The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland proposes a tertiary children's hospital in Dublin.

September 2005: A review of tertiary paediatric hospital services is ordered by Mary Harney, the minister for health.

February 2006: Board of Health Service Executive signs off on report from McKinsey international management consultants, and a group, drawn from the civil and public service, is appointed to identify the optimal site.

June 1, 2006: The group recommends the Mater Hospital site in Dublin's north inner city.

June 8, 2006: The Bertie Ahern government "strongly endorses" the Mater site.

December 2006: The HSE commissions RKW healthcare consultants to produce A Higher Level Framework Brief for a New National Paediatric Hospital for Ireland.

January 2007: Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin (OLCHC), one of Dublin's three existing paediatric hospitals, withdraws from engagement with the transition group.

March 2007: OLCHC agrees to re-engage with the transition group, with conditions.

May 23, 2007: The National Paediatric Hospital development board is set up by statutory instrument to replace the transition group. Businessman Philip Lynch is appointed chairman.

October 15, 2009: Brian Cowen, the taoiseach, names the design team.

November 2009: The development board announces it is preparing to make a planning application to Dublin city council for a 392-room hospital with 800 parking spaces.

March 10, 2010: The board confirms the design will be a 16-storey building.

July 28, 2010: Maurice Neligan, a retired Mater Hospital cardiac consultant, makes a public declaration that, after visiting it, he no longer supports the selection of the Mater site, thus reopening the debate.

Brendan Drumm and Mary Harney need the skills of television presenters Phil Spencer and Kirstie Allsopp
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Old August 26th, 2010, 07:49 PM   #17
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So, essentially nothing's happening in Dublin ?
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Old August 26th, 2010, 07:57 PM   #18
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The U2 Tower is pretty sick
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Old August 31st, 2010, 08:54 AM   #19
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Dubliners face water rationing without Shannon
31 August 2010
Irish Independent

DUBLINERS face the prospect of water rationing unless a new supply can be sourced to meet growing demand.

Dublin City Council last night warned that unless its plan to extract water from the River Shannon to serve the capital is approved, it will have to impose restrictions on homeowners and businesses.

Daily demand was at a 'knife edge', city engineer Tom Leahy warned, adding there was no alternative plan to source water.

"This is the one option that recommends itself," he told the Irish Independent.

"All of the others have significant issues associated with them. This one comes head and shoulders above the rest. This is a challenge for communities, but you have to have water.There is no plan B. Six years of study has arrived at this point.In 1996 and 1997 we had daily water rationing and it could be a return to that."

The council wants to extract about 350 million litres of water a day from the Shannon and pump it to a huge reservoir at Garryhinch in Co Laois where it will be stored for up to five months to meet periods of high demand in the capital.

An eco-park will be built around the reservoir, on a 1,500 acre site. The plan will cost €500m to implement, and permission will be sought in 2012.

There is bitter opposition at local level, but Mr Leahy said that the massive 700-acre reservoir would also serve Tipperary, Laois, Offaly and Kildare and the capital and would not impact on the Shannon.

"This will do absolutely nothing to water levels in Lough Derg," he said. "There's no change in water levels whatsoever. Low flow periods on the Shannon don't tend to go beyond two months.There will be five months' storage in the Midlands when it opens in 2020. It would go down to two months by 2040.

"The Ardnacrusha dam in Co Clare takes 180 cubic metres of water a second from Lough Derg. Under the proposal, four cubic metres would be diverted to the pipeline, meaning there would be no loss of water from the Shannon." When the Shannon was in full flood last year, he added, it would take eight-12 hours to fill the reservoir.

Underground

The plan proposes pumping the water along a 100km underground pipeline to Garryhinch.

A planning application is expected to be lodged in 2012, and construction work is unlikely to start before 2016.Up to 1,000 construction jobs will be created, and 50-100 full-time jobs at the eco-park. The council plans a two-year public consultation process.

"We're taking the water to the Midlands, and it will benefit a large number of people," Mr Leahy said. "We're taking 2pc of the flow from the Shannonand people won't even noticeit."
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Old August 31st, 2010, 02:54 PM   #20
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I have to say its a shame that the buildings in the dublin docklands were not built higher, Limerick City has arguably a better skyline after the boom years! time for dublin to shine i think.

some of the taller buildings in Limerick.

Clarion Hotel - tallest hotel in Ireland, 17 floors, 56 meters.



image hosted on flickr


Riverpoint Tower - 15 floors, 59.2 meters

image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


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others include

St Johns Cathedral (tallest church spire in the country), 93 metres

image hosted on flickr


Thomond Park

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Howleys Quay



City Central

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Limerick Hilton



Travel lodge

http://www.google.ie/imgres?imgurl=h...1t:429,r:8,s:0

you get the idea anyway, like dublin, Limerick has loads of apartments in the city centre between 5 and 9 storys high but dublin needs to at least double the height of what its building in order to stop this horrible urban sprawl, im sure its only a matter of time

Last edited by limerickguy; August 31st, 2010 at 03:04 PM.
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