The Lesser of Two Evils


So Ireland’s national planning authority, An Bord Pleanála has turned down the proposal for Liberty Hall on Dublin’s Eden Quay to be demolished and replaced by a still-taller building, ruling that the alternative would be ‘unacceptably dominant in the city.’ Completed in 1965 and rising 16 storeys, for many years this was the capital’s highest structure. Liberty Hall is not an work of great beauty or architectural merit. However, what might have gone up in its place would have been far worse. And if the present Liberty Hall is, as was often claimed by supporters of the new scheme, dilapidated and no longer fit for purpose, then that is the fault of its union owner SIPTU which, for all the pontification about iconic status, has signally failed to maintain the building.

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