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Dublin: 12 °C Sunday 27 May, 2018

Christmas tweets to light up old Dublin flour mill

AOL is inviting people to send festive tweets, the most popular of which will be projected onto the side of Boland’s Mill in the Grand Canal Dock.

Children celebrating at Boland's Mill
Children celebrating at Boland's Mill
Image: Thinkhouse

AN OLD MILL on Dublin’s the Grand Canal Dock area will be lit up spectacularly for the 12 days of Christmas.

Boland’s Mill is to be transformed by Dublin-based internet company AOL, which will turn it into an 80 metre high 3D winter wonderland.

The company will using state of the art 3D mapping and high powered projectors to project the messages onto the former flour mill, which will also be a brightly-lit canvas every night until December 19, providing festive surprises for Grand Canal inhabitants and delighted passers-by.

Aengus McClean, Senior Vice President at AOL Ireland, told that the idea came after a visit from the AOL CEO. “We had our CEO Tim Armstrong in Dublin for the Dublin Web Summit,” he explained. “We are looking for extra engineers to join the company and potentially more, and when he was here he made a comment – maybe we should just do something audacious that would attract attention.”

After some consultation, the idea for the projection was decided on.

We loved it. This could be something that would be nice in terms of decorating the building, but also very eye-catching.

To undertake the huge scheme, brand new 3D lasers had to be brought in from Germany, while the projection house itself had to be rearranged to accommodate the equipment needed.

There is one animation per day projected onto the old mill, with the animations getting longer and more intricate every day. On the final day, they will all be broadcast one after the other.


The company is also encouraging people around the country to send festive tweets using the hashtag #MerryAOL. The tweets with the most festive cheer will then be beamed for all to see onto huge building on 19 December.

People are encouraged to send any nice Christmas message, whether one to your kids from Santa, family, or even a festive proposal.

“We have been getting a great reaction to it,” said McClean, adding that the company is trying to make it as interactive as possible, using their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

AOL has been based in Dublin for the past 12 years and currently employs 155 people. The Dublin office is the development engine for Europe and works alongside sister development centres in Palo Alto, Dulles, New York, and Frankfurt. AOL recently announced 35 new software engineering jobs over the next 12 months at its Dublin Development Centre.

Photos: Is this the most festive house in Ireland?

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