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The final Ballymun tower is to be demolished this Monday...

Joseph Plunkett Tower is the last remaining of one of Dublin’s most famous housing projects.
Sep 18th 2015, 11:00 AM 22,366 48

June 5 ballymun 20050004 Source: Darren Hall

THE FINAL BALLYMUN tower will be demolished this Monday as the curtain comes down on one of Ireland’s most famous housing projects.

The towers were initially built for social housing in the 1960s and optimistically named for the executed 1916 rebels.

Joseph Plunkett Tower is the final building standing, but that is all set to come to an end this Monday, 21 September from 10am.

The demolition will be carried out by mechanical means using a long-reach hydraulic ‘nibbler’ (the same method used to take down four of the original towers) which will ‘bite’ its way through the structure.

Two of the other 15-storey structures were imploded.

Joseph Plunkett itself was built in 1967 and was the last of the seven towers to be completed.

It contained 90 two and three bedroom apartments.

tower1 Source: johnny_cashley/Twitter

“It will be strange to look around Ballymun now,” said local Sinn Féin councillor Noeleen Reilly.

I see ‘Joseph Plunkett’ every morning when I look out my window, you can’t miss it.
Ballymun became synonymous with the flats and with anti-social behaviour, but they were much more for people, they were homes where families were raised and close bonds were formed and a lot of people have very happy memories of them.

Reilly acknowledges that the time has come to move on from the towers however.

“I think it is time that the flats were demolished and that land can now be used for more housing or a community project,” she said.

There is a local area plan in Ballymun coming up towards the end of this year and I would hope that residents would make submissions when the time comes as to what they would like to see happen with the vacant land in Ballymun.

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Ballet Mun dance troupe perform The Ballet Mun dance troupe performing in front of the towers in 2004 Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

“There are 63 hectares of vacant land zoned for mixed residential use and I would be supporting the building of homes on a lot of this land,” she added.

In March, Dublin’s chief architect Ali Grehan said that the Ballymun towers were a “really great idea” that was always doomed to fail because of poor planning and government policies.

Ballymun resident prepares to leave Teresa Freeman, one of the final residents of Joseph Plunkett Tower, in 2013 Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Grehan, who was previously head designer with the Ballymun Regeneration company, said the estate was built around a good concept – to construct a new town in response to a housing crisis.

“Unfortunately the approach adopted was singular – it was to create good quality homes and I think the homes created were good quality – but it was an urban design failure,” she said.

instag Source: chasmyth/Instagram

Read: WATCH: A treasure trove of old Irish newsreels has gone online for the first time

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Cianan Brennan


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