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Council to take legal action against developer over O'Rahilly house demolition

The property at 40 Herbert Park, which once belonged to the 1916 leader, was bulldozed by a company developing the site on Tuesday morning.

001 O Rahilly House The O'Rahilly house set for demolition in August. Source: RollingNews.ie

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL is to initiate legal proceedings against developer Derryroe after the demolition earlier this week of the home of 1916 leader The O’Rahilly in Ballsbridge. 

The property at 40 Herbert Park, which once belonged to the 1916 leader, was bulldozed by a company developing the site on Tuesday morning.  

Dublin city councillors had passed a motion earlier this month to have the property added to the Record of Protected Structures, which would have prevented its demolition.

The Council has said that it does not consider that there was a breach on the part of the developer to not endanger a protected structure as there is an active planning permission for a site.  

However, the Council yesterday wrote to Derryroe saying it believes that a number of conditions attached to the planning permission were not complied with prior to demolition. 

Earlier this month, Derryroe was granted permission by An Bord Pleanála to develop the site, despite objections by local residents, Sinn Féin TD Chris Andrews, Dublin City councillor Micheál Mac Donncha, the 1916 Relatives Alliance, and O’Rahilly’s grandson.

The Council has given instructions to its legal department to initiate legal proceedings under the Building Control Acts 1990 to 2014 for “wilfully or recklessly submitting information to the Building Control Authority which was false or misleading in a material respect”, according to a letter seen by TheJournal.ie

In addition, the Council has also issued an Enforcement Notice on the site after “building commenced prior to compliance with conditions set out in the planning permission”, the Council said. 

All building works on the site must stop following this order. 

site 083 The site on Tuesday afternoon. Source: Sam Boal

It also emerged earlier this week that the Council wrote to Derryroe on 2 September requesting that its conservation section be granted access to the property to examine the structure’s “special interest” following its proposed addition to the RPS.

The Council planned to carry out a full written assessment and photographic record of the structure but this was not facilitated despite the council’s letter. 

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Speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: “I think given the significance of The O’Rahilly in terms of the War of Independence and his historic significance, I think yesterday bringing it down…to destroy the building is absolutely shocking.”

The house was built in 1907 and The O’Rahilly, the only 1916 leader to die in battle, was the first occupant of the property. His widow lived there until her death in the 1960s.

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