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An Taisce appeals to block installation of temporary banners for visitor centre at front of GPO

Dublin City Council granted permission for the banners in June.

Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

AN TAISCE HAS lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála against a decision by Dublin City Council to grant permission for two temporary banners for the ‘Witness History’ visitor centre at the GPO.

An Post was given permission by the council in June to erect the 6.5m banners at the front of the building on Dublin’s O’Connell Street, as well as to replace a brass plaque already in place which identifies the entrance to the centre.

The mesh banners would be placed between the GPO’s columns at a height of 4.75m for a temporary three-year period.

As part of the original planning application, an engineering report noted that the GPO has been subject to explosive and impact forces, fire and associated water soaking, vibration from building works and traffic, all of which had left marks on the building.

However, it said that the use of materials to erect the banners would be adequate to prevent damage by spalling or cracking the surface of the columns.

However, Green Party councillor Donna Cooney and the Dublin Civic Trust were among those who initially objected to the proposal, citing the effects the banners would have on the symmetry and visual impact of the GPO.

An Taisce also submitted a comment on the application, referring to the “iconic” nature of the GPO and its significance as “one of the last of the great Dublin public buildings”.

It continued:

The proposed installation of advertising banners in undesirable in visual and design impact on the building.
In the past the GPO portico has been treated with temporary banners for 1916 commemorative events, however an extended, three-year installation of advertising or promotional banners is unnecessary and undesirable.

The group also said the banners would injure the visual impact of the GPO, would detract from its integrity, and would have an inappropriate impact on its character. It therefore recommended against granting planning permission.

The group has now launched an appeal against the decision of Dublin City Council to grant planning permission for the banners.

The case is expected to be heard by January 2020.

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