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pie in the sky

'It's complete madness': Two Dublin councillors want a cable car from Tallaght to the Hellfire Club

Two south Dublin councillors say that it would be “a great asset to the county and it would encourage visitors who don’t drive to visit the area”.

TWO MEMBERS OF Sinn Féin are to request a study into the possibility of building a cable car from Tallaght to the Hellfire Club as part of a tourism investment in the Dublin Mountains.

The Dublin Mountains project is a tourism strategy looking to emphasise tourism in parts of south Co Dublin, and has been called the council’s flagship tourism strategy.

The councillors, Cora McCann and Dermot Richardson both representing the Tallaght constituency, say that this would be “a great asset to the county and it would encourage visitors who don’t drive to visit the area”.

The councillors say that a cable car would also help ease traffic towards the Dublin Mountains, which Dermot Richardson believes could become “unsustainable” as a result of the tourism strategy, and parking would also be a problem.

When asked how the cable car would be financed, Richardson says that the job would be put out to tender for a company to install and run – and that “the council would not fund this”.

He says that the only costs to the council would be the rates paid and the cost of the study itself.

Like many different projects, they would tender it out and have no involvement in it. Rates would be paid to the council for the commercial side of the business.

He says that he’s already received a few emails from companies that would be interested, who have already begun discussing the ins and outs of building the cable cars.

“This has been on the agenda for the past three months now and we haven’t got to it yet. It was raised as a possibility by the South Dublin Chamber of Commerce over ten years ago, but at the time it was thought to be a bit ‘pie in the sky’.”

But now that there’s a tourism strategy and a renewed interest in the area, councillors and the South Dublin Chamber of Commerce are reconsidering it as a possibility again.

‘Flagship folly’

But McCann and Richardson’s fellow councillor Anne-Marie Dermody is completely against the cable car – and the Dublin Mountain project in general.

“For those unfamiliar with the Dublin Mountain flagship project, the budget of €19 million gives you some idea as to its scale, and when you consider we have over 8,500 on the Housing List within South Dublin County Council, you would be forgiven for thinking we live in a parallel universe.”

The Fine Gael councillor says that the Dublin Mountains project “is topical within the council” and says that the reality of the situation is that the money for the tourism project is better spent elsewhere.

To add to this, Sinn Féin now want to include a cable car from Tallaght to Rathfarnham, how utterly ridiculous is that?
The current budget of €19 million would quadruple immediately. This is complete madness and needs to stop before good money follows bad.

Route The current driving route from Tallaght to the Hellfire Club. Google Maps Google Maps

“I am well aware of the potential the Dublin Mountains offer in terms of tourism, but why not have an interpretive centre, modest in size and budget, similar to those built up and down this country?

“[We could] then use the balance €19 million plus to concentrate on getting the fundamentals right and providing ‘proper and sustainable’ planning for housing throughout our county.”

Dermody says that there are still better uses for the council’s time and efforts, particularly in relation to the current housing crisis.

“This flagship project is somebody’s folly. Why not ask the many families who are this Christmas living in the Abberley Court Hotel how they feel about a cable car to take them from Tallaght to Rathfarnham?

Perhaps they could take their children there to put down the time before returning to the hotel room they call home.

A breath of fresh air

Last year, South Dublin County Council commissioned architects to identify a potential tourism flagship project in the Dublin Mountains and to look at the development of a first class visitor destination for South Dublin County.

The Dublin Mountains tourism project was based around this study and found that Massey’s Wood and Montpelier Hill, more popularly known by Dubliners as the location of the Hellfire Club, will be at the centre of the campaign.

Other plans by the council in conjunction with Coillte involve opening a restaurant in the Dublin Mountains.

The Dublin Mountains tourism project will involve a €19 million investment into tourism to emphasise the natural aspect of south Dublin, away from the packed city centre.

The proposal for what the Dublin Mountains tourism campaign would look like is being designed by both the South Dublin County Council and Coillte and is loosely based on Fáilte Ireland’s ‘A breath of fresh air’ campaign.

South Dublin County Council and Coillte will now move to the planning and detailed design phases of the project.

The proposal is to be discussed at tonight’s South Dublin County Council meeting.

Watch: Archaeologists explore an ancient tomb beside the Hellfire Club > / YouTube

Read: Major megalithic art find at Hellfire Club passage tomb >

Read: Dublin Mountains might be getting a restaurant

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