THE BIG LIGHT on top of the Spire on O’Connell Street has been off since October and very few people seem to have noticed. It has now emerged that it will cost a whopping €10,000 to replace the bulb and it may not be fixed until March.
Eagled-eyed Dublin councillor Noel Rock was one of the first people to notice that the light was out and after watching it closely for a few weeks, he brought it to the attention of the Dublin City Council.
“The council themselves didn’t notice it for a number of weeks,” Rock told TheJournal.ie this evening. “I think people just presumed it was temporary but days became weeks and weeks became months. Most Dubliners haven’t noticed the light is out”.
The council has notified the Irish Aviation Authority to ensure planes avoid flying overhead. This rarely happens anyway but the real concern is for the safety of Garda helicopters as they frequently fly over the area.
It will be an expensive repair, the Fine Gael councillor revealed, costing a total of €10,000. What is bound to go down as one of the most expensive lightbulbs in Irish history required two experimental designs as engineers tried to ensure it is both sturdy and bright enough.
“It needs to be seen from my constituency, basically,” Rock joked. He said it was not envisaged that the bulb would ever have to be replaced and so plans were never made for the current predicament.
“I’m keen to see one of our most well-known landmarks functioning properly, though am concerned at the continuous “unenvisaged” costs that seem to keep popping up,” the councillor added.