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Dublin: 12°C Thursday 29 July 2021

Historic Phoenix Park gates removed for Pope visit finally set to be restored

The gates were taken down in August 2018 ahead of Pope Francis’s visit to Ireland.

One of the sets of gates is at the Chapelizod entrance.
One of the sets of gates is at the Chapelizod entrance.
Image: Google Street View

OVER 12 MONTHS since its historic gates were removed for the Pope’s visit, the Office of Public Works (OPW) has issued a tender to restore and re-install them at the Phoenix Park.

The gates that will be re-installed in Chapelizod, Castleknock and Islandbridge date back to the 1830s, while some of the newer ones at Blackhorse Avenue and the North Circular Road were first installed in 1906. 

In early August 2018, gates in Dublin’s Phoenix Park were taken down ahead of the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland.

The OPW said at the time it was taking the opportunity of the Pope’s visit to “restore and conserve a number of the entrances to the Phoenix Park”. The last time they were restored was for the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1979.

At the time, the OPW said that the gates would be “temporarily” removed for conservation and restoration.

However, restoration works have been undertaken in the last 12 months. A tender has now been issued for the refurbishment of these gates and to re-install them in the park. 

The eight gates are located on the North Circular Road, Blackhorse Avenue, Cabra, Ashtown, Castleknock, Knockmaroon, Chapelizod and Islandbridge.

In the case of the Knockmaroon set of gates, they remained in place while the others were removed during the Pope’s visit. And they must also be restored, the OPW said.

The contract to tender issued by the OPW is broken into two phases.

The first phase is for the specialist refurbishment of seven pairs of historic gates which were moved. The contractor must make all necessary repairs to the gates themselves and repair the railings close to each gate.

The repairs to the Knockmaroon gate must take place on site. “It is not considered that extent of works required to them does not warrant their removal,” the OPW said.

The second phase will see the removal of the temporary gates currently in place and the historic gates re-installed.

The deadline for receipt of completed tenders is 16 October.

TheJournal.ie has asked the OPW for comment. 

About the author:

Sean Murray

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