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Monday 29 May 2023 Dublin: 11°C
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Public toilets over 100 years old are demolished to clear way for Luas
The facility had been in use up until the 1990s.

PUBLIC TOILETS IN the centre of Dublin that had operated for more than 100 years have been demolished.

The underground facility outside of Trinity College has been cleared to make way for the Luas Cross City development, the construction of which is currently focusing on the College Green area.

Architects from Dublin City Council examined the site last week to ensure that nothing salvageable would be destroyed, and the work began over the weekend.

The site is mentioned in James Joyce’s book Ulysses as part of a passage that makes reference to the statue of Irish poet Thomas Moore situated above it.

The statue – which was still in place at the site prior to work getting underway – has been removed and will be returned once work is completed.


The toilet was last in use 20 years ago, and was one of a number of facilities closed around the city. 

Plans are now in place for a control box to be fitted that will handle the operation of the College Street and Westmoreland Street Luas stops when they are finished.

Owned by the Office of Public Works, as recently as three years ago the possibility existed for the City Council to take another licence agreement out on it.

In December 2010 Dublin City Council had tendered for expressions of interest for a bar and café to be developed on top of the disused site.


The structures are a legacy of 19th century Dublin, when toilets were not commonplace in every household.

Around 70 public toilets were still in use across the city up until the 1970s, after which time the rise of toilets in restaurants and shopping centres made them increasingly rare.

As recently as 1990 there were still 33 staff working as public toilet attendants across Dublin.

In 2014, another Victoria-era public toilet across the road from the RDS at the junction of Anglesea Road and Merrion Road was demolished following a decision by Dublin City Council.


Read: Hidden Ireland: Supplying ‘a long-felt want’ – Dublin’s public toilets

In pics: Iconic public toilet demolished in Dublin

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