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'Absolutely shocking': Taoiseach Micheál Martin criticises demolition of The O'Rahilly's home

The house in Ballsbridge, Dublin, was knocked down yesterday morning.

The site following the house's demolition.
The site following the house's demolition.
Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has this afternoon criticised the demolition of 1916 leader The O’Rahilly’s home and said it was “absolutely shocking” that it was allowed to happen. 

The property at 40 Herbert Park, which once belonged to the 1916 leader, was bulldozed by a company developing the site at around 6.30am yesterday morning.

Dublin city councillors had passed a motion earlier this month to have the property added to the Record of Protected Structures, which would have prevented its demolition.

However, it is unclear if this application was successful before the house was bulldozed.

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, Martin said he welcomes the investigation launched by Dublin City Council into this demolition. 

“First of all this was wrong. This act was wrong in my view and I’m of the view such iconic historic buildings and locations should be preserved or at the minimum incorporated into whatever developments are taking place. 

“I think given the significance of The O’Rahilly in terms of the War of Independence and his historic significance, I think yesterday bringing it down…to destroy the building is absolutely shocking.”

The house was built in 1907 and The O’Rahilly, the only 1916 leader to die in battle, was the first occupant of the property. His widow lived there until her death in the 1960s.

Earlier this month, Derryroe was granted permission by An Bord Pleanála to develop the site, despite objections by local residents, Sinn Féin TD Chris Andrews, Dublin City councillor Micheál Mac Donncha, the 1916 Relatives Alliance , and O’Rahilly’s grandson.

With reporting by Stephen McDermott

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