‘Unauthorised And Unjustifiable’ Demolition


The former Irish Distillers Building in Smithfield, Dublin 7, before (top) and after (above) demolition

An Taisce writes:

A significant heritage building in the Smithfield area, Dublin, has been demolished in contravention of planning permission conditions.

Permission was received by Linders of Smithfield in 2016 for construction of a substantial office development on a large site running between Smithfield and Bow Street, to include incorporation of part of the stone unlisted former Irish Distillers building.

Under the planning permission, the two-storey Bow Street elevation of the building, plus two further sections wrapping around the corner onto New Church Street and the Luas line, were to be retained and incorporated within the new office development.

The applicant, Linders of Smithfield, undertook unauthorised demolition of the building in April, maintaining afterwards that a safety issue had arisen with the stability of the building.

There is an established procedure for retaining a historic façade, which was not followed.

Modern building conservation practice allows easy remedy of any stability problems arising in historic structures, through provision of structural support prior to demolition.

Demolition of the structure, required to be maintained as part of the planning permission, is unjustifiable.

Dublin City Council is requested to invoke the provisions under planning legislation to levy an appropriate substantial financial penalty, reflecting the gravity of the unauthorised action taken by Linders of Smithfield.

Smithfield and Bow Street are within a designated Conservation Area under the Dublin City Development Plan 2016-22.

The former Irish Distillers building was a well-regarded office scheme, having been sensitively converted from an old spirits store in the 1970s.

It is part of a distinctive stone-warehouse streetscape on Bow Street, along with great limestone elevation of the former Jameson Distillery.

Dublin City Council’s HARP Area Plan describes these old stone warehouses along Bow Street as “a major reserve” and “a rich local context”.

It says that regeneration “must recognise the distinctive and unique character of the local area and must build upon it.”

Unauthorised demolition of former Irish Distillers Building (An Taisce)

26 thoughts on “‘Unauthorised And Unjustifiable’ Demolition

  1. Lilly

    That’s a crime, such a beautiful building. What kind of tat will they throw up to replace it.

      1. Cian

        hopefully. They have forced rebuilding in the original design before. I hope they do this here too.

        1. martco

          funny enough that might be their somewhat underhanded angle here

          could well be cheaper to clad the outside with the former stonework afterwards than attempt to tippytoe around it & incorporate it during the build…everyone moves on & 1/2 a mil saved

          1. shortforbob

            That’s happened before, by deliberately knocking it and accepting that they will be forced to rebuild, allows them to do other works such as reinforcing foundations or other basement works.

            The punitive fines may not be enough to prevent these sorts of underhanded tricks.

          2. martco

            & to be fair there can be divil in that argument…

            if the planning order explicitly indicates to retain & incorporate as part of the build then that’s exactly what they should have done & they’re in major bother & rightly so

            but if there’s leeway atall in the language that would allow for a cladding re-using the original materials to reinstate the facade to the previous appearance it would be crazy to not go that route (frankly it’s technically far superior too)

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      The usual, soulless glass and cement box.

      Barstewards with no sense of aesthetics or morals.

    2. Bonkers

      Or how about they just recind the planning permission seeing as the developer has purposefully breached it. Then he is forced to sell it on and someone else can have a go in a legal manner. Would also send out a clear and loud signal to the rest of the developers that the Council actually takes this stuff seriously.

  2. The Old Boy

    What an absolute shower. When Archer’s garage on Fenian Street was demolished without permission over the June bank holiday weekend in 1999, the developer, Noel O’Callaghan, managed to avoid criminal proceedings by agreeing to rebuild it. This isn’t a listed building, so there’s no threat of a criminal sanction.

  3. Point of order

    This is so sad, yet typical of Ireland. I imagine it will be replaced by a glass office box.

  4. Ian-O

    As someone who is very familiar with that building going back a few decades, my heart was broken to see it torn down.

    Forced rebuilding is the way to go along with a significantly large fine.

    1. Ian-O

      FG is pro FG, most, like Doherty are clueless about actually running a successful business that doesn’t involve drink, gambling or taking back handers fr9m telecoms con men.

  5. theo kretschmar schuldorff

    Who are the ‘construction’ company involved?
    No more licences for them in the city please.

    1. dav

      this is Ireland, they would just change a letter in their names and be granted new licences

  6. LeopoldGloom

    Their permission to build what they were going to should be immediately withdrawn, this rebuilt and a hefty fine.

  7. Janet, I ate my avatar

    well they disbanded Duchas sothey could get away with this poopy-poop-poop.

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