Locals plan legal challenge after demolition of O’Rahilly home
Workmen at the site of the former O Rahilly home in Dublin 4. Photo: Frank McGrath
October 05 2020 02:30 AM
A judicial review is being considered by local residents after the home of 1916 rebel leader Michael Joseph ‘The O’Rahilly’ was demolished last week, despite plans to make it a protected structure.
Dublin City Council is investigating the circumstances surrounding the demolition of the house at 40 Herbert Park in Ballsbridge to make way for luxury apartments.
The demolition was condemned by Taoiseach Micheál Martin in the Dáil as “utterly shocking” and across all political parties. It was also slammed by O’Rahilly’s grandson, Proinsias O Rathaille.
The Pembroke Residents Association said it is “considering requesting a judicial review of An Bord Pleanála’s grant of permission for a 12-storey building overlooking the playground and our beloved Herbert Park after the destruction of The O’Rahilly’s home at No 40”.
The residents have until the end of the month to lodge their High Court application.
“The destruction of number 40 Herbert Park in the early morning of September 29 is utterly shocking,” said association chairperson Siobhan Cuffe.
“The city councillors had voted that number 40 would be listed and preserved.
“The proposed block is three times the maximum height permitted in the area.
“No account was taken of the Strategic Environmental Assessment required under the 2016-2022 Dublin City Plan and its effect on the Ringsend Waste Water Treatment an Dublin Bay.”
The application will focus on the environmental requirements of EU law, which Ms Cuffe claims were not applied.
“There was no public consultation,” she said.
The Association is asking the public to help financially with its planned judicial review, which it says will cost €45,000.
Independent councillor and Former Lord Mayor Christy Burke said he welcomed the move to lodge a judicial review against what he termed a “mindless act”.
He hopes the city council will follow its investigation into the circumstance behind the demolition of the house with legal proceedings.
“Dublin City Council now should provide a list to elected members of properties of our history in Dublin and start a process of listing them as protective structures in order to prevent any further corporate mindless acts,” he said.
A spokesperson for the council said: “Once the city council has ascertained the facts, it will take any appropriate action.”
An Bord Pleanála gave the go-ahead to build a €66m development of 105 apartments on the site.
It granted the decision despite opposition from historians, An Taisce and the Dep- artment of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.