Green councillor slams garish ad plans for heritage railway bridges

A Dublin City councillor has slammed Irish Rail’s plans to install garish ad panels on two of Dublin’s historic railway bridges. The proposal would replace existing static type advertising boards on both sides of the existing railway bridges on Amiens Street and the Drumcondra Road in Dublin’s north inner city with new 18 m x 2 m LED displays.

The Green party’s Councillor Ciarán Cuffe has submitted objections to the planning Department of Dublin City Council and said:

“The Amiens Street was designed by and erected in 1890. It was designed by the engineer J. Chalconer Smith and is part of our industrial heritage. There are already ads on this bridge but this adds insult to injury. Why does a State company insist on further disfiguring our heritage? Our Roads Authority Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) doesn’t plaster our motorway bridges with ads so why should Irish Rail try and do this? This is an old and venerable part of our heritage that deserves respect, not contempt. It is like selling off advertising panels on your granny’s shopping trolley. This should not be allowed by our planners.

“In addition the proposed development lies within the curtilage of a Protected Structure (RPS_130 Amiens Street, Dublin 1 Connolly Station). Two of the support columns and part of the bridge itself actually lies within the railings of the Station Complex. This is not mentioned in the Planning Application. The Bridge is also deemed to be of regional importance in the Government’s National Inventory of Architectural heritage. The planning report makes reference to a murky process of barter, planning gain, commercially sensitive material, and removal of other advertisements which appear to be an attempt by this State Body to retrospectively regularise advertisements that were never granted permission by the Planning Authority. Such agreements should be presented to the public and councillors in a clear and transparent fashion rather than be hidden behind the veil of pre-application consultation.

“The Drumcondra Road Bridge is another fine nineteenth century piece of industrial heritage that has been disfigured by ads that should be removed, instead of being replaced with more garish structures. LES ad panels similar to these have already disfigured Shaftesbury Square in Belfast. They should not be allowed in Dublin’s North Inner City. In addition they may be distracting and hazardous to road users.

“Irish Rail is also practicing social apartheid. I don’t see them placing ads like these on their bridges in Sandycove or Seapoint or even Westland Row. They should not be inflicting this on north inner city communities that have suffered so much in recent years.


Note: Links to Councillor’s Cuffe’s planning observation

Amiens Street

Drumcondra Road

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