Fury as O’Rahilly House ‘illegally’ demolished by developers

by Rachel Darcy

O’Rahilly House in Ballsbridge was demolished in the early hours of this morning, despite Dublin City Councillors voting to add the building to a list of protected structures just two weeks ago.

Councillors voted unanimously to support a motion to add 40 Herbert Park to a list of protected structures, as it was the home of The O’Rahilly, the only 1916 Rising leader who was killed in action.

This morning, September 29, the house was demolished at approximately 6:30am by a developer seeking to construct luxury apartments on the site.

There have now been calls for Minister for Culture Catherine Martin and Dublin City Council to immediately intervene, and to order developers of the site to reconstruct the historic house, with some declaring that the demolition of the building was ‘illegal’.

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Gaeilge, Gaeltacht, Culture and Arts, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, has branded the demolition of the O’Rahilly house in Ballsbridge as a ‘wanton act of vandalism on our culture and historical heritage’.

Teachta Ó Snodaigh said: “This is a calculated act of wanton vandalism of our cultural and historical heritage – a move driven purely by greed.

“The campaign to save the O’Rahilly house has received widespread and deserved support from the public.

“Only two weeks ago, Dublin City Council voted unanimously to support a motion from my Sinn Féin colleague Mícheál Mac Donncha to add the O’Rahilly house to the list of protected structures.

“For the developers to raze the building to the ground, in the knowledge of that decision by Dublin City Council, is reprehensible.

“This is a grubby and calculated act of bad faith by the developers, and the families [behind the developers] should be ashamed of themselves.

“I am calling on the Minister for Culture Catherine Martin and Dublin City Council to intervene immediately and order the developers to reconstruct the O’Rahilly House brick by brick to its former state.”

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council told Dublin Gazette that ‘appropriate action’ will be taken.

In a statement, DCC said: “Dublin City Council is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the demolition of 40 Herbert Park. Once the City Council has ascertained the facts it will take any appropriate action.”

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