By Kim O’Leary
Residents in Tallaght have expressed their dismay after the destruction of a 200-year-old bridge last week as part of the development of a social housing project in Sean Walsh Park.
The bridge is believed to be one of the last remaining bridges from pre 1843 in Tallaght and possibly the wider county area.
The remains of the bridge are located on the site of a new 81-unit housing development between Tallaght Stadium and Sean Walsh Park on Whitestown Way.
It is understood that the older person housing project is being developed by Clúid Housing Association in partnership with South Dublin County Council.
When the development was being proposed, the remains of the bridge and calls for its protection were included in a number of submissions lodged during the public consultation.
The council noted in 2018 that the remaining structure is not recorded in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage or in its own Record of Protected Structures.
However, it was agreed that the structure would be incorporated into site works in the housing development.
Last Tuesday, June 2 locals noticed the removal of the stone arch and part of the wall.
Albert Perris, voluntary heritage officer with Tallaght Community Council said that the community wished for the bridge to remain as it was.
“This bridge was a litmus test of South Dublin County Council’s commitment to heritage and history in South Dublin. How this is managed will reflect SDCCs regard for community consultation, working in partnership and best practice in the preservation of Tallaght’s built heritage.
“We eagerly await answers, as to how this 200-year-old structure could simply be knocked in one day and bagged. The necessity of public housing for older people is not in question. But we also need to honour the last fragments of Tallaght’s rich history and heritage to the highest standards,” added Mr Perris.
TCC say they have furnished a list of Questions to South Dublin County Council and are awaiting a reply.