Feasibility study into saving Guinness bridge to take place

Campaigners hope 19th century structure can form part of new Liffey blueway

 

A feasibility study will take place into restoring a 19th-century bridge build by the Guinness family, South Dublin County Council has said.

Campaigners had urged the council and Fingal County Council to save the cast-iron Farmleigh Bridge, which spans the Liffey between the two administrative areas.

The 52m box truss bridge was built between 1872 and 1880 by Edward Cecil Guinness. It links the south side fields of Waterstown Park in Palmerstown to a tunnel connecting to the Farmleigh estate in the Phoenix Park.

In January campaigners handed a petition signed by about 2,500 people in to South Dublin County Council. They said the bridge requires maintenance “to bring it back to its original grandeur” and it is at risk of collapsing into the Liffey if the rivets in the lattice structure are not replaced.

South Dublin County Council recently announced that €15,000 has been allocated for the feasibility study into saving the structure.

“In the next week or so an engineer will be starting work on the project,” said Paul Corcoran, a member of the campaign to save the bridge.

“It will basically answer the question of whether the bridge will be able to be restored or not... is it viable to install new boardwalks and so on.”

Guinness built the bridge, also known as Silver Bridge, to supply electricity for Farmleigh House. The bridge also brought water to the Farmleigh clock tower and provided access to the Farmleigh estate for many of its workers who lived on the south side of the Liffey in Palmerstown. It was closed in the 1970s and entered a state of disrepair.

Campaigners hope it can be restored and become part of a new “blueway” proposed for the Liffey Valley.