Molly Malone about to be wheeled on to make way for Luas

Statue moving to temporary home outside the tourist office on nearby Suffolk Street

Molly Malone is being kept on display because of her draw as a tourist attraction but several other historic features are also in the process of being moved to make way for the Luas line. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Molly Malone is being kept on display because of her draw as a tourist attraction but several other historic features are also in the process of being moved to make way for the Luas line. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

Molly Malone’s barrow will once more be wheeled through Dublin’s streets this week but the famous fishmonger won’t be in control as she and her cockle- and mussel-filled barrow are being separated ahead of their relocation to a nearby street this summer.

A hoarding that went up around the site of the famed structure yesterday will block sight of the moving statue as it begins its short journey to a temporary home early on Thursday morning to allow for the construction of the cross-city Luas line.

The statue is being moved in two parts, with Molly likely to go before her cart.

Both she and her barrow will be restored and repaired over the next six weeks before settling into their new home outside the tourist office in the former St Andrew’s Church on nearby Suffolk Street.

“She will probably be in her new home for at least two years after which she will be moved back as close to her original position as possible,” a Luas spokeswoman said last night. “Unless of course she proves to be wildly popular at her new location.”

Molly Malone is being kept on display because of her draw as a tourist attraction but several other historic features are also in the process of being moved and will be stored for reinstatement once the Luas project is completed in 2017.

The statue of 19th-century lyricist Thomas Moore, which stands outside the disused public toilets at the traffic island on College Street, and the statue of temperance leader Fr Theobald Mathew on the O’Connell Street median, as well as the Steine sculpture at the corner of D’Olier Street near Pearse Street Garda station, will all be kept in storage, as will the Lady Grattan fountain on St Stephen’s Green, the lamp standards on the O’Connell Bridge median and the railings at the Rotunda Hospital.

The 5.6km line from St Stephen’s Green to Broombridge in Cabra will take at least three years to complete.