Dublin's Phoenix Park gates are set to be rehung this summer nearly three years after being taken down.
The Office of Public Works (OPW) said the project had been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. But they are now hopeful the €800,000-plus refurbishment will be complete by end of July. The gates were removed at the time of Pope Francis’s open-air Mass in the park in August 2018.
At that time the OPW decided to refurbish and repaint the gates and repair the pillars. But the project has been delayed repeatedly, with a completion date of September 2020 missed and further delays due to Covid-19 lockdowns.
The OPW said their original plan had been to hire a company to carry out work on the gates and railings. This contract was subsequently awarded to Bushy Park Ironworks who have previously restored gates and railings for the Shelbourne Hotel and Blackrock College.
A second contract was then to be awarded to a another firm to rehang the gates, carry out necessary stonework and manage expected traffic disruption from temporary access closures.But the OPW said because of declining traffic due to the pandemic the same firm had been asked to complete all contracts.It added that this would be “more time efficient and cost effective” and that traffic management would be nowhere near as complicated with much lower levels of through-traffic in the park.
What the outstanding five sets?
The OPW said works to the Knockmaroon Gates had already been completed in situ and had been finished in August of last year. The North Circular Road gates were also rehung in December 2020. And there are five more sets to be restored: at Castleknock; Chapelizod; Blackhorse Avenue; Cabra; and Islandbridge.
A spokeswoman said works on rehanging of the remaining gates have been paused since the start of 2021 due to Covid-19 restrictions.
“However . . . planning for the resumption of those works and the rehanging of the gates, as soon as possible, is under way,” she said.
Project costs so far and amounted to about €800,000 and are “still within” the approved budget, she added.