Siptu to view plans for Liberty Hall site


PLANS FOR a replacement for Liberty Hall are expected to be put to Siptu’s executive for approval next month and planning permission could be sought as early as March.

Siptu general secretary Joe O’Flynn said the union was “very pleased” with the initial design of Dublin-based architect Des McMahon, who won an international competition to design a replacement for what was once Ireland’s highest building.

He said the redesigned building would be slightly taller than Liberty Hall, primarily because the floor-to-ceiling heights would be higher, but he added: “We’re not looking to be the highest building in Dublin.”

Mr O’Flynn said the intention was to apply for planning permission this year with a view to putting the building out to tender next year for development. He said it was no longer the union’s intention to demolish Liberty Hall this year because of the centenary celebrations to mark the founding of the ITGWU in 1909, but there were no plans to defer the new building because of the recession.

The original building brief envisages a tower which will double the floor space from about 5,500 square metres to 11,000 square metres. That target could be achieved by building slightly higher than the present 16 storeys while also building out as the current Liberty Hall takes up only about 40 per cent of the footprint of the site.

The brief included plans for an auditorium, a sky deck cafe and a union heritage centre.

Mr McMahon, who was involved in the Croke Park redevelopment and also the Hugh Lane Gallery extension, said the design of the new Liberty Hall was a collaborative process, with Siptu having a “very major impact” on it.