Siptu withdraws plan for Liberty Hall


A PLANNING application to demolish Dublin’s Liberty Hall and replace it with a new 20- storey tower has been withdrawn by the building’s owners Siptu.

The union said the decision to withdraw the application was “due to detailed design issues”. A new planning application is expected to be lodged within three months.

The iconic Liberty Hall overlooking the river Liffey stands at 17 storeys and was completed in 1965. It replaced a previous Liberty Hall which had itself been rebuilt after shelling by British forces during the 1916 Rising.

In a brief statement yesterday, Siptu general secretary Joe O’Flynn said: “We have decided to withdraw the current planning application due to detailed design issues.”

Mr O’Flynn said while the union, its professional advisers and Dublin City Council officials had “worked hard to resolve these outstanding issues, time simply ran out on us.

“After detailed consideration, Siptu has withdrawn the application to allow more time to resolve these matters and we intend to reapply for planning permission within three months.”

Mr O’Flynn added that Siptu remained fully committed to proceeding with the “major project for the union and the city of Dublin”, maintaining the current building was “no longer fit for purpose”.

The union added that “out of respect for the planning process”, it would not be making any further comment.

Dublin City Council said it noted the Siptu decision and looked forward “to having further detailed discussions” with it to deliver redevelopment of the site, “which is an objective of the current Dublin City development plan”.

Liberty Hall, designed by architect Des Rea O’Kelly, who died on Thursday, was formerly the tallest office building in Ireland, rising to 59.4 metres (195 feet).

It was superseded by Cork County Hall and subsequently the Millennium Tower in Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock. The new building would have been 88 metres at its highest point.