Temple Bar friary decision today


AN on site meeting in Dublin's Temple Bar today will decide the fate of the remains of a 13th Century friary, uncovered during development work, Frank McNally reports.

The meeting follows criticism a decision by the Office of Public Works to preserve only of the ruins. Development of the site for a new restaurant has been put on hold pending agreement between the developers, archaeologists and the OPW.

The OPW has proposed dismantling the main friary wall and reconstructing a six metre section of it in the basement of the restaurant. But the plan was described as "Mickey Mouse" and "a sham" by the group Friends of Medieval Dublin, which wants the full remains preserved.

The proposal was also criticised by the vice chairwoman of Dublin Corporation's Cultural Committee, Ms Mary Freehill. If it was not stopped, she said, "it means that this entire site will be dug out in the next few days and another national monument will be lost to the nation". Today's meeting has been called at the prompting of the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht.