Demolition of a historic building


Sir, – Yesterday (Tuesday), demolition of a building of great significance in the human, medical and architectural history of Ireland commenced.

Ffrench-Mullen House (1944) on Charlemont Street was an offshoot of St Ultan’s, the hospital for children under two years old, the first of its kind in these islands, which was founded by Dr Kathleen Lynn with her lifelong friend and co-worker, Madeleine ffrench-Mullen. Kathleen Lynn, doctor, feminist, revolutionary, public representative and community benefactor, commissioned Michael Scott, now considered the most important Irish architect of the 20th century, to design this small block of flats/apartments and the design, which had survived remarkably intact, was worthy of being highlighted in an episode of Poirot!

Dr Kathleen Lynn, Madeleine ffrench-Mullen, Michael Scott and the extensive group around them deserve celebration and gratitude for their contribution to the human and artistic history of this country. Instead this monument to them is being removed.

It is difficult to understand why we lack European-style city designers who are able to integrate older buildings into their plans rather than demolishing them.

By Thursday one building with something of the Bauhaus, of medical and social innovation and reminders that good things were done in bad times will be gone. – Yours, etc,


Emorville Avenue,

Dublin 8.