A dedicated office is urgently needed to stop the malicious destruction of important historical and architectural buildings in Dublin, a former Lord Mayor is warning.
On Monday night, Dublin City Council backed a motion for the home on a 1916 insurgent which was demolished last week for it to be rebuilt.
The council is investigating the circumstances around the demolition of the home of Michael Joseph ‘The’ O’Rahilly who lived at the house at 40 Herbert Park in Ballsbridge to make way for luxury apartments.
The demolition was condemned by Taoiseach Micheál Martin in the Dáil as “utterly shocking” and across all political parties including a grandson of O’Rahilly.
On Monday night, councillors approved a joint emergency motion tabled by Sinn Féin and the Green Party that "deplores" the demolition of the house by developer Derryroe Ltd in order to build 105 apartments.
The motion which was passed will now go before legal experts within the Council to see how best to progress the matter.
Work on the prime site in the heart of Ballsbridge and the Embassy belt has now been completely halted.
Independent councillor and Former Lord Mayor Christy Burke said: “The motion was passed and lessons have to be learned from what’s happened. The demolition of that house shouldn’t have occurred. It’s a total cultural embarrassment and a malicious destruction of not only a building but of a link to our heritage.
“There needs to be a dedicated department within Dublin City Council designed to be a watchdog to protect the historical, cultural and architectural integrity of the city’s buildings and derelict sites.
“What occurred in the cover of darkness last week was corporate greed beyond comprehension.”
The joint motion before the emergency meeting of the which had the current Green Party Lord Mayor Hazel Chu’s backing also expressed concern over the “integrity of the planning process as a result of the developer demolishing the building despite the window of appeals of a judicial review on the An Bord Pleanála decision.”
The councillors also said they had grave concerns over the future of other historic buildings and sites due to the implications of what happened to The O’Rahilly House.
A judicial review is being considered by a group of residents of a 12-storey building planned to replace the house.
The Pembroke Residents Association say they are “considering requesting a judicial review of An Bord Pleanála’s grant of permission and they have until the end of this month to lodge their High Court application.
An Bord Pleanála gave developers permission to build a 66m apartment block, which will contain 105 apartments on the site. The authority granted the decision despite opposition from historians, An Taisce and the Department of Culture and Arts.
Councillors had voted that No 40 would be listed and preserved.