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Almost 50 years since it was built, demolition has started on Joseph Plunkett Tower, the last of the notorious Ballymun flats.
BRIAN MONGEY, senior community officer with DCC talks to Mark Finnegan about this momentous occasion.
Joseph Plunkett tower, completed in 1967, was one of seven 15-storey blocks, along with 19 of eight storeys and 10 of four storeys, built in response to a housing crisis in the 1960s.
The high-rise prefabricated flats were constructed to accommodate residents of inner-city tenements under the process of urban slum clearances. Their construction was precipitated by two tragedies in the summer of 1963 when tenement houses collapsed killing residents .
In Bolton Street two elderly residents died when their home collapsed in June 1963. Just two weeks later two girls were walking on Fenian Street when two houses toppled into the street killing them both.
Made of pre-cast factory-made concrete panels, the flats were rapidly erected, but the amenities necessary to sustain communities were slow to follow and Ballymun quite quickly became a magnet for social problems, particularly in the 1980s when it became strongly associated with the city’s growing heroin problem.
A €2 billion regeneration project began in 1997, and more than 2,000 new social homes have been built in Ballymun . Demolition of the high-rise towers only began in 2004. While some of the blocks were razed by implosion, Joseph Plunkett tower will be taken down by mechanical means using a long reach hydraulic “nibbler” which will bite its way through the structure over a period of weeks.
|Duration: 10'14"||DATE: September 21, 2015|
|Keywords:Ballymun, Towerblocks, Social Housing, Demolition, Local Amenities|
|Creator:Near FM||Publisher:Near FM|