Capital Dock: A bridge too far?

Above: Capital Dock Photo by William Murphy

Above: Capital Dock
Photo by William Murphy

Work on the planned Kennedy Wilson/Nama development in Capital Dock on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay is already underway and it is great to see cranes in action on the Dublin skyline again.

The development will see 313,000 square feet of office space across three buildings, as well as 204 ‘family’ residential units across two buildings – one of which will incorporate a 19-storey tower. It will also include a 1.5 acre landscaped public park and square, designated cultural space, and retail and leisure facilities.

Delivery of the office element of the scheme is expected by mid-2017 with the residential element due for completion in early 2018.

However, one feature of the proposed development is causing some concern. There are two bridges in the plans.

One is a pedestrian footbridge across the River Liffey towards the Point Depot, giving access to the the Luas. The other bridge is from Sir John Rogerson’s Quay towards Ringsend. On the plans, this bridge appears to cut through St. Patrick’s Rowing Club grounds, or at least very close to them. So far, the Club have had no contact from the developers or the architects about the proposed bridge.

Richard Saunders, Chairperson of St. Patrick’s, told NewsFour “We are not against the development. It’s great to see something being done with the site and it will bring jobs to the area.” Nevertheless, he is concerned that the developers have made no contact with the club and along with the members, is determined that they will not be swept aside.

He made the point that “Paddy’s”, as it is known locally, has been in existence since 1936 and is an important amenity for the people of Ringsend. Hundreds of young Ringsenders have passed through its doors since it was set up and many remain lifelong members and supporters.

Saunders pointed out that being part of the club gives young people values that have a positive impact on their lives. Each year, they have 80 members. New members learn teamwork and discipline from their more seasoned colleagues. Being part of the club instills confidence and pride in their achievements, which are considerable.

St. Patrick’s skiff-rowers have won honours in many prestigious competitions, including gold medals in All Ireland challenges, the East Coast Shield and the London Great River Race under-16 and under-18 categories.

Older members also teach the rookies traditional skills such as oar-making (they make all the oars for the skiffs in the clubhouse) and boat repair.

The club is amenable to change but the members and the committee, as stakeholders, would like to hear from the developers about the proposals. They are not looking for monetary compensation, they are looking for an assurance the club will survive and hopefully be improved by these changes.

NewsFour contacted the architects, O’Mahony Pike, to make enquires about the proposed bridge but have received no response to date. We will bring you an update in the next issue.

By Jennifer Reddin