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Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD calls for ESB to gift Georgian House Museum to State

23 February, 2021 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Gaeilge, the Gaeltacht, Arts and Culture Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has written to the Chief Executive of Bord Soláthair an Leictreachais (the ESB), calling on the State agency to gift the Georgian House Museum at 29 Fitzwilliam Street Lower in Dublin to the State following the failure of the agency’s proposals to replace the historic cultural facility at the heart of Dublin’s Georgian core with three luxury apartments.

See below the text of the letter:

A Phríomfheidhmeannach, a chara,

I hope this letter finds you well.

I am writing as Sinn Féin’s spokesperson for Arts and Culture, and as a proud Dubliner who has campaigned for years to preserve our city’s diversity and wealth of built heritage, in relation to the Georgian House Museum at 29 Fitzwilliam Street Lower.

The decision by Dublin City Council to refuse planning permission to the proposal to gut the Museum and convert it into three luxury apartments is welcome news for the city of Dublin, and follows submissions from my colleague Chris Andrews, TD for Dublin Bay South, as well as An Taisce, the Irish Georgian Society and Dublin Civic Trust outlining the many problems with the plans as proposed.

The decision also ensures that the house must continue to be used for cultural purposes, as had been agreed thirty years ago to make up for of destruction by Bord Soláthair an Leictreachais (ESB), of some of the historic Georgian mile along Fitzwilliam Street when constructing the company’s then headquarters.

The attempt to make permanent what was only ever meant to be a temporary museum closure, and to turn it into a for-profit luxury residential enterprise, demonstrates I believe that the ESB has no interest in maintaining the Museum as a cultural facility enabling public engagement with a unique period of our city’s history and architecture. Indeed, it makes no sense in the first place to trust the safeguarding of our architectural heritage to a state agency whose expertise lies in energy supply.

I am therefore calling on ESB to do the right thing and gift the museum and 29 Fitzwilliam Street Lower to the State to enable our national cultural institutions to protect the cultural use of the building for generations to come. It is the least you can do to make up for the damage done to our Georgian core and would leave you unsaddled with the duty to continue running the museum for the public good.

I ask you to give my proposal serious consideration and look forward to your response.

Is mise, le meas,

Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

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