Dublin bridge to be renamed after 1916 leader

east link - credit William Murphy

Credit: William Murphy

The East Link Bridge in Dublin is to be named the Tom Clarke Bridge in memory of the 1916 leader.

The bridge is being renamed after the first signatory of the Proclamation. The toll bridge is the last bridge over the Liffey before the river enters Dublin Bay.  Dublin City Council says there are no records of it ever being officially named.

The bridge was built in 1984 under a deal between Dublin Corporation, Dublin Port and National Toll Roads. It followed a precisely scheduled construction period of 80 week and cost £6.1 million. Its single leaf opening structure weighs 500 tonnes. The bridge width is 10 metres and it is supported on steel piles.

The proposal to name the bridge was put forward to councillors yesterday after an application was made by Independent Councillor Nial Ring of the Commemorative Naming Committee.

Ring said the decision to name the bridge after Tom Clarke will have a “lasting impact on our city.”

“Tom Clarke gave so much to the cause of Irish freedom throughout his life and ultimately he gave his life for Ireland, and the fact that there was, up to now, nothing significant named after him in Dublin needed to be rectified.”

Clarke was one of the chief organisers of the rising from his tobacconist shop in Dublin and was the first signatory of the proclamation.

The Proposal has come under fire by Fine Gael’s Kieran Binchy. Naming the bridge so soon after it came under Dublin City Council’s control and the lack of pubic consultation were his main concerns.

As part of the decision to name the bridge, it’s proposed that a memorial to Tom Clarke and the other 1916 rebels will be erected on green space beside the bridge.

City councillors voted last year to agree with a recommendation from officials that a toll remain to provide income for the council. Councillor were told that the city would have a potential income of €4m if it remained the same.

The bridge reverted to full ownership of the council in December 2015 under the original agreement made in 1983 between the council, the port company and the company that became East Link.

Conor Martin

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