16 March, 2009

Bad Day at Blackrock

That got everyone talking.

It looked like a bomb site, but thankfully no-one was seriously injured in the explosion in Blackrock last Friday. By the time I got there, everyone had piled in to Sheehan's pub across the road and was telling each other what had happened, and where they were at the time. I met one women whose brother was walking past St. Anne's Square and was hit by a piece of rubble but luckily he wasn't badly hurt. All she heard was the bang of the explosion, and then the phone went dead. About a dozen cars got caught up in the explosion and the tow-trucks were kept busy.

Someone else told me the story of a women in the house next door who had fallen down the stairs, and had been carted off to Hospital hours BEFORE the explosion with a broken ankle. That was another lucky escape, if you could call it that. Someone else was offering lunch courtesy of the Council for anyone who was living in the Square, and I wouldn't be surprised if a few texts were sent out in a hurry, advertising free lunch in Sheehans.

I met Fr. Eric Conway on the steps outside Blackrock Church, and said to him that his boss was clearly keeping an eye on things from above. Cllr. Ruairí Holohan was talking to the head of the Residents Association, saying that it was "some Friday 13th". County Architect Andreé Dargan was trying to ensure people got back to their homes in St. Anne's Square that evening, or were at least able to retrieve their belongings. Certainly looking at the damage it appeared as though three or four of the buildings will have to be demolished. Hopefully they can rebuild and incorporate the same attention to detailing that you can see on the existing Victorian buildings. They are, or were an attractive part of Blackrock's character.

The Council sent out an update just an hour ago, and I've included it below

"Update: Explosion at house in Temple Hill, Blackrock, Dublin 5.00pm 16/3/09 - The Council can confirm that Bord Gais and An Garda Síochána have completed their initial investigations at the site in Temple Hill, and the Council is continuing with its assessment of the structures. Due to the instability of the buildings, much of the stabilising works must be done by hand. The majority of personal belongings have been removed by residents and the Council has facilitated those tenants and private householders who have been impacted by the explosion with storage facilities. Temple Hill Road remains closed to traffic and it is hoped to have a stop-and-go system in place by Wednesday.

Enjoy St. Patrick's Day, by the looks of things there may even be some sunshine around tomorrow for the Parade.

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