Ski Resort for Dublin City Centre

Skiing around Dublin

The Suas has not gone away then. According to today’s Irish Times [article appended below], a developer is about to apply for permission for oversailing cable-cars up and down the Liffey in Dublin city centre. Not just ordinary oversailing cable-cars but iconic ones [photo, top left]. The arrangement looks like a series of elbows linked by string. A washing-line on metal boomerangs.

The scheme is not intended to be useful.  Trips will cost a prohibitive €25 return and it is “designed as a tourist attraction rather than a transport service”. Dublin has enough material stuff so we should do it completely for the tourists. Let’s face it, transport hasn’t really worked for Dubliners, so let’s give up on it and try something new that focuses on tourists, who are much better with these things anyway. Let’s do a Book of Kells on wires.

But no, why not be braver? Do justice to the new Ireland with its can-do, the sky’s-the-limit energy. Let’s make Dublin into a signature, iconic, world-class mega ski resort. Long-term, locals on the slopes – like trucks on the quays – would be banned. Our gift to tourists, in return for taking our huddled masses, for coming here during the Quiet Man years and giving us all those structural funds.
So there’s seldom any snow: well why not add über-snow-machines to the city’s tallest buildings that are to be constructed in Docklands and Heuston.

If backward Dubai can manufacture lush greenery and water from the desert, why can’t fashionable Dublin become the world’s biggest ski destination? Snow would cascade down the quays (to be renamed the “squays”) and off via Heuston and Lucan to the borders of Kildare. We already have the infrastructure. Joe O’Reilly has proposed the timely ski-slope over O’ Connell St.The Smithfield ice-rink could be extended to Castleknock and the fake ski slopes at Kilternan lengthened down to Deansgrange. New outlying resorts would grow up. Martin Cullen would organise just the right amount of private sector involvement. Killester would be Klosters. Welcome to “Bally-Zermatt”. The begrudgers are gone and a new generation will simply not be told “thus far and no further”. If Barry Boland wants pint-of-guinness shape cable cars he must have them. Winter sports festivals would take the place of the boring old summery ones. The Liffey Swim would no longer be possible, but we could have the Liffey Luge.

Temple Bar wouldn’t just be the cultural quarter: it would be the aprés-ski quarter. The pools of drinkers’ vomit would colourfully fleck the spreading snow as it swooshed down from Docklands. We will need mountains, but that will be no problem if we just re-use the spoil from Tara. With Heuston serving as a sort of Mont Blanc to Spencer Dock’s Matterhorn, the Civic Offices would be reconfigured as Swiss chalets, with nursery slopes along the “squays”, space-skiing from the skycatcher atop the Clarence, red slopes down Dame St and black slopes around Dublinia in Christchurch. Off piste will be provided in the Liberties and Coombe and toboganning down the Liffey boardwalk, the “Dirt”. Prince Charles and his family have reportedly already spoken about spending six months in Dublin annually.

Fired up by the public reaction to the cable car, a fine example of what Frank McDonald in the Irish Times described as the City Council’s “lateral thinking”, Dublin City’s architecture Department is already testing the best direction for new thinking generally. A team is reportedly pursuing a circular-thinking revolving artichoke (modelled on London’s sensational gherkin), the vertical-thinking Spite (taller than, and next to, the Spike but with lighting that works) and the subterranean-thinking world’s deepest building, which is to be tunnelled under Temple Bar.

Anything for an end to the mediocrity, it seems.

That Article:

Thursday, July 24, 2008
Cable car project to seek city council sanction

OLIVIA KELLY

THE DEVELOPER behind the €90 million “Suas” cable car project for the River Liffey is to seek planning permission from Dublin City Council for the scheme, after failing to secure fast-track planning approval from An Bord Pleanála.

Details of the Suas, which would run from Heuston Station to the docklands and involve the construction of 80m (262ft) towers along its length, were yesterday presented to city councillors ahead of the submission of a planning application.

Developer Barry Boland, formerly a planner with Dublin County Council, last year sought to have the Suas considered under fast-track planning rules which allow strategic infrastructural developments to be determined directly by An Bord Pleanála.

However, the board decided the Suas did not qualify as strategic infrastructure, leaving Mr Boland no option but to apply to the city council.

The Suas would be a tourist attraction rather than a public transport system, Mr Boland said.

“We’re trying to create the equivalent of an Eiffel Tower, the London Eye or the Sydney Opera House – the sort of iconic thing that Dublin currently lacks.”

Each cable car could carry 30 people and would run every 20 minutes. A round trip would cost €25. Two 80m towers – 20m taller than Liberty Hall – would be built at Marlborough Street and Wood Quay, and 60m towers would be located in the docklands and at Watling Street to support the cable. Mr Boland estimates that one in every eight visitors to Dublin would use the Suas.

Several councillors said they were interested in the project, but stopped short of endorsing it.

“My mind was quite closed to this project, and I would still have a certain scepticism, but my mind is perhaps a little less closed,” Labour councillor Emer Costello said.

Sinn Féin’s Daithí Doolan said it was good to see a project that was “trying to do something with the Liffey”.

Mr Boland said it was up to the planners to decide if it detracted from the skyline. He had wanted the cable cars to be in the shape of a pint of Guinness, but this violated advertising codes.

Mr Boland said he would be ready to submit his planning application within weeks. However, because the city council owns some of the land on which the entrance to the Suas and the towers supporting the cable would be built, he needs to be given permission by the city manager to lodge an application.

A Dublin City Council spokeswoman said Mr Boland would need to seek a pre-planning meeting with the council to detail how he intended to deal with certain issues including access.

The Dublin Docklands Development Authority said it supported the project in principle, pending a decision from the council.

© 2008 The Irish Times

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2 Responses to “Ski Resort for Dublin City Centre”

  1. but if you haven’t skied in Ski Dubai, then don’t. Hurts the environment with tons of fuels burned every day to keep it cool and ski!! 😦

  2. And Dublin City Council recently gave some french advertising firm the 15 year contract for placing some 50 odd garish advertising hoarding posters around Dublin in exchange for making availible in the city, a number of bicycles for those who wish to seriously endanger their lives on our city centre streets..you could not make it up!
    vandalized bicycles everywhere and ugly street hoardings..

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