Glasnevin Metrolink station may be renamed in memory of Brian Boru pub

Owner of 200-year-old pub scheduled for demolition makes appeal over station naming during An Bord Pleanála hearing

The Glasnevin Metrolink station could be renamed to commemorate the 200-year-old Brian Boru pub, scheduled for demolition as part of the €9.5 billion rail project, following an appeal by its owner.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), the State body developing the line, said it was willing to consider renaming the station following a poignant address by the pub’s owner, Michael Hedigan, to An Bord Pleanála’s hearing on the rail line.

Mr Hedigan spoke affectingly of his family’s long connection with the pub, which his grandfather bought 120 years ago, and which he has worked in for more than 50 years along with his brother Peter and many other family members.

“The demise of the Brian Boru will be sorely missed not only by the community and the customers in Glasnevin, and also in the wider Dublin area,” Mr Hedigan said, “but I cannot overemphasise the profound effect that this is going to have on the entire Hedigan family of which there are many of us – Peter and myself are two of 12.”

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He noted the long history of the pub, reputed to have been built on the site where Brian Boru camped before the battle of Clontarf, that featured in James Joyce’s Ulysses, James Plunkett’s Strumpet City and the Chieftains’ song Brian Boru’s March.

His family had taken care of the historic building, he said. “We have beautiful facade minded by the Hedigans since 1904, and the nameplate, and the beautiful painting of Brian Boru refurbished on a number of occasions.”

He said he appreciated the importance of the pub site to the project. “It seems like we are just being caught in the middle here. It is probably the most important, from what we’ve been told, site on the whole Metrolink and we’re just a cog in that wheel, and I know I may not be able to do anything about that.”

However, he said: “If Brian Boru has to go we would like it to be remembered correctly and properly.”

Mr Hedigan said a number of submissions, including one from Fianna Fáil TD Paul McAuliffe had noted the current proposed name does not appropriately describe the location of the station, which is at the extreme southern end of Glasnevin and closer to Phibsborough village.

He asked if perhaps the station could be renamed Brian Boru Station, or, if that was not felt appropriate, Prospect Station, after the road it would be located on, and the local architectural conservation area, which also includes the famous Gravediggers pub on Prospect Square.

Metrolink project director Aidan Foley said TII regretted there was a need to acquire the pub. “I know the Brian Boru is a much-loved institution in Glasnevin, with 200 years of history and will be sorely missed by customers and the wider community.”

Mr Hedigan’s proposals about renaming the station were “very interesting” Mr Foley said and although he could not commit to it at the hearing, he said: “we are willing to consider that proposal.”

Mr Foley also told Mr Hedigan he felt if would be fitting to record the pub in some form in the new station. “If that is the incorporation of the name plate or some other means by which you would like to see it recorded.”

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