A new bridge is planned to go from the War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge/Chapelizod across the Liffey. The Office of Public Works (OPW) are responsible.

The latest update (6th April 2022) is from a parliamentary question which Patrick Costello TD kindly put in on my behalf. It says that the OPW aim to apply for planning permission at some point in 2022, hopefully starting work on site in 2023.

You can see the full parliamentary question and answer below. Dublin City Council voted to allow such a bridge in 2020, and I supported the project, but will aim for:

  • it to be completed speedily,
  • be open continuously to allow a new cycling/walking route even outside of park hours,
  • to have minimal visual and ecological impact on that stretch of the river, and
  • be matched with an entrance and safe crossing to allow good access into the park.

You can see the winning design here.

Here’s the parliamentary question and reply, from 6th April 2022:

Q. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of the proposed walking and cycling bridge across the River Liffey from the War Memorial Gardens, Islandbridge; if funding has been assigned to the project; if so, the amount; the proposed timeline for works to commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

A. “The Irish National War Memorial Gardens at Islandbridge, Dublin, were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens  to commemorate the memory of the Irish men and women who died in the First World War. The original design for the Irish War Memorial Gardens included a bridge across the Liffey linking the northside of the river with the gardens. This element of the gardens has not been realised to date.

“At present, the current access point to the Irish War Memorial Gardens from the South Circular Road is confusing and ill-defined, with many visitors have trouble locating the gardens.

“In May 2019, the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) announced a competition to design a new commemorative bridge at the Irish National War Memorial Gardens in Dublin. Sixty one submissions were received from nine countries. The winning design was submitted by Ian Ritchie Architects based in London.

“It is envisaged that the new commemorative bridge and entrance plaza linking the Irish National War Memorial Gardens to Cunningham Road and Phoenix Park will provide a formal entrance to the Gardens, will improve visitor experience and provide a significantly enhanced pedestrian and cycling access to the Gardens. The bridge will also support the development of  blue way and greenway cycle infrastructure in this part of the city by providing a clear connecting route across the river.

“To date there has been high-level engagement with key stakeholders including Dublin City Council, Fáilte Ireland, The Irish National War Memorial Garden Trustees, University College Dublin and local stakeholders including the various boat clubs based in the vicinity of the gardens. The development of this bridge is included in the Dublin City Council Development Plan 2022-2028.

“The OPW is now working closely with Ian Ritchie Architects, who won the architectural design competition for the commemorative bridge, to bring the original concept design to full planning permission. All appropriate baseline studies have been completed including the Feasibility Study, Ecological studies and a Business Development Strategy. A variation to the local area development plan to support this type of development was approved by DCC councillors in 2021.  It is anticipated that a planning application will be lodged later this year. Funding has been approved to planning permission stage.

“Subject to further availability of funding, a full procurement process will be undertaken and it is hoped that works will commence on site before the end of 2023.”