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Dun Laoghaire Baths Site Ready for Roger Casement Statue

13th April 2020
The new Roger Casement statue destined for a plinth at the end of the swim jetty at Dun Laoghaire Baths. Scroll down for photo The new Roger Casement statue destined for a plinth at the end of the swim jetty at Dun Laoghaire Baths. Scroll down for photo

A special plinth has been completed on Dun Laoghaire's newest pier at the old Victorian baths site for the statue of Roger Casement.

In 2016, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council commissioned a statue of the Irish nationalist, who was sentenced to death in 1916 for his role in planning the Easter Rising.

As regular Afloat readers will know, the statue is to be erected along the pierhead walkway connecting the parkland areas at Newtownsmith with the beach area at Queen’s Road.

The redevelopment of Dún Laoghaire’s baths, which have been closed since 1997, are nearing completion even though construction has stopped during the COVID-19 emergency.

The €2.75 million makeover will see the derelict pool being replaced by artists’ studios and a gallery café aswell as a pier to swim from and a landing jetty for small boats and kayaks.

Casement was born to an Anglo-Irish family in nearby Sandycove in 1864 and served as a British diplomat before helping to form the Irish Volunteers.

Roger Casement plinth 0501The new plinth at the end of the pierhead is the location of the new Roger Casement statue in Scotsman's Bay Photo: Afloat

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council commissioned the sculpture of Roger Casement, who was born in Sandycove, to commemorate the part he played in the 1916 Rising.

The winning artist, Mark Richards, was selected following a two-stage process, organised by Visual Artists Ireland on behalf of DLR. Four artists were shortlisted from 40 submissions to a call for expressions of interest. The sculpture will be a figurative representation of Roger Casement and will measure 3m in height, just over 1.5 life-size.

casement Roger statueThe new Roger Casement statue by Mark Richards for Dun Laoghaire Baths

The figure will be cast in bronze, which will mature and reflect the climatic conditions of the site as the years pass.

An Cathaoirleach of dlr, Cllr Tom Muphy, said, I think Mark Richards is a very worthy winner of the selection process. His design encapsulates the very essence of Roger Casement as he stood on the dock and said the words, “I landed in Ireland. It was to Ireland I came; to Ireland, I wanted to come.” Furthermore, by locating the piece amidst the arrangement of levels on the jetty at Dún Laoghaire Baths, suggests he is stepping ashore.”

The plinth will be inscribed in Irish on the west face and English on the north face. A QR code linking to a website that tells of the story of Roger Casement will be developed.

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Dun Laoghaire Baths Renovation

Afloat has been reporting on the new plans for the publically owned Dun Laoghaire Baths site located at the back of the East Pier since 2011 when plans for its development first went on display by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. 

Foreshore consent was applied for in 2013.

Last used 30 years ago as the 'Rainbow Rapids' before falling into dereliction – the new site does not include a public pool.

The refurbished Dun Laoghaire Baths include the existing Baths Pavilion for use as artist workspaces, a gallery café and for the provision of public toilet facilities. 

Work finally got underway at Dún Laoghaire on the €9 million redevelopments of the old Dún Laoghaire Baths site in June 2018 under a contract with SIAC-Mantovani.

The works have removed dilapidated structures to the rear of the Pavilion to permit the creation of a new route and landscaping that will connect the walkway at Newtownsmith to both the East Pier and the Peoples Park. 

Original saltwater pools have been filled in and new enhanced facilities for swimming and greater access to the water’s edge by means of a short jetty have also been provided.

The works included the delivery of rock armour to protect the new buildings from storm damage especially during easterly gales. 

It hasn't all been plain sailing during the construction phase with plastic fibres used in construction washing into the sea in November 2018

Work continues on the project in Spring 2020 with the new pier structure clearly visible from the shoreline.

A plinth at the end of the pier will be used to mount a statue of Roger Casement, a former Sandycove resident and Irish nationalist.

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