Pedestrian cycle bridge proposed for National War Memorial Garden

By Maurice Garvey

A NEW pedestrian/cycle bridge is being proposed to link the Irish National War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge with Chapelizod Road.

The bridge will extend from a temple in the memorial garden to land on the north bank of the River Liffey between Islandbridge weir and UCD Boat Club. 

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An aerial view of the National War memorial Gardens

According to a report by Dublin City Council, the proposal will span the River Liffey and connect to an existing cycleway.

It also includes provision for an open plaza linking the entrance and bridge and a new entrance at Chapelizod Road.

Details of the report are contained in a proposed draft variation of the Dublin City Council Development Plan 2016-22.

The gardens were designed by Sir Edwin Luytens and constructed between 1933 and 1939 under the supervision of TJ Byrne and the Office of Public Works (OPW).

Luytens original design for the gardens included a three-arch bridge spanning the Liffey and aligning with Chapelizod Road and further on to Phoenix Park but this was postponed due to a lack of funding.

It has been the OPW’s intention to complete the ‘last remaining element’ of the INWMG with a commemorative bridge linking the north and south of the Liffey.

War Memorial Bridge winning design compressor

An artist impression of the bridge

One objective of the bridge will be to improve public awareness of the gardens and facilitate links with other historic trails in the area.

In 2018, the Royal Institute Architects Ireland (RIAI) and OPW hosted a competition for the bridge.

The winning design by London-based Ian Ritchie Architects, was described by judges as an “elegant way of stepping from one side of the Liffey to the other” on a “slender blade of stainless steel.”

If and when it is approved, the bridge will be subject to a separate planning application process.

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