‘Touching tribute’ to name red bridge after Jim Lawlor

By Mary Dennehy

THE community connections that Jim Lawlor helped build over the decades will stretch on into the future, after a proposal for the red bridge spanning the Dodder to be named in his memory was passed, reports Mary Dennehy.

A familiar face about the place, Jim dedicated decades to Tallaght, supporting his hometown and all those who live here with his trademark positivity and kindness.

Jim Lawlor 1

The late Jim Lawlor

In honour of Jim and his years of volunteering and activism, there was unanimous support this week for the red pedestrian and cycle bridge spanning the Dodder to be named in honour of the Tallaght Community Council (TCC) founding member.

At Monday’s monthly virtual meeting of South Dublin County Council, a recommendation by the council’s Infrastructure Naming Committee was put before councillors – and approved.

The recommendation proposed that in memory of Jim Lawlor, and in appreciation of his lifetime of community work for his beloved Tallaght, that the pedestrian and cycle bridge over the River Dodder that links Bawnville and Killininny be named the Jim Lawlor Bridge.

Jim, who spent his whole life living beside the Dodder, passed away peacefully last year at the age of 78. He was being cared for in Peamount Hospital.

Born and reared in Killininny Cottages on the Firhouse Road, Jim and his late wife Mary moved to Seskin View, on the opposite side of the Dodder, to make their own family home.

Dodder Park 027 1

The pedestrian and cycle bridge over the River Dodder linking Bawnville and Killininny will be named the Jim Lawlor Bridge

Jim and Mary had two children Alison and Martin, who both live within minutes of the newly named, Jim Lawlor Bridge.

Speaking with The Echo, Martin said: “The whole family is thrilled and delighted that dad has been recognised for his community work and activism over the years.

“It’s a touching tribute, especially in an area where he grew up and continued to live. He spent his whole life here, and he took great pride in Tallaght and the surrounding area.

“Dad wasn’t one to put himself out there, but I think he would be chuffed and delighted with the tribute too.”

According to Tallaght Community Council (TCC), there is a special connection between Jim’s life and the red bridge.

Speaking after the proposal was passed, Liz Kennedy, Chair of TCC, said: “Jim was so proud of Tallaght – but most particularly Killininny and Old Bawn.

“The pedestrian bridge is a proud Tallaght landmark now and connects the community. Just as Jim always did.

“We are delighted this motion was passed to honour Jim and his huge community contribution in this meaningful and deeply symbolic way.

“We thank the council for approving the proposal and hope it gives comfort to all Jim’s family and many friends.”

TCC consulted with Jim’s family before proposing to name the bridge in Jim’s memory, with councillor Mick Duff bringing the motion forward in late 2020.

According to Cllr Duff, Jim “deserves this honour”.

“He was bedded in the community”, Cllr Duff (Independent) said.

“He has a connection with Killininny and Old Bawn and he deserves this recognition.

“He did an amazing amount of work.”

A founding member of TCC, Jim quietly supported life in Tallaght and the development of the area through a number of avenues, including the Old Bawn Residents’ Association, Tallaght Hospital Action Group, the Patient Forum and more.

According to the council, a design and location will be prepared for a plaque, which will be unveiled by the Mayor at a suitable date.

Cllr Peter Kavanagh was thanked during the meeting for the work he did supporting the naming committee.

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