Liberty Hall

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For other places with the same name, see Liberty Hall (disambiguation).
Liberty Hall SIPTU Headquarters.

Liberty Hall (Irish: Halla na Saoirse), in Dublin, Ireland is the headquarters of the Services, Industrial, Professional, and Technical Union (SIPTU). It was formerly the tallest storeyed building in the state at 59.4 m (195 feet) high[1] (until superseded by the County Hall outside Cork city, which was, itself, superseded by The Elysian, also located in Cork), and is currently the third tallest in Dublin after Montevetro and the Millennium Tower in Grand Canal Dock. It is more historically significant in its earlier form, as the headquarters of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union early in the 20th century, and as that of the Irish Citizen Army (ICA).


Members of the Irish Citizen Army outside the original Liberty Hall, beneath a banner which reads "We serve neither King nor Kaiser but Ireland"

Standing on Beresford Place and Eden Quay, near the Custom House, the original Liberty Hall used to be a hotel before becoming James Connolly's personal fortress in Dublin. Following the outbreak of World War I a banner reading "We serve neither King nor Kaiser but Ireland" was hung on its front wall, and within was printed the newspaper The Irish Worker. The newspaper was shut down by the British Government for sedition as outlined in the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA). It was replaced for a short time by a paper called The Worker until that was also banned, and in 1915 the Workers' Republic was edited by Connolly until the Rising in 1916.

Liberty Hall, Dublin's third tallest storeyed building, stands in the background, in the foreground is the Ha'penny Bridge.

Prior to the Easter Rising of 1916, Liberty Hall acted as a munitions factory, wherein bombs and bayonets were made for the impending rebellion. It was on the street in front of the building that the leaders of the rising assembled before their march to the General Post Office on Easter Monday. They left the building vacant throughout Easter Week, a fact unknown to the British authorities, who chose the building as the first to be shelled. It was completely levelled by British artillery during the Rising, however was faithfully restored after the rebellion. In the late 1950s however, the Liberty Hall was declared unsafe and promptly demolished.

Liberty Hall under construction.

The current building was constructed between 1961 and 1965. At 16 storeys, the structure was originally built with non-reflective glass, however a 1972 UVF car bomb explosion led to this being replaced with a reflective variety, as most of the original windows had been destroyed in the attack. This is said to have reduced the aesthetic appearance of the building. The viewing platform, which had only recently opened, was also closed.

On 19 October 2006, it was announced that SIPTU were seeking planning permission to demolish Liberty Hall and build a new headquarters in the same location.[2] A newspaper article from October 2007 says that SIPTU had selected a shortlist of architects to design the new building, with plans to demolish the current building in 2009. The successor was planned to be complete within 18 months.[3][4] In January 2008 Dublin based architects Gilroy MacMahon, who designed the new Croke Park stands, were chosen to design the new Liberty Hall [5]

In February 2012, SIPTU were granted planning permission by Dublin City Council to demolish the present structure and build a 22-storey replacement with a height of approximately 100 metres. The new building would have included office space, a theatre and heritage centre.[6][7] However, in November 2012 the planning permission was overturned by An Bord Pleanála,[8] which ruled unanimously that the new building would be "unacceptably dominant in the city".[8]

Liberty Hall was the subject of a documentary that aired on RTÉ One in May 2009.[9]


  1. ^ Height reference
  2. ^ SIPTU proposal
  3. ^ SIPTU proposal(2)
  4. ^ SIPTU proposal (3)
  5. ^ Architects
  6. ^ "New 22-storey Liberty Hall plan gets go-ahead". Irish Times. 25 February 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "New Liberty Hall to climb higher into the capital sky". Irish Independent. 25 February 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "An Bord Pleanála refuses permission for new 23-storey Liberty Hall". 16 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  9. ^ Liberty Hall documentary

Coordinates: 53°20′54″N 6°15′19″W / 53.34833°N 6.25528°W / 53.34833; -6.25528