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IH News 2022

The real Belfast Central Station

We all knew that Belfast Central Station was anything but central and the reopening of Great Victoria Street in 1995 proved that.

The name “Belfast Central” has been consigned to history, however, Translink have decided to name the new bus/rail interchange station at the Europa Bus Centre/Great Victoria Street station as “Belfast Grand Central Station.”

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IH News 2022 Locations

Mayfield House, Portlaw

Portlaw, Co. Waterford, was an industrial town, built by the Malcomson family, local industrialists who developed a cotton mill in the town and were also active in other businesses including shipping and local railways.

Mayfield House was built for the family and later became the offices for Irish Tanners, who had operations in the town and elsewhere (co-incidentally, the father of an uncle by marriage of mine was a senior manager in the company).

The building has been empty since 1994 and has fallen into dereliction. The Irish Examiner reports that it has just been sold at auction for €300,000, with plans to restore it to use as a luxury hotel.

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Locations

Game of Thrones

I can honestly state that I have not watched any of this series, but am aware that sections of the series were filmed in Northern Ireland.

Whilst geo-referencing railway stations for my gazetteer, I noticed that Gracehill Station on the Ballymoney to Ballycastle railway is immediately adjacent to the Dark Hedges of Game of Thrones fame.

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Events

The Guinness Brewery in the Great War

The Dublin Branch of the Western Front Association are holding this event on 23rd April 2022 in the Conference Room, Pearse Street Library, Dublin 2 at 14:00 (doors open 13:30).

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IH News 2022

Dunboy Castle sold again

Dunboy Castle on the Beara Peninsula in Co. Cork was the home of the Puxleys – owners of the copper mines at Allihies.

There was a Celtic Tiger era project to convert the ruined building into a luxury hotel, but this obviously died along with that era.

The Irish Examiner reports that the castle has been sold again and plans to complete the re-development and open the venue as an 84 bed hotel are proposed.

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History

Dolphin’s Barn brickworks

Dublin City Council have an article on their website about the former Dolphin’s Barn brickworks.

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History

Carlisle Bridge, Dublin

RTE have an article on their site about Carlisle Bridge in Dublin – predecessor to O’Connell Bridge.

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Locations

Titanic Hotel, Belfast

I took my first holiday in over 2 years over the weekend with a 4 day trip to Northern Ireland. Starting in Derry, I ended up in Belfast where I spent my final 2 nights in the Titanic Hotel. The Titanic Hotel is built in the former Harland and Wolff office building and the upmarket status it claims is deserved.

In 2007, the IHAI went on a fieldtrip to Belfast and tour participants were privileged to be given access to the site where the Titanic Museum is now, as well as the semi derelict H&W offices. It was nice to be able to see the final product of the latter’s restoration and I wish this venture every success.

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IH News 2022

Belfast Central Station

Opened in 1976 to replace Great Victoria Street and Queen’s Quay, Central Station in Belfast was supposed to spawn a regeneration of the area around East Bridge Street – something that never happened.

Things moved on and the real “central” station – Great Victoria Street – reopened in 1995, along with a new section of railway (the Blythefield curve) to make Great Victoria Street usable as a proper central train station. In recognition of this loss of status, in 2018, the station was renamed “Lanyon Place” and any pretence at centrality was abandoned.

Things move slowly in the public sector – by pure chance, I was passing by Lanyon Place on a train today and happened to see staff taking out the old “Belfast Central” platform signs from a side entrance and loading same into a van.

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Locations

Portrush Station building

The original station building in Portrush, Co. Antrim, is an impressive structure dating from 1892. No longer in railway use (a status it lost in 1974), it has seen various non railway uses since, including as an amusement arcade and a pub/nightclub.

I was in Portrush today and noticed that the building is now occupied by a factory store. I took the opportunity to get inside the building, something I had never had the chance to do previously.