Ireland’s tallest tower reopens to public after 47 years

Ireland’s tallest tower has reopened to the public here after 47 years following a bomb attack whose perpetrator has not been officially identified until now. Hundreds of tourists, both local and foreign, were seen coming in from different corners of the city to visit the O’Connell Tower on Saturday, reports Xinhua news agency.

Located in north Dublin, the tower was built in 1855 in the memory of Daniel O’Connell, one of the greatest political figures in the first half of the 19th century in Ireland. O’Connell was known for his fight for equal political and civil rights of Catholics in the country.

Born in 1775, he died in Italy in 1847 while on a pilgrimage. According to his last wishes, O’Connell’s heart was buried in Rome while his remaining body is placed in a coffin at the base of the tower.

Measuring 55 metres in height, the round-shaped tower built with stones is the tallest of its kind in Ireland, which provides a 360 degree view of Dublin and its neighbouring counties of Wicklow and Meath with four windows at the top of the tower, making it once one of the greatest attractions for tourists in the country.

However, in 1971, a huge bomb containing 10 pounds of gelignite hit the base of the tower, causing structural damage and destroying the interior staircase. Though some group claimed responsibility for the bomb attack, it has never been officially confirmed who really conducted the attack.

In 2016, Glasnevin Trust, the largest funeral services provider in Ireland, started work to restore the destroyed staircase that leads to the top of the tower.

Officials with Glasnevin Cemetery said the destroyed staircase has been restored strictly according to what it looked like in the past. Made of wrought iron, the spiral staircase consists of 198 hand-carved wooden steps ascending to the top of the tower with 6 landing platforms.