Turtle Bunbury

Writer and Historian

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An early photo circa 1885 showing tall ships moored outside the Custom House and the horse-drawn tram rumbling down Eden Quay (Photo: The Osman Collection).

From 'Dublin Docklands - An Urban Voyageby Turtle Bunbury (Dublin Docklands Development Authority, 2009).

Custom House Quay was originally the name of the walled riverfront between present day Eden Quay and the Talbot Memorial Bridge. The vista is dominated by James Gandon’s magisterial Custom House, which opened in 1791. This is considered one of the finest architectural structures in Europe, despite extensive damage during the Irish War of Independence. In 1912, the Custom House Quay was officially extended to embrace that part of the North Wall Quay west of the Commons Street. In 1987, the Custom House Docks Development Authority was established to redevelop all the lands between Custom House Quay and Sheriff Street, bordered by Commons Street on the east and the Amiens Street – Memorial Road axis on the west. As such, this chapter embraces the Custom House, George’s Dock, the Inner Dock, the chq Building, the Harbour Master, the International Finances Services Centre and, by dint of proximity, Connolly Station and the Great Northern Railway. For older generations, the Quay is also synonymous with the Guinness barges that moored here until the construction of the Talbot Memorial Bridge in 1978, which closed off river access to the Custom House.


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