Perhaps it was ‘the luck of the Irish’ that top planning lawyer Daniel Drukarz paid a tourist visit to Ireland’s cramped Jewish Museum in the middle of a planning dispute, but it was hard work, preparation and teamwork that saw that the problem solved.
That’s the story after the museum and Daniel’s London-based firm ALO worked together to successfully oppose an appeal to the Irish Planning Board last week. It paved the way for the museum to expand in Dublin.
“This is an important and exciting community project that has been years in the making,” said Drukarz. “The Board came to the right decision for a project that is important for all the communities in Dublin.”
The existing Museum had outgrown its outdated premises in the Portobello area of Dublin, where the Jewish community first laid down its roots in the city more than a 100 years ago, when a small synagogue was established on the site as early as 1912.
Many artefacts have not been displayed properly due to lack of space, and numerous items are being stored off-site, so the museum sought permission to expand. The initiative had the support of the present Taoiseach Enda Kenny, as well as that of former Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, who arranged for the state architects of the office of public works to prepare the plans.
“The expansion plans were carefully drawn up to ensure that the amenity of neighbouring residents would be preserved,” explained Drukarz. But despite this, a local appeal was launched, with dozens of objectors appearing before a three-day hearing, before the decision finally went the museum’s way.
Museum trustee Edwin Alkin thanked his lucky stars for that summer visitor, saying: “We put our trust in Daniel and his team, a decision that has now been entirely vindicated.”