Saturday, February 22, 2014

Flow Gently, Sweet Little Dargle

The Dargle's famed waterfall is not to be replicated on the Little Dargle
The Dargle flows out of the Wicklow Mountains and tumbles down the red-hued rocks on its way to the sea. At the Powerscourt Waterfall it cascades fromt he heights, one of Ireland's natural wonders and a local tourist attraction.

Who could blame Adam Clayton for wanting to replicate it, in small form, on his 44 acre estate?

The U2 bassist purchased Danesmoate Estate back in 1987, when the band was enjoying success. He fell in love with the place when the group was recording 'The Joshua Tree' album there, and if you have the cash and a dream, why not realize it?

Like any older home (as in built in the 1700's old), there were improvements and repairs to be made. This being a protected home, the repairs and renovations had to be done in a manner that preserved the structure and the grounds. Such residences are best held by those with a desire to preserve history rather than make their own, because every little thing you do requires planning permission and such permission is hard to come by.

As Mr. Clayton discovered recently.

The Little Dargle River runs through his estate, the flow tamed by the presence of three weirs. Clearly these are man-made structures, but as it turns out, mandmade structures fall under the guidance of the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. The Council determined that the weirs are part and parcel of the history of the place, and as such, cannot be removed.

Mr. Clayton wanted to turn those three weirs into a proper waterfall, which may very well have been how the Little Dargle was flowing when workmen first arrived at the spot to construct the house at Danesmoate. That, however, is not the part of the land's history that the Council is keen to save. If Mr. Clayton came along seeking a permit to raze the home and restore the acreage to its original form, he would be turned down as well.

Flow gently, sweer Little Dargle, tumbling over the weirs installed by the hand of man. The river was modified once and cannot be modified again because Danesmoate house and the surrounding grounds are part of Ireland's heritage, from the days of the Protestant Ascendancy, and like a museum exhibit it shall not be altered.

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