The Silver Bridge also known as the Guinness or Farmleigh Bridge spanning the river Liffey from the south side fields of Waterstown Park in Palmerstown to the north side tunnel connecting to Farmleigh estate in Castleknock. It is a single ironclad span of roughly 52 metres also known as a box truss bridge. It was built between 1872 and 1880.
Edward Cecil Guinness built the bridge in order to supply electricity for his new home in Farmleigh house. The Guinness Family lived on the Farmleigh estate, but many of their workers lived on the south side of the Liffey in Palmerstown. The bridge served many functions from bringing water to Farmleigh Clock tower and hydro-electricity generated from the 17 mills based along the river Liffey and access for workers on the estate. The Granite structure on one end serves as an entrance to the tunnel connecting to Farmleigh estate. Today
the bridge is in disrepair and rusting and in need of maintenance to bring it back to its original grandeur. The
tunnel connecting to Farmleigh estate has since collapsed in. The bridge is currently in the ownership of Fingal County Council. The strip of land on the south side is in private ownership.
Why rebuild/repair the bridge? There are a number of reasons
why it should be repaired. It’s part of Irish heritage and it would be a shame to let it fall into the Liffey one day as the rivets on the lattice structure will need to be replaced as is practice in these structures around the world. It could serve as an access point for pedestrians to the Phoenix Park from Lucan and Palmerstown residents. It could also be used as an alternative route as part of the Liffey greenway plan. Greenways are part of the governments commitment to National transport plan. Similar successful greenway projects include the great western Greenaway in Co Mayo. It would open access to both parks
along the Liffey and increase community usage via cycling, walking and running and combat the growing problem of obesity and improve mental health by building
resilience via positive pursuits. These are the many challenges covered in the Healthy Ireland framework document from the Dept. of Health. It could also combat the traffic congestion and pollution and provide a commuter access point along the Liffey valley region from as far as Lexlip for cyclists to cycle
along the Liffey valley away from major roads and commute into the city and cross over at Waterstown park over the silver bridge into the Phoenix park and cycle along chesterfield avenue into Parkgate street. During the day it could
act as a tourist route and bring money into local business in the Palmerstown and Lucan areas. It would create better community interaction in the area and make Waterstown park a vibrant place.