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U2 recording studio demolished

Published 07/04/2015

U2 fans adding their names to the graffiti on the walls of Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin
U2 fans adding their names to the graffiti on the walls of Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin

The studio where U2 recorded their debut album Boy has been demolished.

Van Morrison is among the other famous acts to have used Windmill Lane in Dublin's docklands premises.

The one-acre site was bought by property investment firm Hibernia REIT last May and it now plans to develop residential, office and retail units.

A spokesman for Hibernia said: " The site was acquired with full planning permission (granted to the previous owners in 2011) for demolition of the existing structures and the construction of a mixed-use office, retail and residential development.

"In recent years the derelict site has become a focal point for anti-social behaviour and graffiti that has spread into adjacent streets. The studio itself has been empty for several years and contained no equipment or fittings to indicate its previous use."

In February Hibernia started work on the site in a development that will form part of a new urban quarter that will extend Dublin's "Silicon Docks" down to the Liffey River which flows through the centre of the city. The demolition process has been gradual.

Part of the structure has been retained, including a wall covered in graffiti from music fans from around the world. Most of the interior has been reduced to rubble.

Boy set U2 on a path which was to lead to international fame.

The multi-platinum-selling rock group made the Joshua Tree album at Windmill Lane. It was released in 1987 and produced hit singles including With Or Without You and Where The Streets Have No Name.

The site has been an essential pilgrimage for U2 fans visiting Dublin.

The spokesman added: "Hibernia is conscious of the historical significance of Windmill Lane and plans to retain a 20-metre stretch of the studio wall."

Options for the retained blocks that are being considered include r ecreating the wall in the atrium of the new Windmill Lane building as a testimony to the building's past, o ffering the wall to Dublin City Council, the band or any other interested party for reconstruction or reuse in an alternative setting, or g iving the wall to a charity so it can auction pieces of it to U2 fans around the world.

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