Dublin imports “cheap” Chinese granite

Cheap granite is “downright embarrassing” to Dublin – An Taisce

Hey, let’s face it, the world is going to hell-in-a-handbasket. When the city if Dublin, Ireland has to import paving granite from China to fix/repair/replace walkways in downtown Dublin it’s absolutely crazy. It’s crazy!!!

Isn’t there any suitable granite in Ireland?

All the way from China, are you kidding?

And what about the footprint thing-the carbon footprint, of bringing granite all the way around the world? For a sidewalk, or sidewalks.

before of the sidewalk

Look at that

On how many levels, seen and unseen is that “downright embarrassing” and it is embarrassing. Dublin is a great city and it’s worth a visit(I know), just look.

Not even remotely close in shape, size, texture nor color.

Heck I could probably do an entire post about the workmanship, but that’s another story and most “downright embarrassing” enough on it’s own(for a fun read go to the link at the end of this article and then go to the comments section).

Yes there are granite quarries in Ireland –

Ireland Quarry

Look, a quarry in Ireland.

I think what got me going on this story is that I’ve spent some time in Ireland, with it’s people and it’s stone. The Irish are great and their country has stone everywhere, and I mean everywhere. The art and craft of  Irish stonemasonry is prevalent everywhere, the work is inspiring, strong, beautiful and well crafted.

So it’s very shocking to see this story on so many levels. I wonder what Patrick McAfee would say if he were to gaze upon that sidewalk and learn the source of that stone, I wonder.

The story from The Journal(Irish) in it’s entirety –

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has said that it could only use cheaper imported granite  to fix footpaths in the capital because native stone was too expensive.

The council was responding to criticism from a letter sent by the national heritage board, An Taisce, which described the use of Chinese white granite as “downright embarrassing” for a city like Dublin.

Kevin Duff of An Taisce, who penned the letter, said that the cheaper stone “looks terrible” and, for him, represents a loss of quality within the council.

A before and after view of a footpath on Molesworth Street in Dublin, showing the use of Chinese granite in the second picture (pics courtesy of Kevin Duff)

“It looks absolutely terrible and is not something that you would see in other European cities.

It is a terrible drop in standards in a city that is trying to trade on its historic reputation.

“What we’re trying to do is ensure the heritage of the city is preserved.”

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council said that the use of cheaper granite came about because of Department of Finance procurement rules.

“Dublin City Council has to adhere to the Department of Finance guidelines on procurement and it is only recently that Leinster granite became available at competitive prices. The Roads and Traffic Department are committed, where possible, to the use of Leinster Granite for the maintenance of areas of antique granite.”

via Cheap granite is “downright embarrassing” to Dublin – An Taisce.

Addendum —

For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve also been to China, and in no way wish to bash the Chinese here.

Yes, I understand the labor practices in China are somewhat dubious, at the least, and this would bear greatly on the actual cost of the stone. Even then, to ship around the world and have it be that much cheaper than native granite is astounding to me.

Pricing aside, at some point we have to look at the use of native materials and the responsibility to do work the is aesthetically correct and pleasing. I cannot emphasis this strongly enough . . .

Pride, what happened to pride in our workmanship, and our honesty to the site we are working?

The place, the history, the genius loci, the materials, the responsibility to the future. All these matter, and yet none of that mattered above.

To me that is “downright embarrassing.”

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.

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