Dublin's iconic Poolbeg Towers could soon be replaced by an altogether more intriguing sight – a massive harp. Twenty-six-year-old Trinity College student Brian Manners has submitted proposals to various political and architectural lobby groups, and has received positive responses from the chief executive of Tourism Ireland, as well as TDs Ruairí Quinn and Olivia Mitchell.
"The Poolbeg Towers are due for major redevelopment, and it has been suggested that it will become an area of commercial interest and that the city will be expanded out towards that area," he said.
"With this in mind, I have created a proposal to build a massive harp where the towers are.
"I have received positive responses from various politicians and groups and hope this will gain more support. The plans so far show that it would be like the Eiffel Tower in that you will be able to go to the top. There will be harp music playing and laser lights also to create the world's biggest musical instrument."
Manners said there was no definitively recognised icon of Ireland, despite the construction of landmarks such as the Spire and the new Grand Canal Theatre.
"We have failed to create a striking icon for our country along the lines of the Eiffel Tower, Sydney Opera House or the Statue of Liberty. In order to have an awe-inspiring effect, the harp should be of similar height to the Poolbeg Towers," he said.
Manners suggested a property developer should come forward to fund the project. He added he would continue to lobby government ministers and tourism boards and hoped to have garnered enough support for the project to get it off the ground by next year.
"I think this is a fantastic idea which should be taken seriously. It would be an excellent landmark and would offer magnificent views of the bay and of Dublin. Perhaps in time it could even turn into a place where musicians all over the world can congregate," he said.