Posted: 21 May 2007
UCD Bids Farewell to the Terrace
In 1964, the opening of the science building at Belfield marked the beginning of University College Dublin’s move from Earlsfort Terrace to its campus at Belfield. The move was prompted by the sheer growth of the university which saw student numbers rise from just below 5,000 in 1960 to over 10,000 by 1970. Today, the UCD student and staff population at Belfield is approaching 30,000.
“There can’t have been laughter every single day. But that’s how I remember it,” says Irish author Maeve Binchy of her time as a student at Earlsfort Terrace.
Almost half a century since the transfer first began, as the last remaining UCD students prepare for the final move from Earlsfort Terrace, UCD hosted a series of events to commemorate 124 years of the university at Earlsfort Terrace.
The events began with a Concert of Music and Literature at the National Concert Hall on 17 May 2007 which included readings from James Joyce, Flann O’Brien, Maeve Binchy and Kate O’Brien, by Joe O’Connor, Tom Kilroy, Marie Heaney and Frank McGuinness, with a special musical performance by John O’Conor.
As part of a series of events to mark UCDs departure from Earlsfort Terrace after 124 years, UCD hosted a Concert of Music and Literature at the National Concert Hall on 17 May 2007. Pictured at the concert - UCD graduate Meave Binchy who was awarded the UCD Foundation Day Medal at the event and her husband Gordon Snell
The following evening, on 18 May 2007 several hundred retired staff who worked at Earlsfort Terrace attended a special Retired Staff Celebration.
Retired UCD staff, Olga McMahon, Mary Brennan and Elizabeth Crowe view the UCD Historical Exhibition at the Retired Staff Celebration (18 May 2007) which was part of the Farewell to the Terrace Commemorations hosted by UCD.
And later the same evening the L&H hosted the L&H Challenge where current members of the L&H debated with former members on the motion of ‘Youth is wasted on the young.’
As part of a series of events to mark UCDs departure from Earlsfort Terrace after 124 years, UCD graduates, Professor Finbarr McAuley, Jean Monnet Associate Professor of European Criminal Justice, UCD School of Law; Ruairi Quinn TD, Labour Party; and Charles Lysaght, Barrister-at-Law, debated with current members of the L&H on the motion 'Youth is wasted on the Young' in the L&H Challenge on 18 May 2007
The next day, 19 May 2007, almost 3,000 students who studied at the Terrace, and their families and friends, attended an afternoon of music, exhibitions, tours and talks at Earlsfort Terrace and Iveagh Gardens.
To complete the series of events a commemorative liturgy was held at University Church, Stephen’s Green, on 20 May 2007.
A photographically illustrated commemorative book, Farewell to the Terrace, based on reminiscences of student days, accounts of academic life and perspectives on the history and architectural heritage of the building was published by the university to mark the occasion.
A special report, Farewell to the Terrace, was issued by the Irish Times (15 May) to mark the occasion of the events.
To coincide with the Farewell to the Terrace series of events, UCD also launched the Terrace Graduates’ Fund to ensure the legacy of the Terrace is preserved for successive generations of students. The Terrace Graduates’ Fund will fund the restoration of the famous and much-loved Kevin Barry memorial window - the cost of preserving this historical artefact is estimated at upwards of €250,000. The Fund will also help to establish hospitality facilities for Terrace graduates as part of the new Gateway Project on the Belfield Campus. UCD intends to recreate the spirit of the Terrace in new surroundings as a tribute to this great era of its history.
The Kevin Barry Window, designed by Richard King, and paid for by students, commemorates a first year UCD medical student who was executed at the age of 18 for his part in the War of Independence. Since its unveiling in 1934, the window has become one of Earlsfort Terrace’s best loved features.
The final move from Earlsfort Terrace into new facilities on the Belfield Campus completes the vision that began over 70 years ago. The Terrace Graduates’ Fund will give UCD the wherewithall to design and plan the Terrace inheritance within the new Gateway complex, the architectural plans for which will be announced in June. The Gateway will create an iconic image of a 21st century UCD, blending the aesthetic with the functional to create facilities for future generations of students.