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Happy 200th Birthday Halfpenny Bridge

Halfpenny Bridge Dublin City banner for slua.com

The Halfpenny Bridge, pronounced Haypenny Bridge by Dubliners is 200 years old today. It’s official name is The Liffey Bridge but that title is only used by tourists looking for directions. The bridge is to get the red carpet treatment later on today.

It was originally named The Wellington Bridge and a toll of a halfpenny was charged to cross the River Liffey in safety. Prior to the building of the pedestrian bridge the alternative was to use the slippery steps down to the risky ferry service then face the mossy steps again on the other bank.

The toll fare of a halfpenny ( half an old English penny ) matched the price of the one way ferry crossing. The ferry service was discontinued when the foot bridge opened. A lucrative agreement was arrived at with the ferry owner who happened to be a member of the city corporation. He was granted a 100 year lease on the bridge and some say £3000 compensation for the closure of his ferry business. Others say the bridge cost £3000 and the toll was levied on Dubliners to recover the building costs.

I am sure it is all recorded in the city archive. Google the “The Halfpenny Bridge, Dublin” for the facts.

4 comments to Happy 200th Birthday Halfpenny Bridge

  • Mary Kinsella

    Back in the early 60s my mother had to drag us across the Halfpenny Bridge at Christmas time on our way to Henry Street and Moore Street. You could see the Liffey through the gaps in the boards. In the night there was only a dull bulb in the middle of the bridge and my auntie got one of her high heels caught in a hole on the way to the Adelphi cinema with her boyfriend. He had to break it off and she had to hop all the way to the pictures and home again on the 77.

  • MrM MrM

    Thanks for the memories Mary.

  • Gary Murray

    Do you have the full photo? If that is the case can you email it to me. It is for private use only. It looks like it was taken about 10 or 12 years ago.

    • MrM MrM

      Yes Gary I have the original. It is only a few years old. It features the renovated bridge, painted white with the toll booth railings removed and replaced by granite supports. I can email it to you or share it on Dropbox.

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