City Hall: Special Lighting Policy (2021)
City Hall was originally built as the Royal Exchange and was completed in 1779. It was used by the merchants of Dublin as a financial centre until Dublin Corporation bought the building in 1851. Following a programme of alterations, it was re-opened as City Hall in 1852. The building underwent a two-year refurbishment programme in 1998 – 2000 and has now been restored to its former eighteenth century glory. It is one of the most iconic buildings in Dublin City and indeed is recognised internationally.
The building has an external lighting system that, in addition to its use for essential operational lighting (eg security, health and safety etc), allows the building to be lit in a single colour wash (including blackout). Such lighting can not only help highlight the building’s architectural features, but can in turn help Dublin City Council to participate in celebrations and commemorations in the wider community, strengthen public engagement and promote Dublin City, all of which can have a positive reputational impact. However, conversely, inappropriate and over-use of the special lighting facility could adversely affect the reputation of the Dublin City Council.
This special lighting policy sets out the parameters and criteria that must be met for special lighting to be allowed and the process through which applications can be made, considered and, if approved, put into effect. Certain definitions are also contained herein and apply in relation to this policy.
Special Lighting Criteria
The Protocol Committee may agree to light City Hall for occasions that are significant in the wider community. The occasions on which the Protocol Committee will light City Hall will include:
- International Women’s Day, 8th March – Purple
- Saint Patrick’s Day, 17th March – Green
- Holocaust Memorial Day, 27th January Day - Purple
- Republic Day, 24th April - Green
- May Day, 1st May - Red
- Europe Day, 9th May - Blue
- Human Rights Day, 10th December – Blue
The Protocol Committee may grant permission for special lighting in connection with other occasions, if the requests originates from the following:
- A registered charity, or a public-sector or a community or other non-profit making organisation.
- Elected Members of Dublin City Council.
- The Lord Mayor
Individuals and commercial organisations may not apply for special lighting.
The number of special lighting events will be limited to 12 in a calendar year although the Protocol Committee may vary this at its discretion.
Approval for special lighting will be considered only when such lighting is in connection with one or more of the following:
- In support of a charitable cause
- An event of exceptional local, national or international significance and/or achievement.
- An event of constitutional or democratic significance.
- A significant anniversary of a significant local, national or international event.
- An event that is considered as being of significant benefit to Dublin City from a promotional, reputational or engagement perspective.
- An event being held in City Hall but only where this also meets one of the above criteria at 1 to 5 in this paragraph.
Requests for special lighting will not be approved where such lighting is:
- Linked to business that is currently before the City Council, unless otherwise deemed appropriate by the Protocol Committee; and/or
- Linked to a party political issue, or a campaigning issue that is novel, contentious or politically sensitive, unless otherwise deemed appropriate by the Protocol Committee; and/or
- Obviously contentious and risks reputational damage to the City Council; and/or
- Generates a commercial advantage; and/or
- Is not in keeping with the purpose and dignity of the building.
- Requests for special lighting should be made directly to the Chief Executive’s Office and should contain all relevant information. The request must be received by the Chief Executive’s Office no later than six weeks before the date(s) on which special lighting is being sought. Requests should be sent to the following email: [email protected]
- Each request will be evaluated by the Chief Executive’s Office, who will consider whether it meets the requirements of this policy.
- Valid requests will be brought to the next meeting of the Protocol Committee for decision. Approval for a special lighting request will be based on a simple majority of those members in attendance.
- Once a decision has been made, the requestor will be advised as soon as possible thereafter. Where approval for special lighting has been given, the necessary arrangements will be put in place.
The Protocol Committee may, at its absolute discretion and with or without notice, cancel any approved requests for special lighting
This policy excludes requests of special lighting in regards to the Mansion House. The approval of such requests will be at the discretion of the incumbent Lord Mayor. However, such requests should be viewed in light of this policy.
This policy will apply equally to the Civic Offices on Wood Quay and other Civic and administrative buildings of Dublin City Council. However, in such circumstances the decision to approve a request will lie with the Executive.
This policy does not apply to Dublin City Council organised events and promotional activities.