All eyes are on McDonagh Tower in Ballymun as it is reduced to rubble by a controlled explosion.

Thousands of people gather to witness the demolition of McDonagh Tower, a 15-storey block of flats in Ballymun, north Dublin. Nine blocks have been demolished to date, but McDonagh is one of two brought down by a controlled explosion.

Oscar McAuley the great-great-grandson of Thomas McDonagh, one of one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising after whom the tower was named, presses the detonator. There are cheers as the 42 metre, 8,500-tonne building collapses, covering spectators in a cloud of dust.

The demolition is part of the regeneration of the area. Managing director of Ballymun Regeneration Ciaran Murray, says the physical regeneration is a phased programme of works over a 12 year time frame and it is 50% complete.

The 90 families who lived in McDonagh Tower have already moved into their new homes in the area. Some of those present at the demolition are nostalgic for times past,

It just looked like New York to me and I think it felt like that.

One woman thinks the demolition is the right thing for Ballymun and her sentiment is echoed by a man who says,

I'm happy for it coming down, you know what I mean, it’s a new lease of life for Ballymun, you know what I mean, and the people of Ballymun like.

Another woman will miss McDonagh Tower,

I’m sad to see it go because cause there was many happy memories there.

The 27 remaining towers will be demolished over next five years, making way for 5,000 new homes in the Ballymun area.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 5 June 2005. The reporter is Samantha Libreri.