Dublin City Council has defended its decision to place a concrete slab on one of the capital’s most historic streets.

The slab, which is intended as a traffic calming measure, has been built beside City Hall, in front of an entrance to Dublin Castle.

The junction of Castle Street and Cork Hill, which also includes a former bank building, has remained unchanged since the 18th century, and features in a Malton print.

An Taisce has said that the slab was erected without planning permission, and has demanded its removal.

Local councillor and Deputy Lord Mayor Claire Byrne said it was "awful, ugly looking", and said she will support its removal at city council level.

A spokesperson for the city council said the structure is temporary and is intended to prevent cars turning fast up Castle Street from Dame Street and endangering pedestrians.

They said the matter had become more urgent due to the increased traffic during the EU Presidency and it is also planned to put three flag poles on the structure.