The Ha’penny bridge is a familiar sight to many Dubliners, having stood since 1816 and provides crossing to above 30,000 people a day.
The bridge, originally called the Wellington Bridge, but also called the Liffey Bridge replaced a ferry service run by William Walsh. Before construction, Walsh ran a ferry company which provided passage to those seeking to cross the river. He was told to either upgrade his ships, or build a bridge. He chose the later and was awarded a 100 license to collect tolls from pedestrians crossing. The far, a half penny (ha’penny) was the same price as the original ferry tickets. Each side of the bridge had a turnstiles, to prevent anyone sneaking a free trip.
Using ore from Co. Leitrim, the metal for the bridge was cast in Shropshire, England. It was shipped in 18 pieces for assembly in Dublin. In 2001 the bridge was given a renovation by workers from Harland and Wolff, the Belfast ship builders.
In 1999, a new pedestrian bridge, the Millennium Bridge, was built near the Ha’penny bridge, ending it’s title as the only pedestrian bridge in Dublin.