Phone boxes to be phased out in ‘end of an era’

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Digital Desk staff

The phasing out of phone boxes around Ireland has been described as “the end of an era”.

The staple of bygone days – before mobile phones were invented and most households had their own landline – are now set to disappear from many Irish towns by next year, according to the Irish Examiner.

Eir will no longer be required to operate public payphones under a universal service obligation which runs out at the end of this year, after telecom regulator ComReg recommended they were no longer necessary due to low usage levels.

456 phone boxes currently remain around the country, down from 1,300 in 2014 – some restored by Paul Murphy, who is also known as the “Phone Box Man”.

The Irish phone box is iconic... that was a specific image in Father Ted that we’ll all remember, the milk man in the phone box making a phone call about the bomb on the milk truck.

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Mr Murphy said the payphones will leave a lasting legacy: “Growing up in the 70s, the phone boxes were a big part of the community.

“A lot of families didn’t have phones in the houses so you had to go down and make a phone call, down in the local phone box.”

“The Irish phone box is iconic... that was a specific image in Father Ted that we’ll all remember, the milk man in the phone box making a phone call about the bomb on the milk truck.”

Mr Murphy first restored an old phone box four years ago, after working for more than 30 years in security.

“There was one for sale in Meath, I think, I spotted it on DoneDeal," he said.

“Because I suppose it had memories for me in my childhood so I bought it and did it up and spent a couple of months and it was good therapy for me.”

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