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Leah Farrell/
Dublin heritage

Work to begin on preserving Iveagh Markets roof after years-long wait

The once-lively indoor marketplace in Dublin 8 has been left vacant.

WORK IS SET to begin on restoring the roof of the Iveagh Markets in Dublin under new directions from Dublin City Council.

The once-lively indoor marketplace in Dublin 8 has been left vacant and in a run-down condition for years, with a recent ownership dispute further complicating efforts to restore the site.

Dublin city councillors have been informed that work to preserve the roof of the market are now to commence imminently after a mediation process between the parties ended without a resolution.

Deputy Chief Executive Richard Shakespeare told councillors that the Council executive has directed the “immediate commencement” of preservation works to protect in such a way as to make it not likely to cause a danger to any person or property.

He said that the council will seek funding for the project from the government as there is no provision in the council’s Capital Programme 2023-2025 to cover the works, which are expected to cost €12 million.

The site has been the subject of an ongoing legal dispute between several parties, including developer Martin Keane, Lord Iveagh, and Dublin City Council.

The marketplace was built in the early 1900s and housed traders for decades under a lease agreement between the Guinness family and Dublin Corporation, but has been left derelict for the last 20 years.

In the mid 1990s, Dublin City Council said it was seeking a developer to redevelop the site.

Businessman Martin Keane was granted planning permission for a redevelopment in 2007 after agreeing a 500-year leasehold with the council in 1997.

The council later that it planned to repossess the building as two separate planning permissions had lapsed and Keane failed to raise finance for development.

The council refused a third planning application by Keane on the basis that he was not the legal owner, and he launched a High Court case.

The Guinness family became involved in December 2020, invoking a clause in the original Deed of Conveyance from 1906 which stated that the market would revert to the Guinness family if it was not developed as a market, while Keane challenged the Guinness family’s claim to the property.

The Guinness family took back possession of the site in 2020 and a team carried out initial work to secure the venue and remove debris. However, the ownership dispute delayed any more extensive renovation from taking place.

People Before Profit TD Brid Smith TD called on Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonon to provide funding for remedial and protective works.

“The people of the Liberties have been clear that the Iveagh Markets cannot be allowed to rot and that Dublin City Council has a clear obligation to protect it,” Smith said in a statement.

“It is fantastic news that work can now begin. I will be demanding that Minister Malcolm Noonan follows through immediately on promises that money would be found to facilitate remedial and protective works on the structure.”

She added that People Before Profit councillors on Dublin City Council intend to seek the drawing up of a conservation plan and consultation with the community about the future of the markets.

Additional reporting by Tadgh McNally

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