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Dublin: 16 °C Sunday 12 July, 2020

Dublin council has 'serious concerns' about plans for the Setanta Centre

The beef baron applied to demolish and redevelop the complex last month.

DUBLIN COUNCIL HAS told beef baron Larry Goodman it has “serious concerns” about his plans to redevelop the Setanta Centre in Dublin city centre.

Goodman is one of Ireland’s richest men with a fortune estimated at more than €800 million. He is the owner of ABP Foods – one of the largest meat processors in Europe.

He acquired the Setanta Centre on Nassau Street in 2003 for a reported price of €85 million and unsuccessfully attempted to offload the site for over €100 million in 2016.

Last month, a firm owned by the businessman filed for planning permission to redevelop the Setanta Centre. The project would involve the demolition of parts of the development and creation of a new eight-storey office block to modernise the 1970s complex.

However in a recent letter to the applicant, Dublin City Council said it has “serious concerns” about Goodman’s plans for the site.

The local authority raised concerns about the height of the proposed development and said it would “likely have a dominant and overbearing impact on adjacent properties and the immediate streetscape”.

A number of complaints about the plans for the building have been lodged with the council by nearby property owners and businesses, including the Kilkenny Group, which trades in an adjacent unit.

The Kilkenny Group said the new construction of the new office development would have ”serious consequences” on its trading and result in job losses at its flagship store.

In its application, Goodman’s firm said that the Kilkenny store would be undisturbed by the redevelopment.

setanta centre 3 The Setanta Centre Source: Google Maps

The council told Goodman’s firm its planners also had concerns about the impact the redevelopment of the building would have on the Irish retailer.

“The current design may impact and weaken the visual presence of the Kilkenny shop, an established and significant part of the retail and tourism experience of this area. This is not considered acceptable and should be reviewed and revised,” the council said.

The local authority added that the developer has not considered how the extensive demolition of the site will impact on local trade in its submission.

Dublin council has asked Goodman to supply the further information about his proposal and to address concerns raised before it can make a final ruling on the application.

The developer has a period of six months to supply the information. If no additional details are supplied, the application will be declared withdrawn.


A further note in the council document also called on Goodman’s company to provide additional information about the removal of an art piece on the site.

The local authority said the developer needs to provide a detailed explanation about how it will remove The Táin mosaic in the courtyard of the development.

The large mural was designed by the late Desmond Kinney in the 1970s and details the events of a battle two millennia ago.

The council wants assurances from the developer about how the art piece will be stored post removal, refurbished and reinstated on the site after construction is completed.

26048243482_00d1b81a61_k The Táin mural Source: Flickr/infomatique

Development details

The Setanta Centre was built in the 1970s and a planning report compiled for Goodman stated the existing buildings on the site “have reached the end of their useful life”.

It was estimated the redevelopment of the Setanta Centre would support over 400 construction jobs and when completed would provide 37,722 sq m of office space.

Goodman’s portfolio of Dublin offices also includes the former Bank of Ireland headquarters on Baggot Street.

He acquired the complex in 2013 for €40 million, roughly a quarter of the price paid for the building in 2008, and has redeveloped it in recent years.

Sign up to our newsletter to receive a regular digest of Fora’s top articles delivered to your inbox.Written by Killian Woods and posted on

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