Council investigates new use of Dublin squareMonday 05 March 2007 19.55
Dublin City Council is investigating whether a breach of planning regulations has taken place at the controversial Dartmouth Square in Ranelagh, following the opening of a portable tiles showroom on the site.
Businessman Noel O'Gara, who claims he is the owner of the square, opened the showroom today.
The Council says it is considering its response to Mr O'Gara's latest use of the square, up to and including legal action, depending on the outcome of the investigations by its enforcement officers.
A long dispute began last year after Mr O’Gara tried to turn the square, which has been traditionally used as a public amenity, into a car park.
Dublin City Council obtained an injunction against the car park and secured a compulsory purchase order.
But the purchase has not yet happened because of disagreement over the value of the land - the Council has offered Mr O'Gara €100,000, but he says his valuers have advised him that the land is worth €175m and 'it would cost €100,000 just to paint the railings'.
This afternoon members of the public can buy slabs of imported granite in the square from Mr O'Gara's business.
Residents in houses around the square are incensed and say the use of the square as a tiles showroom is irregular.