Future of Dublin square undecided

Monday 16 June 2008 15.23
Dartmouth Square - Council granted Compulsory Purchase Order
Dartmouth Square - Council granted Compulsory Purchase Order

The future of a small piece of land in Dublin is undecided as the city council considers whether to buy it or not.

Dublin City Council says it has not yet decided whether to use a Compulsory Purchase Order which it has been granted for Dartmouth Square in Ranelagh.

The council says it has until Sunday to decide whether or not to use the order, which was issued by An Bord Pleanála, and will not be commenting further on the matter until then.

It follows reports that the council had decided not to use the CPO to buy the property from Athlone-based businessman Noel O'Gara.

Mr O'Gara says the land, which he bought in 2005 for less than €10,000, is worth up to €100m.

He wants to build a multi-storey car park on the site, and has previously restricted access to the park, and tried to operate a tile showroom from there.

Mr O'Gara claims he has been told by council officials that it will not be using the CPO, because of the potential cost of the purchase.

The businessman says he now intends appealing a High Court decision from earlier this year, preventing him from using the square for commercial purposes.

Mr O'Gara claims he has a constitutional right to use the land for his own purposes.

He would have taken the Supreme Court appeal earlier, but was awaiting the outcome of the Lisbon Treaty Referendum, to see if it had constitutional implications, he said.