Dublin City Council has abandoned plans to try to bring a Dublin square which was bought by a private developer into public ownership.

The council had considered using a compulsory purchase order to acquire Dartmouth Square in Dublin 6, but now says the process could expose the council to a substantial and 'financially prohibitive' award.

The square, which is surrounded by period houses, was bought by Athlone businessman Noel O'Gara, who said he wished to develop it.

The council says it is amenable to further negotiations with Mr O'Gara to arrive at what it calls a reasonable settlement in order to keep the park open to the public.