Google has abandoned plans to rent office space in Dublin's Docklands for 2,000 employees. 

The global tech company has confirmed reports that the lease will not now go ahead.

Last October, Google entered into talks to rent the state-of-the-art 'Sorting Office' near Dublin's south quays.

The seven-storey high grade building on the site of the old An Post sorting office at Cardiff Lane was reported to be the future workplace of up to 2,000 of the firm's employees.

However, Google has told RTÉ News that this plan has now been shelved, confirming a report on the Bloomberg wire service that the tech giant will not proceed with the leasing of the space spanning 202,000 square feet.

In July, Google extended its work-from-home policy until the summer of next year, in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The company's decision to abandon plans for the rental space is likely to focus renewed attention on demand for office space in the capital, as many employees continue to work remotely.

In reaction to Google's decision, the Director of Policy at Ibec has said there is a real risk that our cities are decaying.

Fergal O'Brien said that a degree of certainty is needed about when office workers can return to the city as so many businesses rely on them to survive. 

Mr O'Brien told RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne that there is a "massive eco-system" of businesses that relies on offices re-opening.

The longer the uncertainty drags on, the more pressure there is on hospitality and other support services, he stated.

Many small businesses are struggling in Dublin city centre as office workers who support them are gone from the city, he explained.

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He said that it is "premature to signal the end of the office environment" saying that research carried out by Ibec  shows that most office workers do want to come back into the office, at least some of the time. 

While many employees might work between the office work and home, we still need cities as they are a good magnet for talent who do not wish to work remotely, he added. 

Mr O'Brien said that we cannot let winter drag on without a sensible roadmap for people who want to be back at work. 

He accepted that office work will need to be re-imagined and re-purposed for the future, but said that if we leave it too late and cities start to decay it is going to be harder to attract people back to live and work in cities.