The first residents have been welcomed back to St Mary's Mansions in Dublin's north inner-city after a €23m redevelopment.

A total of 25 previous residents will be moving back in with many of the remaining 55 apartments going to families from the surrounding area.

The housing body Clúid became involved in the project in 2013 and the regeneration has been completed while many others in Dublin are still going through design stages.

Betty Hickey and Lesley Fagan are among those moving in to the new scheme

New Business Director with Clúid Fiona Cormican said early consultation with the original residents had helped the project, which involved adding two floors and building around an existing concrete structure.  

Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien said the scheme will be a model for future regeneration projects, which he wants to see built quickly to the same quality.

Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien

St Mary's Mansions was originally built in the 1940s and the flats did not have bathrooms. Large families in small two-bedroom flats had to wash in a sink.

Two floors had to be added to the complex to provide the same amount of homes conforming to current building standards.

St Mary's Mansions before regeneration
St Mary's Mansions after regeneration

The complex, which is on Sean McDermott Street, became notorious for anti-social activity and drug dealing during the 1980s.

Under a plan worked out in conjunction with Dublin City Council and part funded by the European Investment Bank, construction began in 2017 and was completed within three years despite a strike and Covid-19.

Dublin City Council Assistant Chief Executive Brendan Kenny said it is policy to retain original communities in regeneration projects, but in many other cases families have settled elsewhere and do not wish to move back because of the passage of time.