A developer has issued a threat of legal action against Dublin City Council over its plans to repossess the Victorian-style Iveagh Market in the south city.

The council had given Martin Keane until today to surrender possession and had been planning to change locks on the building tomorrow.

But in a letter to councillors, assistant chief executive Richard Shakespeare said the council is considering "legal correspondence" received from Mr Keane.

Councillor Tina McVeigh of Solidarity/People Before Profit has urged the council to go ahead and repossess the building.

"This is going only one place and that is a lengthy legal battle. And the situation with the dereliction in the building is getting worse day-by-day," she said

She has again called on Mr Keane to do "the honourable thing" and allow the building to be given back to the council so they can develop it.

The developer has had possession of the Iveagh Market for nearly 20 years but has failed to raise finance for his plan for a €90 million development similar to London's Covent Garden.

The original Victorian style market opened in 1906.