Dartmouth Square is located south of the Grand Canal and midway between Ranelagh Road and Upper Leeson Street, Dublin – 2 kilometres south of the city.
Dartmouth Square was built in the 1880’s to fill a demand from middle class families wanted to relocate out of the city centre. It was part of lands owned by the Darley Family.
The Central Park of 2 acres surrounded by four streets fell into decline and was renovated by Dublin City Council in 1987. The council entered a lease for ten years with the Darley Estate but after the ten years they continued to maintain the park without a lease. The council promised to pay Mr. Darely for the square but when he did not receive any funds Mr Darley sold it to a Mr. Noel O’Gara for €10,000 in January 2006. Mr O’Gara subsequently locked the gates and refused entry to the local residents. He tried to operate it as a car park but residents objected.
In February 2006 Dublin City Council issued a Compulsory Purchase Order on the Square in an effort to bring it back into public ownership but they unfortunately never enforced it as they did not want to expose themselves to an expensive legal battle.
In 2007 Mr. O’Gara tried selling tiles from his business in the park and the residents objected saying he did not have any planning permission.
In 2008 the square was designated an artchitectural conservation area limiting the type of development that can take place. Then a year later the park was opened to the local community.
After years of controversy Mr O’Gara’s Marble and Tile company has finally been liquidated and the liquidator has put the square up for auction on the 4th December 2012 with an asking price of €140,000.
It is hoped that Dublin City Council will purchase the square and leave it as an oasis for the public.
~ Ger Gilbride, helping home buyers in South County Dublin to source their ideal home