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Part Four in the Heuston Gateway Series


In recent months the Richmond Barracks in Inchicore was given a facelift and restored to its former self. It is now “operational” and had a grand opening for the beginning of the 1916 Commemorations in March.

The Collins Barracks also joined the 1916 Celebrations to add to this year’s memorable Easter Rising commemorations with some changes there as well. Another barracks that are in for some big changes is the Clancy Barracks.

Some history on the Clancy Barracks. The barracks were re-named after Peadar Clancy (1888-1920), an Irish republican and IRA man, in 1942. He served with the Irish Volunteers during the 1916 Easter Rising and was second-in-command for the Dublin Brigade of the Irish Republican Army during the War of Independence.

He was executed on Bloody Sunday in Dublin Castle. Clancy Barracks was formerly known as Islandbridge Barracks, because of its close proximity to Islandbridge Bridge, and was originally built in 1857.

It is situated on the south bank of the river Liffey, forming a part of the Heuston Gateway. The Barracks were in use during the Crimean War, the Boer War, World War I and the 1916 Rising.

Clancy Barracks was one of six barracks’ that were put up for sale in 1998. Dublin Corporation took great interest in the property for the intend to build a housing or commercial development.

In 1999, the 6th of July, Dublin Corporation rezoned the property to a Z1 site – ‘to protect, to provide and improve residential amenities’. Dublin Corporation wanted the Barracks site for affordable and social housing, and viewed the site on three occasions in 1999 for these purposes.

There were some architectural problems with the listed buildings, but besides these problems the property was valued at £40 million pounds. On the 7th of July 2000 the Corporation decided against the redevelopment of the site, stating that it was not a site that can be developed for social housing and advised the Department of Defence to sell the property on the open market instead and that it would be a better idea to offer it to a private developer for mix development.

The barracks site is 13.65 acres big and was put up for tender by agents Hamilton Osbourne King. In 2007 Bank of Scotland entered a joint venture with Impala Limited to develop the the Clancy site.

The development was estimated to cost €230m. Property developer David Kennedy was employed by Impala Limited to develop the  Clancy Quay. Clancy Quay is to provide over 700 homes, cafes, pubs, restaurants, a medical centre, a hotel, a creche and a gym.

Phase one was started in 2007. “We were very pleased to be in a position to enter this venture with Impala Ltd.. With continued demand for both residential and office accommodation in Dublin city centre, we saw this deal as an ideal candidate for our joint venture model. Our relationship with David Kennedy is excellent and we recognize that this deal has allowed the bank to co-invest in a very exciting large scale property development,” Claire Carroll an investment Director from the Bank of Scotland commented on their new business venture with the property developer David Kennedy.

David Kennedy in return said: “We were keen to form a partnership with a bank that has a strong knowledge of the property market and also to the growth potential of the city, with a mutual ambition of getting to the finish line on time. Bank of Scotland understood our funding needs and responded quickly with an innovative equity proposal.”

But this lovely relationship they had entered eventually ended up in the “divorce court” when in 2013 David Kennedy was taken to court by Bank of Scotland. Loans amounting to €260 million was forwarded to Mr. Kennedy and the bank wanted this to be repaid.

Mr. Kennedy however said to the court that because they entered a partnership with Bank of Scotland owning 20% of the shares, that he was not really liable to repay the loan.

Clancy Quay is now in Phase Two of its development and  barracks buildings are being refurbished on the south-side of the development, by Kennedy and Wilson. The new development will allow for 95% residential use and 5% commercial use.

It was proposed that a new route on the south bank of the River connecting Victoria Quay to Memorial Gardens and linking Chapelizod and the South Wall at Poolbeg be made.

The part of the route that goes by Clancy Barracks was suggested to become a riverside walk running between the South Circular Road entrance to the arches of the existing rail bridge. A new platform at platform 10 will provide residents at the Clancy Quays easier access with a road leading from the South Circular Road allowing access to each residential block and then continuing on under the tracks to the Heuston Station lands.

The former Ordnance Survey Headquarters, the Officers Mess building and the 1940s three-storey barrack line buildings are among the buildings that are being refurbished and restored for future generations to live in.

This development is something to keep watching, it has beautiful views of the river and the old romantic railway bridge and there is something more nostalgic about a development with this much history to it. Real prime time property.

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