McEvaddys stick with Dublin Airport terminal plan

Brothers’ company ‘stands ready’ to continue with proposal despite sale bid

Brothers Ulick and Des McEvaddy are poised to continue with their planned third terminal at Dublin Airport despite bidding to sell the land earmarked for the project, it has emerged.

The businessmen and several other landowners jointly put a plot between the airport’s runways up for sale last May, and subsequently said they had several buyers interested in the property. However, their company, DA Terminal 3 Ltd, tells Fingal County Council that it “stands ready” to develop a third passenger facility on the land in a submission by planners acting for the firm.

“To that end the company has appointed consultants, engaged with stakeholders, commenced discussions with adjoining landowners and initiated consultation with the planning authority,” says the filing.

Planners add that the company is committed to talks to the airport’s operator, State-owned Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), the only known bidder for the land, on the best approach to the third terminal proposal, but do not mention the prospect of a sale.


A spokeswoman for Dublin Airport Terminal 3 said the company was “fully committed” to a third terminal. “In respect of this objective it is keeping all of its options open. This includes a likely planning application on land which remains on the market,” she added.

DA Terminal 3′s submission, made by planning consultants CWPA, is a response to DAA’s application to Fingal County Council to expand Dublin Airport. It welcomes the State company’s €1.5 billion proposal. However, it warns the council that DAA should not be allowed to “compromise the optimal and successful development” of airport-zoned land simply because the State company does not own all of that land.

The submission argues that terminal 3 “is a viable alternative and is one open to the DAA to address the immediate and urgent demands of the airport”.

DAA chief executive Kenny Jacobs confirmed in December that its offer for the McEvaddy land, said to be €75 million, remained open.

Ulick McEvaddy dismissed DAA’s offer as derisory last year. Some reports claimed that the brothers, and the site’s co-owners, Seán Fox and Brendan and Orla O’Donoghue, hoped to get up to €210 million for the property.

Mr Jacobs has consistently said that the State company will not pay “crazy money” for the site, and has questioned its suitability for a third terminal, when and if DAA decides to build one.

DAA’s current plan is to expand Dublin’s existing two terminals, as well as adding to aircraft stands and departure gates, allowing it to cater for 40 million passengers annually by the decade’s end.

It has also asked Fingal planners to lift a 32 million limit placed on the number of passengers the airport can handle every year. That cap could drive up air fares for anyone flying out of the airport this year, Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, Dublin’s biggest airline customer, warned earlier this week.

An Bord Pleanála imposed the limit when it originally gave permission to Dublin Airport to build what is now the North Runway. The condition applied from the time the airstrip opened in 2022.

The land controlled by the McEvaddys’ company and the co-owners is not part of the airport complex. It is understood that bidders other than DAA would only agree to buy the site if it got access to the airport’s runways, something it does not currently have.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas