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New twist in battle of the Goatstown funeral homes

Fanagans Funeral Directors lodges planning application for funeral home in Goatstown, weeks after Massey Bros confirmed it will open 10th branch beside The Goat Bar and Grill

Massey Bros are to open its 10th funeral home in Dublin in a unit beside the Goat Bar and Grill in Goatstown. Photograph: Laura Hutton

The battle between two Dublin family-owned funeral companies in the south city suburb of Goatstown has taken a fresh turn.

Fanagans Funeral Directors has lodged a planning application with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council for a new funeral home at 6 Willowfield Park, Goatstown, Dublin 14.

The move by Fanagans comes just weeks after Massey Bros confirmed that it was to open its 10th branch in Dublin beside publican Charlie Chawke’s The Goat Bar and Grill in Goatstown. Mr Chawke had initially applied for the planning permission, which was granted by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Council.

Fanagans had objected to Mr Chawke’s funeral home planning application, claiming there was no local need for an additional funeral home in the area. However, Fanagans’ new application, if it gets the green light, will result in two new funeral homes for the area.


Fanagans opted not to appeal Mr Chawke’s permission to An Bord Pleanála, which could have delayed the project for up to one year due to the current backlog at the appeals board.

Susan Guinan, managing director of Massey Bros, confirmed that it “has no plans to lodge an objection against Fanagans’ application for a new funeral home”.

“We believe that healthy competition is beneficial, ensuring that families have access to a range of services that can accommodate their needs and preferences,” she said. “We welcome the opportunity to offer our services alongside other providers in the area and believe that the community will benefit from having multiple options.”

In the planning application, Fanagans is seeking a change of use to funeral home at 6 Willowfield Park, Goatstown.

In an 11-page planning report lodged with the Fanagans planning application, Manahan Planners said the proposed change of use to funeral home “involves the provision of a vital community service in an appropriate location”.

Manahan Planners said there would be no impacts on the private amenity of adjacent properties and would not result in any traffic congestion.

The planning report said the visiting hours for the funeral home would be minimal and periodic, and the premises would “operate as an adjunct to the applicant’s premises in Dundrum”.

The report went on to say that “the proposal ensures the ongoing viability of a commercial premises in a local centre and provides a much-valued local service to the surrounding residential areas”.

Manahan Planners said the proposal was “a low-intensity one”, and it was expected there “would be no more than two funerals per week”.

Ms Guinan said Massey Bros’s plans for the funeral home in Goatstown were “progressing well”.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times