ESB's Merrion Square period portfolio for €15m

Nos 39-43 Merrion Square a ‘unique offering of scale’ in city’s most sought after location

The sale of a portfolio of five period properties on Dublin's Merrion Square provides investors, developers and occupiers a rare opportunity to secure a significant presence at the heart of the capital's Georgian core and prime central business district.

Numbers 39-43 Merrion Square are being offered to the market by agent Lisney at a guide price of €15 million on behalf of current owner occupier, the Electricity Supply Board (ESB).

All five properties comprise three-bay, four-storey over-basement, mid-terrace buildings with returns of between three and four storeys in height. The accommodation is in excellent condition and includes some very ornate period features that have been retained and restored throughout. All the buildings interconnect at first floor level.

Additionally, numbers 39-41 are interconnected across all the upper floors; numbers 39-40 interconnect at basement level and numbers 42-43 are interconnected at the second and third floors. An elevator located in number 41 Merrion Square services all levels of the building. Separately, a two-storey mews building located to the rear of number 42 Merrion Square is also included in the sale.


All five buildings are listed as protected structures in the 2016-2022 Dublin City Council Development Plan. Numbers 39-41 Merrion Square date from the late 1780s, while numbers 42 and 43 Merrion Square date from the early 1800s.

Number 39's more recent history saw it serving as the home of the British embassy up until February 1972, when it was burned down by demonstrators in the days following the shocking events of Bloody Sunday in Derry. The ESB acquired the building in 1973 and restored it subsequently.

Historical significance

Number 40 Merrion Square also has a historical significance, having been used as a field hospital during the Easter Rising for wounded combatants on both sides of the fighting by Sir Robert Woods. In the 1990s, the first-floor rooms of the same building were used by director Neil Jordan in the filming of the movie Michael Collins.

The total accommodation at numbers 39-43 extends to 2,792sq m (30,050sq ft) on a net internal area basis, or 4,322sq m (46,520sq ft) on a gross internal area basis. There are 12 car parking spaces provided to the rear, and these are accessed via Stephen’s Lane.

The combined site area is approximately 0.255 hectares (0.63 acres), of which approximately 0.072 hectares (0.18 acres) is zoned Z1 Residential, offering future development potential (subject to planning permission). Permissible uses for the Z1 zoning include residential, education and embassy, while uses open for consideration include hotel.

The guide price of €15 million equates to an attractive €5,373 per sq m (€500 per sq ft) on the net internal area.

Christopher Belton of Lisney says he expects the properties to appeal to a wide variety of investors, owner occupiers and developers. “39-43 Merrion Square is a unique offering of scale in one of Dublin’s best addresses,” he adds.

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Property Editor of The Irish Times