McKillen Blackrock land swap plan fails to sway sports club

Developer likely to press ahead with plan for controversial Dublin Bay site despite setback

Developer Paddy McKillen jnr is likely to press ahead with plans for a controversial site on Dublin Bay even though a proposed land swap deal, involving the property, with Blackrock Bowling and Tennis Club has fallen through.

His father, Paddy McKillen, bought the 4.9-acre site next to the protected Booterstown Marsh on Dublin Bay’s seafront last autumn for about €1 million, making him the latest in a succession of owners. The property once belonged to Bernard McNamara, who wanted to use it as a helicopter pad.

One of the proposals for the site was that the McKillens would swap it with Blackrock Bowling and Tennis Club for its premises on Green Road in the south Dublin suburb. The club has residential – rather than recreational – zoning, making it potentially attractive to the developer.

However, both sides are now understood to have gone off that idea, which was originally proposed to them by a third party. The bowling club’s board discussed the plan, but does not believe the Booterstown site is suitable. In any case, it has recently completed work on some of its facilities, including doing up its bowling green.


“The directors discussed it but it did not go any further; it was only really the bare bones of a proposal,” said a source.

Mr McKillen jnr is understood to be more interested in developing the Booterstown site. As a result, he is likely to go ahead with plans that include a museum, art gallery and restaurant modelled on his family's chateau in France.

He is likely to meet opposition on a number of fronts. The site straddles the border between two local authority districts, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and Dublin City Council.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown tried to buy the site from the National Asset Management Agency a number of years ago and planned to develop it for recreational use. However, its bid fell short of the others on offer.

Independent councillor Victor Boyhan, said neither local authority wanted the site developed and suggested locals were likely to oppose any plans on the basis of the site’s proximity to Booterstown Marsh.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

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