Two reasons why Johnny Ronan wants Dublin Port to move

Cantillon: RGRE would like port moved to Bremore to free up development land

Among the avalanche of submissions to Dublin City Council on its draft development plan for the city out to 2028 is one from Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE), Johnny Ronan’s property development company.

According to RGRE, acceptance of Dublin Port Company’s 2040 Masterplan, which involves a major expansion of the port, represents a “missed opportunity to move parts of the port outside the city to other locations, such as Bremore”, which is located in Meath, just north of Balbriggan.

“This would free up very well-served lands for homes, communities, recreation and employment, in accordance with the 15-minute city concept underpinning the draft development plan,” the submission drafted by John Spain Associates on behalf of RGRE states.

Height revisited

“It would also facilitate greater height and density to be achieved, given that much of the lands in the North Lotts and Grand Canal Planning Scheme have largely been developed. The height of buildings in these schemes are generally much lower than could have been achieved, due to the limits set by the planning scheme.


“It is time to revisit heights in the docklands area to secure sufficient housing for the young labour force and more shared office facilities for small and medium-size enterprises,” the submission states.

Dual interest

Ronan has a dual interest in Dublin Port being moved. RGRE would no doubt be interested in developing some or all of the port lands for housing and other purposes when the day comes. It is part of a consortium that has partnered with Nama to develop a large site on the other side of the docklands that includes the former Irish Glass Bottle land.

But it is also the joint venture partner of Drogheda Port Company to “take forward” a multibillion-euro development of Bremore port and its wider estate.

“This new deepwater port will strengthen Ireland’s port infrastructure, enhance our trade capacity with EU partners and drive social and economic development in the northeast,” RGRE’s website states.

Strangely, the submission on behalf of RGRE made no mention of its substantial involvement at Bremore.