Victorian bank building to become new H&M

Dublin City Council has granted permission for conversion of College Green landmark

A financial landmark which has stood on Dublin’s College Green for almost 150 years is to get a new lease of life as a retail and luxury apartment complex.

Dublin City Council has granted permission to Paddy McKillen and Tony Leonard to change the use of the former National Irish Bank, a protected structure at the corner of College Green and Church Lane.

The building, which is two doors away from the Abercrombie & Fitch fashion shop that occupies a former Bank of Ireland premises, is to be a flagship store for fashion giant H&M.

The building was purpose built in 1868 on the corner site for the Union Bank and was doubled in size two years later when it became the Hibernian Bank.


In 1927 it was extended when it became the Northern Bank. The last major development was in the 1980s when a five-storey extension was built in the internal courtyard. It has an overall floor area of 2,850sq m (30,676 sq ft) over seven levels.

Retail and apartments
H&M, the world's second largest fashion retailer, will have about 1,858sq m (20,000sq ft) of floorspace over four levels – the basement, ground, mezzanine, first and second floors. The remaining floors will be converted into eight apartments, six two-bedroomed and two one-bedroomed, ranging in size from 110sq m to 136sq m.

The facade of the building fronting on to College Green has remained largely unaltered since the 1870s and many internal original features remain intact, including significant plasterwork and the ornate 19th century banking hall.

The retail development will require significant interventions, including the installation of new lifts and escalators. According to the approved plans, these have been located in the 20th century parts of the building. Alterations to the older parts of the building largely involve the removal of new structures such as false ceilings. Clarendon Properties, owned by McKillen and Leonard, bought the former bank building from Danske Bank for close to €4.5 million. Clarendon also owns the Abercrombie & Fitch building.

H&M has sales outlets in 43 countries and employs about 94,000 people. The planned College Green store will be its 13th outlet in Ireland.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times