Church and locals oppose road plan for €10m Howth Castle redevelopment

Plans for site include a 150-seat restaurant and a revamped cookery school

A planned €10 million redevelopment of Howth Castle in Co Dublin to transform it into a retail, food and tourist destination is facing opposition including from the local Church of Ireland.

The main focus of the objectors' attention is a new road to serve the redevelopment plan by Tetrarch Capital and the Michael J Wright hospitality group.

The joint venture last month lodged plans with Fingal County Council that include a new 150-seat restaurant built in a glass-covered pavilion within the castle's stable yard. The site would also include a revamped cookery school, a gin-making school, and a range of retail stores.

The project is expected to generate 150 jobs when operational.


However, a number of objections have been lodged with the council, mainly focusing on the new road.

Those to express concerns include the Howth Sutton Community Council, the Select Vestry of St Mary's Church, Howth, the Offington Residents' Association, the Grace O'Malley Residents' Association and the Evora Park Residents' Association.

Generally in favour of the overall redevelopment, local TD, Deputy Cian O’Callaghan (Social Democrat) has told the council the construction of a new roadway would significantly diminish the value of the amenity lands and this aspect of the proposal should be refused.


In its comprehensive submission, the Select Vestry of the Parish of Howth of St Mary’s Church told the council the new roadway was unnecessary for the proposed scheme.

It said the Vestry “is strongly opposed to this application” which will result in the “encirclement of St Mary’s Church by a new roadway”.

The church claims the roadway seems to be intended to open up substantial parts of the Howth Estate lands. The proposed opening of the cul-de-sac “would have a severe and adverse effect on St Mary’s Church”, it said.

The submission said that “what is now a quiet location with a long-standing sense of history... would be transformed into a noisy and busy roadway”.

In a separate submission, chairman of the Evora Park Residents' Association, Michael Galvin, has told the council the association "is fundamentally opposed to the new access road".

A spokesman for Tetrarch on Friday said: “Our aim is to fully remove traffic from the area in front of Howth Castle and to render it safe for families and children in particular. The new road is a fundamental part of that plan.”

A decision is due on the application later this month.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times