Around the block: Cotter marks 25 years at the Gallops

The Gallops in Leopardstown: Michael Cotter’s longest-running housing development

The Gallops in Leopardstown: Michael Cotter’s longest-running housing development


The indefatigable Dublin house builder Michael Cotter has every reason to celebrate the silver jubilee later this year of his longest running housing development - the Gallops in Leopardstown.

The Park Developments boss first introduced the scheme in the run up to 1990 and since then he has launched a number of phases on a selective basis in between a busy development schedule which included some of the best known commercial and residential schemes in the Dublin area – Fashion City, The Park retail estate in Carrickmines, Mount St Anne’s in Milltown and Carpenterstown and Luttrellstown in west Dublin. Not to mention of course Dublin’s “first million euro houses” which he launched in Carrickmines Wood.

Cotter has been in no hurry to leave The Gallops where he has sold over 1,000 houses and apartments and where later this year he will launch what is possibly the last phase – just five new homes which are likely to be an attractive proposition for children of some of the original buyers who grew up in the scheme. The site was originally used as a racehorse training gallops by the late Seamus McGrath whose family was closely linked to the by now legendary Irish Hospitals Sweepstake Trust.

Buyers unable to get a home in the much sought after Gallops may in due course be able to buy on the opposite side of the road where Park is currently hoping to get planning permission for a housing scheme on the 80-acre Playfarm estate.

And of course Cotter still holds a trump card at Glencairn, the official residence of successive British ambassadors, which he bought about a decade ago when the embassy decided to relocate the residence to Rathfarnham. For a variety of reasons the Ambassador stayed put and to date Cotter has no known plans to develop Glencairn. The Queen’s official representative in Ireland can sleep easily.