Dalkey Tramyard finds a buyer, and it isn’t Bono

Eclectic site off Dalkey’s main street recently sold to developer for just less than €3m

The Tramyard in Dalkey. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

The Tramyard in Dalkey. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times


After months, nay years, of speculation about the fate of the prominent Tramyard site off Dalkey’s main street The Block can finally confirm that yes, it has sold, and no, Bono is not the buyer.

For weeks the rumour mill has been rife with breathless speculation that the U2 frontman, who lives locally, has picked up the half acre site and plans to set about building a recording studio and open a café there. (Rumours have only just fallen short of sightings of Bono in a hardhat and hi vis jacket ordering a breakfast roll in the local Spar.)

The truth of course is likely to be far more mundane, though Bono’s loss will be someone else’s gain. It turns out that the eclectic site sold in the last month to a developer for a sum believed to be a little shy of € 3 million.

The 0.58 acre site comprises four tram sheds on the old tramline in the heart of downtown Dalkey, and until only recently operated as a food, antiques and bric-a-brac market.

In 2007 developers James Monaghan and Rodney Sheils were granted planning permission to demolish the old buildings and build 20 apartments with retail space at ground level. It was a controversial decision that met with strong resistance from local residents and An Taisce.

Events overtook the developers as the site became a casualty of the recession and in 2016 the site was placed on the market with CBRE for €2m on the instruction of receivers Deloitte. Later that year The Tramyard Café, located on the site and operated by David Coulson, was forced to close its doors on fire safety grounds on the eve of a Dalkey Lobster Festival, organised by Coulson. Soon after, the Tramyard Café closed its doors for good, and later the site was withdrawn from the market.

Earlier this year Peter Garrigan of CBRE relaunched the Tramyard for sale with an increased price tag of €2.7million. While the prominent site has been most recently zoned a “neighbourhood centre” this still allows for a mix of low rise residential and retail units. With a lot of clearance activity and an engineers’ office now on site, all the indicators suggest that the developer – believed to be a mid-sized player – will apply to reinstate the recently lapsed planning for a mix of 20 or so apartments with retail at ground level.

Meanwhile spokespeople for Bono this week would not confirm or deny any link between the musician and the site.