Marching to the beat of Dublin 9’s drum

In the first in our Hotspots series we look at Drumcondra, an excellent location with great amenities and strong transport links


Drumcondra, once Dublin 9’s B&B and bedsitland is now on the family radar thanks to its proximity to the city centre, its wide range of housing options and great school choices.

In terms of connectivity the airport is just a 12 minute drive from the Dublin 9 borough. The M50 is seven or eight minutes away. In Dublin, the average travel time for commuters in 2011 was 50 minutes, according to the CSO, almost twice the national average of 26.6 minutes. “In Drumcondra you’re a 20-minute walk to O’Connell Street,” says Martin Doyle of Sherry FitzGerald. “It is the same distance from the Liffey as Ranelagh or Rathmines,” says Darren Chambers of Lisney.

Why now?
As of February articles 6,7 and 8 of the Housing Standards for Rented Houses Regulations 2008 came into effect, stipulating that all rental accommodation must have its own separate sanitary facilities. Rented accommodation also required updated heating and facilities for cooking, food storage and laundry provisions. Many landlords with properties in need of these upgrades are getting out of the business.

Most of the housing stock for sale in Drumcondra comprises executor sales or the aforementioned houses set out in flats. Most buyers in the area can expect to have to refurbish any property they purchase.

What residents say
David Andrews grew up in the Connecticut countryside and wanted his son to have some of the same experiences, so he and his wife Jess moved from a rented property in Prussia Street to leafy Drumcondra because most of the houses in the area have big back gardens. “Because of the recession we have had to become more self-sufficient,” he explains. Together with his son they have planted cavalo nero, courgette, broccoli, romanesco, artichokes and herbs. In the lane behind the house he has scattered sweetpea and runner bean seeds.

Architect Dermot Bannon loves Drumcondra’s villagey feel. “It has the neighbourhood feel of Dalkey or Malahide, where I grew up, but here you have to scratch the surface to find it. It is less evident.”

He finds school and the GAA help “bring people together” in the area. “GAA is huge in D 9,” he says. His children, Sarah, age 8 and James age 4 play at Na Fianna. His expects his youngest son, Tom, only nine months, to also play.

Croke Park, Griffith Park where the Tolka goes through the playground and you can feed the swans, Na Fianna GAA club, Tolka Park, the Botanic Gardens, the Helix Theatre Andersons Creperie on Carlingford Road and sister Food Hall and Cafe on The Rise in Glasnevin; Il Corvo for its kids pizza-making days; Indian restaurant the Mint Leaf, the Cheese Pantry for an after-work glass of wine and plate of charcuterie and gastropub the Iveagh House.

Iarnród Éireann’s commuter service travels from Pearse and Connolly through Drumcondra station on the Lower Drumcondra Road to Maynooth. Some inter-city trains on the Dublin-Longford-Sligo route also stop here. Bus numbers 1, 16, 33 and 41 all pass through Drumcondra as does the Airxcoach.

Ard Scoil Ris, Dominican College and Maryfield College all had 88 per cent of their pupils attend third-level education, according to the 2012 Irish Times School League Tables. The same league tables noted that 83 per cent of the students attending Margaret Aylward Community College in Whitehall gained entry to third-level colleges while Scoil Naomh Aodha had 79 per cent of their Leaving Cert students go on to third level. Scoil Mobhi had a 77 per cent rate of third level attendance.

Where to buy
The area has a wide range of housing stock from Georgian and Victorian to 1930s and ex-corporation properties. The Strain-built period red bricks of Iona Road, St Alphonsus Road and Lindsay Roads are desirable addresses. First-time buyers should check out Walsh Road and Ferguson Road.

Celebrity neighbours
Poet, playwright and novelist Dermot Bolger, architect and Room To Improve presenter Dermot Bannon and former taoiseach Bertie Ahern who last year moved from St Luke’s, on Lower Drumcondra Road to the Drumcondra Business Centre on Upper Drumcondra Road.

16 Whitworth Road, €220,000, Flynn and Associates (01-8901141).
Four-bedroom end-of-terrace house in need of complete modernisation.

4 Fairfield Road, AMV €300,000 , Lisney (01-8840700).
Three-bedroom semi in need of modernisation. Auction April 25th.

29 Homefarm Road, €395,000, Sherry FitzGerald (01-8373737).
Three-bedroom end-of-terrace property in need of refurbishment.