Council takes court action over O’Rahilly house demolition

Home of 1916 leader demolished in September to make way for apartments and hotel

Dublin Editor Dublin City Council has initiated court action over the demolition of 40 Herbert Park, the former home of Michael Joseph O'Rahilly, the only leader to have been killed fighting during the 1916 Rising.

The council has written to the District Court seeking a hearing date to prosecute Derryroe Ltd for carrying out "unauthorised development" at the site beside the Herbert Park Hotel in Ballsbridge.

The house was demolished last September to make way for a 12-storey apartment and hotel development. While the council was pursuing action against the developers, it said it had no powers to make them rebuild the house.

Derryroe Ltd, owned by the McSharry and Kennedy families, who own the Herbert Park Hotel, was last September granted permission by An Bord Pleanála for the demolition and redevelopment scheme. However, the council said the company had failed to comply with the conditions of planning permission before beginning work.


"Our solicitors have written to the District Court Office requesting a date for hearing for a prosecution in respect of the carrying out of unauthorised development in advance of the pre-commencement compliance conditions being agreed," the council's assistant chief executive Richard Shakespeare said in a letter to councillors. "Summonses will be issued once this date is secured."

The council has issued an enforcement notice to the developers ordering all work on the site to stop. “Until all pre-commencement conditions have been complied with, works cannot recommence,” Mr Shakespeare said.

Joint motion Councillors in October approved a joint Sinn Féin and Green Party motion calling for “the immediate restoration of the house”. However, in his letter, Mr Shakespeare said there was “no apparent legal basis for calling for the restoration of the structure” given it was not on the city’s Record of Protected Structures and, while councillors had voted to initiate this process, it had not formally begun.

Councillors, An Taisce, relatives of 1916 leaders, including O’Rahilly’s grandson Proinsias Ó Rathaille, and local residents objected to the hotel and apartment development, which included the demolition of the house. The Pembroke Road Association has initiated judicial review proceedings of the An Bord Pleanála decision to grant permission for the scheme.

Derryroe Ltd did not respond to requests for comment.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times