Boland's Mill

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Boland's Mill

Boland's Mill is located on the Grand Canal Dock in Dublin, Ireland on Ringsend Road between the inner basin of Grand Canal Dock and Barrow Street. Contrary to popular belief, this was not the location of the headquarters of the 3d Battalion of Irish Volunteers led by Eamon de Valera during the 1916 rising. That headquarters was based at Boland's Bakery, on the site of the current-day Treasury Building, located at the junction of Grand Canal Street and Macken Street (then known as Great Clarence Street).[citation needed]

The majority of the complex consists of concrete silos built between the 1940s and 1960s. The mill stopped production in 2001 and the site is now derelict. Within the complex of buildings, the older stone block buildings facing onto Ringsend Road and onto Grand Canal Dock together with two terraced houses on Barrow street are listed as protected buildings by Dublin City Council. The taller concrete silos on the site are not protected structures.[1]

The site is in an area dubbed "Silicon Docks"[2][3] (a reference to Silicon Valley) as it has become an extremely popular location for high-tech multinationals such as Google[4] and Facebook.[5]

Site control and planning[edit]

Current plans[edit]

On 2 December 2014 a site notice signed by Erika Casey was posted indicating detailed plans for the site. There are 13 points on the site notice:
1. Building A, two storeys, on the corner of Barrow St. and Ringsend Rd., will be retained and restored for retail/restaurant/cafe use. There will be new windows and a new entrance on Ringsend Rd.
2. Buildings B1-B5, ranging from five to eight storeys, on Ringsend Rd., will be retained and restored for office use, and retail/restaurant/cafe use at ground level of buildings B4 and B5. There will be new windows and new north and south entrances.
3. Building C, six storeys, on Ringsend Rd. fronting the dock, will be retained and restored for retail/restaurant/cafe use at ground level and residential above. There will be new windows, and enlarged windows and balconies to the west overlooking the water.
4. Building D, two storeys plus basement, currently 33 and 34 Barrow St., will be retained and restored for retail/restaurant/cafe use.
5. Factory building, two storey brick gables, will be partially demolished, with refurbishment to match that of building C. The building will accommodate cultural/exhibition use. There will be realignments of windows and arches, and new balconies on the waterfront facade.
6. Development to include all other associated internal and external works on blocks A, B, C, D, and the factory building.
7. New Office Building 1, five storeys increasing to 14 storeys (max. building height 53.65m), fronting Barrow St. will accommodate office use.
8. New Office Building 2, five storeys increasing to 13 storeys (max. building height 49.85m), fronting Barrow St. will accommodate office use.
9. New Residential Building 3, fifteen storeys (max. building height 47.8m), will accommodate 30 two-bedroom units and 2 three-bedroom units, with a reception at ground floor and gym at first floor.
10. Three new pedestrian routes from Barrow St., new civic waterfront square adjacent to the dock, a bridge link along the dock connecting the square to McMahon Bridge (Ringsend Rd.), second open space to the south of the factory building.
11. Three levels of underground parking under buildings 1, 2, and 3, accommodating 136 cars and 350 bicycles as well as locker and shower facilities.
12. New vehicular ramp to replace existing ramp alongside the Mason Hayes & Curran building.
13. Demolition of existing ESB substation.

Previous plans[edit]

The Boland's Mill site initially had planning permission for an office, residential and retail/hotel redevelopment granted by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (under Section 25 of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority Act, 1997).[6] The site was sold to Versus Limited/Benton Properties for 42 million euros in 2004 and had planned to develop 67 apartments, two houses, 13,284sqm of office space, as well as retail and leisure facilities on the site.[7]

The property collapsed in value by a staggering 84 percent following the property market bust, from €61m in 2007 to €9.9m in 2009, according to accounts filed by Versus with the Companies Office. Versus owes parent company Benton €15.8m.[7]

The National Asset Management Agency took control of the site in late 2012. On 19 May 2014, it was reported that Google was considering the derelict site for further development of the company in the area.[8] However, this plan did not come to fruition.


  1. ^ Dublin City Development Plan, 2005-2011: Volume 3: Record of Protected Structures (PDF). Dublin: Dublin City Council. 2005. p. 82. ISBN 1-902703-26-X. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  2. ^ Google
  3. ^ "Facebook to move to bigger Dublin offices". RTE. 2014-11-07. 
  4. ^ Dillon-Scott, Piers (2012-01-29). "Google to open ‘Google Docks’ in Dublin". The Sociable. 
  5. ^ O'Brien, Ciara (2013-11-07). "Facebook confirms move for Dublin HQ to bigger premises". Irish Times. 
  6. ^ Brophy, David (2005-02-20). "Setting his sites on reshaping the city". Sunday Tribune. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  7. ^ a b O'Donovan, Donal (2012-12-02). "Toxic bank takes control of historic Boland's Mill site". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  8. ^ Webb, Nick (2014-10-19). "Google eyes historic €75m Boland's Mills site in Docklands". The Independent. 

Coordinates: 53°20′31″N 6°14′14″W / 53.342024°N 6.237135°W / 53.342024; -6.237135