Dublin Docklands

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Some of Dublin's newest landmarks, Convention Centre Dublin and the Samuel Beckett Bridge, located in the regenerated Dublin Docklands (28 June 2014)

Dublin Docklands (Irish: Ceantar Dugaí Átha Cliath) is an area of the city of Dublin, Ireland, on both sides of the River Liffey, roughly from Talbot Memorial Bridge eastwards to the 3Arena.

The Docklands has over recent years been regenerated as an extension of the modern business hub of Dublin's International Financial Services Centre. By 2008 the area had over 600 enterprises with new companies moving in every month, however this slowed down considerably due to the 2008–14 Irish financial crisis. The urban regeneration was meant to transform the Docklands into an innovative built environment and a uniquely modern area in which to do business.

New infrastructure, such as the Samuel Beckett Bridge and the LUAS Docklands extension, has made the area more accessible. New venues, including the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, the refurbished 3Arena and the Convention Centre Dublin have all become modern Dublin landmarks. Despite the scaling down of projects due to the economic recession, in tandem with the presence of national and international leaders in the finance, legal, digital and communications sectors, the Docklands has become a vibrant working and living district in the city of Dublin.

Thirteen new Dublin Bikes stations were opened in the Docklands in 2013-2014, at Custom House Quay, City Quay, Excise Walk, Lime Street, Guild Street, Convention Centre, New Central Bank, The Point, Benson Street, Hanover Quay, Grand Canal Dock, Barrow Street, and South Dock Road.

A view of the 3Arena (formerly The O2) in Dublin's regenerated Docklands, from across the Liffey at the opening to the Grand Canal.
The rusting Grand Canal Docks sign at the opening to the Grand Canal.


Projects under construction/planned[edit]

  • On 22 May 2014, it was announced that a fast-track planning process was approved by An Bord Pleanala. 366,000 square metres of office space and 2,600 homes will be developed across 22 hectares of land in the North Lotts (in North Wall) and Grand Canal Dock areas under the Docklands Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) planning scheme.[1]

Completed projects[edit]

A view of Grand Canal Square in Dublin's regenerated Docklands. The Bord Gais Energy Theatre is in the centre, Accenture's Global Head Office is on the left and The Marker Hotel on the right.
  • Spencer Dock: This development is said to have been the biggest and most ambitious urban regeneration project in Ireland's history and was originally planned to include waterside apartments, offices, retail space, a linear park and local amenities for leisure activities, although some of this was scaled back due to the economic recession. It is also the location of the Convention Centre Dublin.
  • Point Village: A redevelopment beside The Point Depot, it includes a hotel, a shopping centre, 13,000 m² of office space, a 3-story underground car park, a 12-screen cinema, and more. While the hotel and cinema opened, the shopping centre and office space remain empty. A "U2 Experience" Museum was originally planned for the development, but was instead opened as a permanent exhibition in the Little Museum of Dublin on St. Stephen's Green and renamed "U2: Made in Dublin".
  • Grand Canal Dock: An area in Ringsend which is currently undergoing redevelopment. Completed projects include Alto Vetro, Google Docks (Montevetro), Grand Canal Square, Bord Gais Energy Theatre and more.

Temporary projects[edit]

  • The Revolver: From July 2010 to November 2011, the 10 million euro, 350 tonne, 60 metre tall, 42 capsule observation wheel operated beside ‘O2 Dublin’ (now the 3Arena). Before its arrival in Dublin, the observation wheel was located beside Belfast’s City Hall from October 2007 to April 2010. Following closure in Belfast, it was dismantled and transported to Dublin. It closed due to a lack of demand, and was once again on the move, this time to York in the UK.[2][3]
  • Point Village Market: The outdoor weekend market was developed by businessman Harry Crosbie. It featured a large open-air stage with performances from local musicians. The market stalls offered traditional farmers' produce as well as household goods, crafts, antiques, and students' art wares. The Point Village Market was open from May to November 2010.[4](video link [1])
  • Point Village on Ice: The 5000 square feet outdoor ice rink was open for a short time in the winter of 2010-2011.[5]

Projects on hold/cancelled[edit]

  • U2 Tower: Also known as Britain Quay Tower, it was intended to be the tallest building on the island of Ireland at an estimated 180m. It was meant to house a recording studio for U2. In October 2008, the project was suspended indefinitely because of the economic downturn.[6] Proposals to revive the plan were reported in July 2013.[7]
  • Point Village Watchtower: Point Village was originally intended to house a 120m tower, which would have included apartments, office space, a miniature TV and radio studio, and rooftop bar and restaurant with panoramic views over Dublin Bay. The project was abandoned due to the difficult economic situation faced by the Docklands Authority.[8]


DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) rail service has four local Dockland stations. Connolly Station north of the River Liffey and Tara Street Station south of the River are within five minutes' walk of the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in Docklands. At peak times, the DART runs every 10 minutes. Pearse Street Station and Grand Canal Dock Station service the remainder of South Docklands and are adjacent to or within minutes walking distance to some the Docklands largest companies including Google and Accenture.

An extension of the Luas, Dublin’s tram service, runs from the city centre along Mayor Street right into the heart of northside Docklands. It has Docklands stops at Georges Dock, Mayor Square, Spencer Dock and terminates at the Point adjacent to the 3Arena and the Gibson Hotel. At peak times the Docklands Luas extension runs every four minutes.

Iarnród Éireann opened a train station in the area in 2007. The Docklands railway station commenced service on 12 March 2007, and serves the Maynooth commuter rail line (except Drumcondra station) as far as the M3 Parkway.


There are numerous hotels in the Dublin Docklands area located on both sides of the river. The Gibson Hotel (4 star) is the closest hotel to the 3Arena concert venue, while the Clarion Hotel IFSC (4 star) and Jury’s Inn Custom House (3 star) are both close to the newly opened Convention Centre Dublin.

On the south side of the river there is the Maldron Hotel (4 star) on Cardiff Lane and the Marker Hotel (5 star) on Grand Canal Square both close to the Bord Gais Energy Theatre. Also on this side of the river are the Ferryman Hotel (2 star) above the Ferryman Pub, one of a handful of old landmarks in the Docklands and the Grand Canal Hotel is located close to the Grand Canal Theatre.

Docklands Business Forum[edit]

Steering Committee of the Docklands Business Forum, from left to right; Brian Smyth, Tim Darmody, Robert Colleran, Laura O'Donovan, Alan Robinson (CEO), Betty Ashe, John McElhinney (Treasurer), Ciaran Flanagan (Chairman), Nicholas Cloake and Michael Noel Harte. Steering members not included in image are John Treacy and Sarah Conway.

The Docklands Business Forum is the business association for the Dublin Docklands and is recognised as the primary business organisation by the Dublin Docklands Area Master Plan 2008. With a membership representing over 35,000 employees, including many of the key national and international players in the finance, legal, digital and communications sectors, the DBF is a key stakeholder in the Docklands’ area.

The aims and objectives of the DBF are:

1. To be the representative voice of business in the Docklands area; 2. To be a networking facility for businesses in the docklands area; 3. To initiate joint marketing programmes promoting our member’s products and services to the Docklands community and beyond; 4. To promote the Docklands as a great place to visit and enjoy as an end destination; 5. To encourage local businesses continued involvement with the local community and environment; 6. To promote and encourage the development of an enterprise culture within the Docklands; 7. To connect Docklands Business with the wider Dublin Area.

The DBF has, over recent years, built a network of local commercial organisations, and made a point of engaging with many semi states, non-profits, clubs, associations and enthusiasts of all persuasions to further their goals.

The Steering Committee is elected at the Docklands Business Forum AGM each year. Its role is to provide policy, governance and oversight for the Forum. It is a non executive committee and its members are not remunerated for their services on the Committee.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]