The Ilac Centre was opened in 1981, and was one of the first shopping centres in Dublin city centre. When it opened, it was the first shopping centre in Ireland to have glass lifts. In recent years, the shopping centre has been extensively refurbished, with many improvements including full-height shop fronts, improved lighting, and new entrances. The centre is owned by Chartered Land and Irish Life plc., then name was made up from the initial letters of the company. Irish Life also own the Irish Life Mall in talbot street.
The Centre is home to a wide range of shops. The first floor of the Centre is occupied by Dublin's Central Library. The Central Library provides a range of services including language learning facilities, and a Music and Business Library. There is also a small chapel located in the shopping centre.