Dublin Docklands

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Dublin Docklands viewed from east to west

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 (IFSC). By 2008 the area had over 599 enterprises with new companies moving in every month, however, this slowed down considerably due to the Irish financial crisis. Values and development activity has since 2014 made a significant recovery. The urban regeneration has transformed 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, and particularly digital and communications sectors (see Silicon Docks), the Docklands has become a vibrant working and living district in the city of Dublin.

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]
  • Royal Canal Linear Park: The design for the one-kilometre public park on the banks of the Royal Canal in Dublin's Docklands was unveiled 11 August 2008. It is called the "Royal Canal Linear Park" and was designed by Paris-based architectural practice, Agence Ter. It will feature floating gardens, playgrounds, pavilions, new bridges and sporting facilities covering six hectares.[2] Instead, a much smaller area along the Royal Canal at Guild Street between the River Liffey and Sheriff Street Upper was cleared and grass planted. The Dublin-Galway Greenway is to run along this section with some elements of the original plan to be integrated. Construction of this project began in 2019.

Completed projects[edit]

A view of Grand Canal Square in Dublin's regenerated Docklands. The Bord Gais Energy Theatre is on the left and The Marker Hotel in the centre and Hanover Quay on the right.
  • Spencer Dock: This development is said to have been the centre-piece in 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 bulk of he shopping centre remains 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: The Grand Canal Dock (GCD) is the project that transformed the derelict and heavily contaminated 10ha gas site at the east end of Pearse Street into the hugely successful 250,000m2 Grand Canal Harbour development of 80,000m2 offices, 1,200 apartments, 10,000m2 retail/bars/restaurants together with a 2,200 seat theatre and a (150-bedroom) 5-star hotel. This and the other elements of the GCD are now known as Silicon Docks and host the European HQs of Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and many more. Completed projects include Grand Canal Square, Marker Hotel, Alto Vetro, Google Docks (Montevetro), the Bord Gais Energy Theatre and more.
  • Central Square Park: The original "North Lotts Park" plan was cancelled and instead the small Central Square park was opened at Spencer Dock Luas station in 2014.[3]

Temporary projects[edit]

  • Wheel of Dublin: From July 2010 to November 2011, the 10 million euro, 350 tonne, 60-metre tall, 42 capsule Ferris wheel operated beside 'O2 Dublin' (now the 3Arena). Before its arrival in Dublin, the wheel had been located beside Belfast's City Hall from October 2007 to April 2010.[citation needed] 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.[4]
  • 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.[5](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.[6] It opened again December 2014 – January 2015.

Cancelled projects[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 cancelled because of the economic downturn at the time.[7] Proposals to revive the plan were reported in July 2013, but were subsequently cancelled.[8]
  • 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.[9]
  • Chocolate Factory Park: While it was reported that the building of the park was "underway" in 2005,[10] and it was reported in 2006 that the park was being developed,[11] the park was never built. However, in 2014 it was reported that the park would be completed by summer 2015.[3] Currently there is a derelict site notice (within the meaning of the Derelict Sites Act 1990) dated 6 May 2014 posted at the location.


A Luas tram at Spencer Dock

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 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.

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.


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 Spencer Hotel IFSC (4 star) and Hilton Garden Inn (3 star) are both close to the 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.

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 the 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 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]


  1. ^ Melia, Paul (23 May 2014). "Green light for massive Docklands development". The Independent.
  2. ^ "Design for Royal Canal Linear Park Unveiled". ddda.ie. Dublin Docklands Development Authority. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  3. ^ a b Fegan, Joyce (3 October 2014). "'Willy Wonka' park to open in Docklands". The Independent. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  4. ^ Melia, Paul (2 December 2011). "Winter chill spells end for big wheel". Irish Independent. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  5. ^ "PVM Traders Presentation" (PDF). Dublin Docklands. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Sparkle & Skate, Spin & Whirl at the Point Village on Ice". Dublin Docklands. Archived from the original on 21 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Dublin shelves U2 Tower plans amid property slump". International Herald Tribune. Associated Press. 31 October 2008. Retrieved 22 November 2008.
  8. ^ Callanan, Neil; Joe Brennan (27 July 2013). "NAMA plans to get U2 Tower off the ground – Independent.ie". Irish Independent. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  9. ^ "Dunnes settle Point row with Crosbie". Business World. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
  10. ^ "Docklands Development Authority Publishes Annual Report and Accounts for 2005". ddda.ie. Dublin Docklands Development Authority. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  11. ^ "Chocolate park lures families". The Independent. 21 January 2006. Retrieved 29 January 2015.