Donabate residents are fighting a plan to build 'overbearing' three-storey apartment blocks

Prominent developer McGarrell Reilly wants to build over 250 homes in north Dublin.

By Paul O'Donoghue Reporter, Fora

ONE OF IRELAND’S BIGGEST housebuilders is caught up in a row over plans to build more than 200 homes at a coastal town in north Dublin.

McGarrell Reilly is planning to build 196 houses and 62 apartments at a site on Hearse Road in Donabate.

The company was established by Sean Reilly in the 1980s and was one of the best-known housebuilders in the country during the boom.

Reilly is also one of Ireland’s most prominent developers and was one of the so-called group of ‘Maple Ten’ investors who bought shares in Anglo-Irish Bank just before the lender’s collapse.

Following the crash, McGarrell Reilly has again become an active developer and is looking at several major projects in the Dublin area.

Of the 196 homes in the proposed Donabate development, the majority would be two-storey, three-bed units, with some four- or five-bed homes.

The 62 apartments would consist of 12 one-bed and 50 two-bed units in three blocks that would each be three storeys tall.

As well as the homes, the project would also see a creche built and development work done around the area, such as the development of open spaces and local infrastructure.


However, several parties objected to the project. Local Fianna Fáil councillor Adrian Henchy wrote that, while he acknowledged the need for new homes, “the design of these units and the integration with the overall Donabate emerging area is not apparent”.

donabate apartments render A CGI render of the apartments

“This scheme will put further pressure on the existing limited amenities and facilities in Donabate. The scheme should not be granted in its current form in the interests of the people who live and work in Portrane and Donabate,” he said.

The residents association for Prospect Hill, a nearby area, said that the scale of the proposed development is “unacceptably high density and is overbearing.”

The group said that the development would be “out of scale and out of character in terms of its appearance, compared with existing development in the vicinity”.

“The current site will be dominated by apartment blocks at its centre, one of the highest locations on the site.

“Repositioning the apartment blocks to the eastern boundary, along the railway line or to the western side would provide safer pedestrian access, as well as improving the visual aspect.”

Fingal County Council originally granted permission for the development, however the case has been appealed to An Bord Pleanála, which will decide the final status of the project.

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