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What’s the future for multi-storey car parks in Dublin City Centre?

— Dublin City Council owns car parks at the Ilac Car Park, Drury Street and Dawson Street/Schoolhouse Lane.

Now that developers have started to look at different uses for privately owned city centre car parks, is it time for a reevaluation of the Dublin City Council-owned car parks?

In 2018, plans to convert a section of Arnotts’ car park into a hotel were approved. The plan by developer Noel Smyth’s Fitzwilliam Real Estate group involves demolishing the three top levels of the Arnotts car park, (there’s an image of what it will look like in this tweet).

There’s also been a number of different plans for Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre’s car park, including to create an Omniplex 12 Screen Cinema and a temporary cinema.

And then, this weekend, there’s news of a proposal for offices replacing the Trinity Street car park off Dame Street:

We asked “Could please confirm the names and locations of all off-street parks (1) owned by the city council and (2) the date of contract renewal where the car park is operated by a third party?” and this was the reply from the Dublin City Council (DCC) press office on January 29, 2020:

Multi-Storey Public Car Parks – leased by DCC

  • Drury Street: Park Rite Ltd. – 5 year lease – expires September 2024
  • Ilac Car Park: Park Rite Ltd. – 5 year lease – extended for a further 12 months – lease expires October 2020
  • Dawson Street/Schoolhouse Lane: QPark Ltd. – 5 year lease – expires March 2021

Pay & Display Surface Car Parks located at:

  • Strand Road: 3 public car parks located at Gilford, Martello and Sydney Parade
  • Clontarf: 4 public car parks located at the Bus Garage,  at the Dart Station,  Hollybrook Road and  Vernon Avenue.
  • Ballymun car park: Main Street, Ballymun
  • Part of the old Ballymun Shopping Centre car park
  • Clonskeagh: Fish Market
  • Milltown: The Dropping Well (Leased to the Pub, but with a condition that members of the public can use it to avail of local amenities/walks along the river)

Free Parking

  • Swords Road/Whitehall Church – free surface car park – DCC own two thirds of this site, the Church own one third.  Future development site.

According to, of the city centre multi-storey car parks which are council-owned:

  • Drury Street has 465 spaces
  • Ilac Car Park has 1,000 spaces
  • Dawson Street/Schoolhouse Lane has 370 spaces

The Ilac Car Park is the second largest car park in the city centre (only surpassed by the privately owned St Stephen’s Green car park at 1,127 spaces).

Should the council be using valuable city centre space for storage of cars when it’s policy to reduce car use? is reader-funded journalism. That means it's funded by readers like you.

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Cian Ginty


  1. To maintain them as car parks is effectively a government subsidy which indirectly limits the number of houses in the city. Even if converted to offices or commercial buildings it would prevent these activities from moving further into residential areas. Inner city parking is just public subsidy of the housing crisis and its time to put an end to it

  2. I’m not sure adding in surface carparking at the edge of the city(Ballymun,Whitehall) is adding much to the discussion of use of city centre car-parks
    Whitehall is an actual park&ride carpark

  3. I would expect the council to at least be reallocating space in car parks from car spaces to cycle spaces. It would be a much better use of the space available.


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