Dublin City Council moves to repossess Iveagh Markets
Dublin City Council (DCC) has threatened businessman Martin Keane with legal action if he does not forfeit control of the Capital’s historic Iveagh Market.
The hotelier and publican has been at the centre of a dispute with DCC for years over stalled plans to redevelop the market.
This is despite his intention to revamp the site into a European-style food hall with restaurants, a distillery, brewery and crafts workshops.
However, the council does not believe that Mr Keane has the appropriate funding for the ambitious project and is now in the process of repossessing the property.
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Assistant Chief Executive of DCC Richard Shakespeare said that the council has informed the businessman of its decision.
"Mr Keane was requested to provide evidence that he had sufficient funds available to deliver the project in a timely fashion," he said in a letter addressed to members of DCC.
"The documentation provided to date does not satisfy the Council that he has secured the appropriate funding.
"The Council has written to Mr Keane advising him that it is terminating all communication with him and that it is taking the necessary steps to repossess the property from him.
"The Council will defend this action in the courts if necessary," he said.
A condition survey has estimated the cost of stabilisation works would be in the region of €13m. In 2018, Independent.ie reported that Mr Keane will recover a deposit of €1.77m if he loses control of the market, which he controlled for two decades.
Iveagh Market Hotels Limited, a company controlled by Mr Keane, "entered into a contract with Dublin City Council in 2008 to redevelop the site".
Dublin South Central Cllr Rebecca Moynihan said that DCC needs to follow through on its intention to repossess the site.
"There are only so many times the people of the Liberties can be led down the garden path on the stop/never quite start nature of the development of the Iveagh Markets," she said.
"The Iveagh Markets have fallen into a serious state of dereliction. The building needs to be secured and made structurally sound as a matter of urgency. It is time for the City Council to step in and develop this site and bring it back into use as a fully functional market in line with the history of the area.
"There’s a real need for market space over that area. Taking back and developing the Iveagh Markets will be a complete game changer for the Francis Street and Liberties area," she said.
Attempts have been made to contact Mr Keane for comment.