Iveagh Markets’ roof is ‘close to collapse’     

The Iveagh Markets are in ‘urgent need’ of repair, according to the Liberties Cultural Association.   

“If something is not done in the next few months, the roof could collapse in parts.” Noel Fleming, a member of the Liberties Cultural Association (LCA), told The Liberty.

“There’s water coming in constantly. Some of the glass is broken so there’s water running at the walls. All the gutters are blocked, and has vegetation. It’s like the botanical gardens up on the roof. It is in a bad way.

“If we get a heavy fall of snow like we did in 2010, there could be serious problems with it. There is a lot of stress and strain. It needs to be repaired badly, let’s put it that way.”  

A broken window which has allowed water to flood the market. Photo: David Seagrave  

Fleming said the LCA was granted entry to the market in January, and that they have checked to see the progress of the damage.   

“The roof has deteriorated since then, we noticed that there are parts of glass on the floor that weren’t there before. I don’t know what caused it, but as I say, when it rains the water has nowhere to run. The gutters are all blocked up, and it wells up and overflows.”  

Fleming said there is a need for ‘tin hat’ or temporary roof scaffolding – a measure taken to shield building sites from poor weather conditions. He claims the use of temporary cover “could save the market immensely”.   

In 2018, Dublin City Council commissioned a dilapidations report into the market, which was assessed by Howley Hayes conservation architects.   

The report found that the building was “unsafe and in an advanced state of dereliction”. The report also attributed the welfare of the building “to a combination of serious neglect and several damaging interventions.”  

“There is a lot of stress and strain it needs to be repaired badly”

Noel Fleming, liberties cultural association

The report from Howley Hayes stated that the repair cost would be in the range of €13 million. However the figure is now believed to be closer to €23 million, as damage to the building has increased. This damage includes a minor fire, which happened in August 2021.   

The interior of derelict Iveagh Market. Photo: David Seagrave .

Iveagh Markets was built in the early 20th century under the patronage of Lord Iveagh, a member of the Guinness family. The family agreed to lease it to Dublin Corporation – now Dublin City Council (DCC) – provided it be used solely as a market for traders in the Dublin 8 area.  

The market has been unused since 1996 after DCC announced it were looking for a private developer to regenerate the site. Hotelier and publican Martin Keane secured a tender for redevelopment in 1997.  

DCC later repossessed the building, after two separate planning applications had lapsed. Keane later filed a third application, which was rejected because he was deemed to be no longer the legal owner.   

The market is currently at the centre of a legal battle.   

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