Rise in derelict sites in Dublin 8 an ongoing concern for its residents

With Ireland’s current housing crisis, the number of derelict and vacant buildings in the Dublin 8 has become an area of frustration for locals.   

Derelict Building in Dublin 8 via Twitter @zoeobeimhen

As of February 2023, 11,742 people living in Ireland were living in an emergency accommodation according to the Peter McVerry Trust

Many locals in the Dublin 8 area have pointed out that with this high volume of homelessness, these vacant sites could and should be refurbished and used to provide more accommodation for people. 

Zoe Obeimhen, mother of four, has been living in the Dublin 8 area on and off for 25 years and has been actively reporting derelict sites to Dublin County Council since 2019.

When discussing the derelict and vacant buildings in the area, Obeimhen said: “I feel embarrassed that tourists on their way to the Guinness Storehouse are seeing the state of these buildings and destitute homeless people on the street. It’s embarrassing for our country and is untapped potential.”  

“Housing needs to be treated as an emergency and have same approach as the pandemic, with the same sense of urgency because people are dying from being homeless.” 

Derelict Building in Dublin 8 via Twitter @zoeobeimhen

Back in July 2022, the Government announced an initiative called ‘Housing for All’, which outlines the Government’s plans to utilise sites that have been deemed as derelict, with the goal of refurbishing them and making them of a high enough quality for residential use. In this new housing plan, the use of these vacant and derelict sites is also working in line with the ambitions of the Government’s Climate Action plan, while also aiming to rejuvenate areas such as Dublin 8. 

The Government will be supplying a maximum grant of €30,000 for people who are seeking to refurbish a vacant property, and to then use it as their own home. Along with this, an additional grant on top of that of up to €20,000, will be available for those that their property is deemed unsafe.

According to ‘The Derelict Sites Act of 1990’, a derelict site is any land that: “Detracts, or is likely to detract, to a material degree from the amenity, character or appearance of land in the neighbourhood of the land in question because of structures which are in a ruinous, derelict or dangerous condition, or the neglected, unsightly or objectionable condition of the land or of structures on it, or the presence, deposit or collection of litter, rubbish, debris or waste.” 

The CSO (Central Statistics Office) reported 166,752 vacant houses and apartments across Ireland listed in the 2022 Census, meaning that the number of vacant sites recorded had fallen by 9% in comparison to the 2016 Census, but locals still feel that this decrease is not enough.  

Margaret Bul, 71, moved into Dublin 8 back during the early 2000s and has been living there since.

“Our Government and City Council are lacking in efficiency and effectiveness plus, there’s also a lot of bureaucracies, missed opportunities to deliver housing, such as the Housing for All scheme.”


“There has been a growing number of empty and derelict shops, buildings and houses over the past few years. It is a disgrace that there are so many empty rooms above shops that could be made into homes for all the homeless on our streets, and people on the waiting list. So many derelict shops that could become Pop- Up or a Collective shop space for small and Start-Up businesses,” Bul said.  

Derelict Building in Dublin 8 via Twitter @zoeobeimhen

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