At an emergency meeting on Monday night, Dublin City Council agreed to buy the De La Salle lands in Ballyfermot for housing.

The emergency motion was put forward by Cllr Daithi Doolan (SF) and called on Dublin City Council to buy the land formerly owned by the De La Salle Brothers.

A private developer had purchased the lands from the De La Salle brothers, but this will now be pursued by the council for the development of housing.

Cllr Doolan said: “This is a major step towards taking this land in to public ownership.

“Private developers have previously left communities scarred with their private, profit-motivated developments. Monday’s motion gives the council a great opportunity to change that.

“It gives us an opportunity to develop this site in consultation with and in the interest of Ballyfermot community.

“I firmly believe this site can deliver homes and services. Housing, schools, shops and community centres can all become a reality.

“I am urging council management to actively pursue the developers and acquire this land as a matter of urgency,” he said.

In the same meeting, Cllr Hazel de Nortuin (PBP) put forward an emergency motion for the buildings on the land to be placed on the list of protected structures, which was also passed.

Cllr de Nortuin said: “The De La Salle monastery was severely damaged with vandalism over the past few months. Measures were not taken to secure the building and its heritage by either the new owner or the occupiers.

“Ballyfermot is limited in terms of services and more consideration should be given to those structures that are of tremendous social importance to the area.”