An Cathaoirleach Carrie Smyth (Lab, pictured) welcomed the news that Shanganagh Castle has been transferred into council ownership, saying: “When I became Cathaoirleach in June, this was one of the projects I hoped to be initiated during my term”

A LAND deal involving the transfer of Shanganagh Castle into council ownership has been agreed by council representatives.
The deal sees Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council transfer 11 acres of its zoned land east of the Dart line to Dundrum-based construction company Castlethorn, in return for Shanganagh Castle on 6.35 acres and two other residentially-zoned plots of 2.32 and 2.33 acres.
The council will acquire the castle and a number of adjacent buildings, a plot currently occupied by Woodbrook Golf Club, and another plot at the end of the Woodbrook lands at the Old Dublin Road, beside the site of the proposed Woodbrook Dart station.
The deal was agreed by councillors at a recent council meeting.
Commenting on it, Cathaoirleach Carrie Smyth (Lab) said: “This deal will ensure the final completion of Shanganagh Regional Park.
“When I became Cathaoirleach in June, this was one of the projects I hoped to be initiated during my term. I never thought it would happen so quickly, and I would like to acknowledge the huge amount of work [county manager] Owen Keegan has put into ensuring this agreement is finalised and before he departs from Dun Laoghaire.”
Costs accrued to the council for the transfer of these lands includes €210,000 in stamp duty and VAT, which the council said it has made provision for.
Meanwhile, €500,000 has also been budgeted by the council for immediate emergency work to Shanganagh Castle to halt its further deterioration.
In the 1950s, Shanganagh Castle was a Church of Ireland College of Education; later, it was used as an open prison by the Department of Justice until its closure in 2003. It has remained vacant ever since.
Outgoing county manager Owen Keegan said: “All the land we are acquiring is zoned residential. The two 2.3 acres plots are likely to be sold in time by the council to generate funds to refurbish the castle and to complete the park.
“The land we are giving to Castlethorn is zoned ‘open space’. They will be relocating the golf club onto this land.
“No decision has been made regarding the future use of the castle. [The initial €500,000] will be used to secure the building and emergency works. The full cost is likely to be in the vicinity of €4m.”
Woodbrook Golf Club course will be relocated to Castlethorn’s 11-acre site.
When asked by The Gazette if the council lands being transferred to Castlethorn would be developed, the company’s operations director Hugh O’Neill said: “No, not for residential development.
“The 11 acres are located on the coastal side of the rail line, bounded to the east and south by part of Woodbrook Golf Club [and are] intended to be ultimately developed as part of Woodbrook Golf Club [and] likely to be in conjunction with new residential development on the existing residentially-zoned lands. The 11 acres are zoned as ‘green belt’.”
Cllr Victor Boyhan (Ind) said of the residentially-zoned land being transferred to the council: “I would argue strongly that this land should be made available by the council to housing associations and/or co-operative housing initiatives in order to build and provide for affordable housing.”
Cllr Donal Marren (FG) said: “The first priority is to identify the built structure that can be retained; its precise use and that of the adjoining lands will in due course be decided, in consultation with local interested parties.”