Who Owns Vacant and Derelict Dublin, Mapped

Get the data

The data on the map is drawn from several different sources: a Dublin City Council audit carried out in February 2015, land registry records on Landdirect, reports given out at Dublin City Council’s local area committee meetings, the derelict sites register, reports from the Dublin City Architects, from queries to government departments and public bodies, from planning applications, and from councillor queries.

As we have written before, it can be hard to work out who owns properties in Dublin and there is some debate over whether it is in the public interest for that information to be readily available to communities, or if a right to privacy supersedes that. Our site includes details for the last-known owner for which we could find records; there is the possibility that the land has changed hands since the record date.

The map includes 389 sites, which is probably not all of the vacant or derelict sites in the city but all that we could gather and map in the last six months. (Some Dublin City Council sites are not included on the map, as the addresses we had for them were not specific enough, for example.)

The map includes the last-known owner for 179 of those sites, of which 88 are Dublin City Council. Given that the overall data is incomplete, it’s hard to say what overall share of vacant land and property is in the ownership of the council.

Early next year – once the public register for the vacant-site levy goes live – we should have a better idea of who owns much of derelict and vacant Dublin. (We’ll update our map at that stage.)

Simon Auffret made this map, with help from Sam Tranum, Lois Kapila, Conal Thomas, Laoise Neylon, Cathal Kavanagh, Glen Guerrine, Gaby Guedez, Morgan O’Reilly, Sam Cox, Grace De Blaca, and David Doyle.


We have followed the definitions used by Dublin City Council in its audit of vacant sites carried out in February 2015:

  • Vacant land = a clear site with no physical evidence of any structures
  • Vacant land and building(s) = a vacant site which could not be identified on its own without including associated secondary building(s) which are vacant and appear to be dilapidated and therefore unlikely to be capable of occupation
  • Vacant building = a site comprising almost entirely of a vacant dilapidated building

Want to Help Out?

If you want to help us fill in the gaps – which would be great – you can fill out the form with as much information as you know about a site, and the sources of your information.

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Simon Auffret and Others: Simon Auffret is a journalism student at IUT Lannion who has also studied at Dublin Institute of Technology. He loves data and maps, and ideas for Dublin data and maps. So send them his way: [email protected]

Reader responses

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at 7 December 2016 at 07:48

Brilliant job, Dublin Inquirer. Hopefully Dublin City Council will finally tackle the issue of derelict sites across Dublin

Will B
at 7 December 2016 at 12:50

Great stuff Dublin Inquirer!

at 7 December 2016 at 14:01

More importantly perhaps would be to raise the issue via legislation in the Seanad etc., that this information should be registered public knowledge rather than having to rely on hearsay. Likewise how long it has been vacant.

BTW It would be worth surveying as well the center of Dublin for buildings that are only using their ground floor and the rest of the buildings floors and offices are wasted space. A lot of that in Dublin from what I can see.

at 7 December 2016 at 15:07

No mention of Reusing Dublin’s great efforts to map vacant spaces around Dublin? Confused.

Lois Kapila
at 7 December 2016 at 15:10

@Peter: I actually hadn’t seen that Peter, until today.

at 7 December 2016 at 16:30

@Lois Kapila: It would be great to see some sort of joint investigation between yourselves and Reusing Dublin / Peter McVerry Trust. I have even heard that DCC doesn’t know how many empty properties it owns – if true, not confidence-inspiring.

at 7 December 2016 at 16:43

@Lois Kapila: …and here’s the next stage of Reusing Dublin. [https://twitter.com/spaceengagers…

at 9 December 2016 at 08:23

Hi, Philip from Reusing Dublin / Space Engagers here.
Great to see more mapping of these spaces. And a great interface.
We had shared some of your features on vacant sites on social media etc… over the past months.
Just to confirm – Reusing Dublin was originally part of a research project in UCD – and we have now given the platform to Peter McVerry Trust, who approached us about it earlier this year. They took over just recently, same address – [http://www.reusingdublin.ie](http…
We think and hope it will work well for them – a clear focus on housing, and an existing presence and network should all help with crowdsourcing – and the main purpose is to raise awareness. Main contacts – Francis Doherty and Nyle Lennon.
To echo Peter’s comment above, it would be great if DublinInquirer could help promote this and somehow combine the data. The initiative above, with so many committed volunteers, is exactly what they need.
Aoife and myself would be more than happy to meet and share all knowledge.
We are now focussing on creating better tools (open source) and launching them in other towns and cities, through a new social enterprise – SpaceEngagers. Check out twitter feed @SpaceEngagers

Lois Kapila
at 12 December 2016 at 12:00

@Philip: Hey Philip, Sorry for the delay getting back to you. It would be great if we could somehow work together on this. I’ll send you an email now and see when might be good to meet to talk! All the best, Lo

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