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.

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:

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