Gardaí avoid Christmas eviction from Harcourt Street

Hibernia REIT agrees a deal with the Office of Public Works...

Gardaí avoid Christmas eviction from Harcourt Street

Photocall file photo

An Garda Síochána will continue to have their headquarters on Dublin's Harcourt Street, after a long-running battle between the Office of Public Works (OPW) and Hibernia REIT reached an amicable conclusion.

Hundreds of Gardaí have been accommodated in the giant Harcourt Square Development for many years, but that arrangement looked doubtful to continue as former landlord the OPW locked horns with the site's new owner, the publicly-quoted property vehicle Hibernia REIT.

Hibernia paid €70m for the 117,000 building in February 2015. It has plans to knock down the existing building and redevelop the site with four new blocks of eight storeys over basements.

The existing lease with the OPW was due to expire this month, but it claimed it had nowhere to house the Gardaí.

Hibernia, meanwhile, had secured planning permission for its rebuild and proceeded to initiate High Court action to evict them.

Luckily, peace has broken out in time for Christmas, as it was announced this morning that the OPW has signed a new six-year non-renewable lease with Hibernia. It comes at a cost of €6m per year and a one-off arrears payment of €500,000.

Hibernia has plenty of other developments to proceed with in Dublin’s Docklands and elsewhere and now won’t start work on Harcourt Square until early 2023.

Hibernia chief executive Kevin Nowlan said:

"The new lease gives both parties certainty on the date of departure and secures near term income for Hibernia.  We will now work to optimise our plans for what will be an outstanding future development project."