New homes and restored streetscape on Ballybough Road

Nos. 2 to 5 Ballybough Road. Image courtesy Townlink Construction.

The reconstruction of Nos. 2 to 5 Ballybough Road beside the Royal Canal at Clarke’s Bridge was recently completed as part of the regeneration of the Croke Park neighbourhood, an overall scheme that includes the redevelopment of the Croke Villas flat complex to provide new homes combined with a new boulevard approach to the stadium along Sackville Avenue. Later phases of development include 14 new terraced houses on Sackville Avenue, 61 duplexes and apartments designed by McCullough Mulvin Architects on the site of the Croke Villas flat complex and extensive public realm works in Sackville Avenue, Sackville Gardens, Ardilaun Road and Ballybough Road. The GAA has recently completed a new national handball centre on the site and the Council anticipates construction of the first terrace of houses on Sackville Avenue starting in the new year.

The urban design plan for the redevelopment involves remaking street frontages with residential buildings that enclose secure private and shared spaces behind. The widening of Sackville Avenue will provide a substantial approach space for Croke Park and improve crowd movements in the area during match days.

The terrace, originally called Edward Terrace, was built in ca. 1830 and may have replaced previous artisan cottages in the site. The houses had fallen into serious disrepair, but a decision was taken to restore the original street frontage in this location as the public frontage onto the historic Ballybough Road for the new contemporary development on the sites behind.

1811 Map showing the site before construction of Edward Terrace, with Mud Island opposite, above undeveloped reclaimed land.




The houses in poor condition prior to the redevelopment.

Contractors Townlink Construction started on site in 2017. Works were challenging due to poor original workmanship, fabric decay, inadequate previous repair works and fire damage. An undocumented culvert was also discovered under one of the houses which necessitated diversion and additional engineering works.

During works, buddleia roots were found to have decayed and compromised the integrity of the original mortar to such an extent that the only repair methodology was to take down and rebuild more than 50% of the structure. This would have incurred substantial delay and the difficult decision was taken to demolish and rebuild the terrace to current building standards.

The original cellars were retained, while brick, granite, wrought and cast railings were salvaged and re-used in the new build.

The dwellings were therefore reconstructed to provide  generous, bright and well proportioned rooms, with high ceilings, large sliding sash windows, quality joinery , fittings and fixtures. The works were completed in 2019 and are now home to last remaining tenants from Croke Villas in buildings.

The redevelopment of Croke Villas is continuing with the imminent demolition of the final remaining flat block and anticipated start on site in the New Year of the first terrace of housing on Sackville Avenue. Planning permission is in place for the apartment development and public realm works.