THIS HAS CEASED SINCE MY LAST VISIT IN 2014
The last time I visited the area I was able to access Holycross College site and parklands but today all entrances [except those to the Crosscare Hub and the Teen Counselling Service) were locked.
In May 2021 a proposal to redevelop this site was published – The development will consist of the construction of a Build To Rent residential development set out in 12 no. blocks, ranging in height from 2 to 18 storeys, to accommodate 1614 no. apartments including a retail unit, a café unit, a crèche, and residential tenant amenity spaces. The development will include a single level basement under Blocks B2, B3 & C1, a single level basement under Block D2 and a podium level and single level basement under Block A1 to accommodate car parking spaces, bicycle parking, storage, services and plant areas. To facilitate the proposed development the scheme will involve the demolition of a number of existing structures on the site.
The proposed development sits as part of a wider Site Masterplan for the entire Holy Cross College lands which includes a permitted hotel development and future proposed GAA pitches and clubhouse.
The site contains a number of Protected Structures including The Seminary Building, Holy Cross Chapel, South Link Building, The Assembly Hall and The Ambulatory. The application proposes the renovation and extension of the Seminary Building to accommodate residential units and the renovation of the existing Holy Cross Chapel and Assembly Hall buildings for use as residential tenant amenity. The wider Holy Cross College lands also includes Protected Structures including The Red House and the Archbishop’s House (no works are proposed to these Structures).
Planning application was submitted in July 2021. I do not know the status of the project but in January 2023 local media reported as follows:
“Construction of 1,592 apartments in north Dublin’s Drumcondra has been blocked by the High Court due to flaws found in its planning permission. Permission for the €602 million build-to-rent scheme, comprising 540 studios, 603 one-beds, 418 two-beds and 53 three-beds, was granted back in November 2021 to the Irish arm of US real estate giant Hines. The contentious strategic housing development proposal attracted more than 120 submissions, including from Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, who stated that approval would only exacerbate the housing crisis.”
Holy Cross College (also known as Clonliffe College), located in Clonliffe Road, Drumcondra was founded in 1854 as the Catholic diocesan seminary for Dublin by Cardinal Paul Cullen.
The College was adjacent to the residence of the Archbishop of Dublin, just north of Croke Park Stadium. Clonliffe is the administrative headquarters of the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin, and is used for retreats, conferences, meetings and courses. The Mater Dei Institute of Education College of Education was established in 1966 on part of the Clonliffe College campus, used some of the resources of the former seminary such as the Sports grounds until its closure in 2016. A number of Dublin Diocesan bodies are based in Clonliffe College such as Crosscare which is located in the Red building. The Drug Awareness Programme, Crosscare, Clonliffe College, ran the Certificate in Addiction Studies, from Maynooth University.
The library collections of Clonliffe (along with Mater Dei) were transferred into the care of Dublin City University Library in 2016.
In 2018, it was announced that the College would be closed by the Archdiocese and sold to the GAA.
The college closed on 30 November 2016 when it was fully incorporated into the DCU Institute of Education, within which is The Mater Dei Centre for Catholic Education (MDCCE) continuing its mission.
The Ukrainian Church in Ireland of Bishop Nicholas the Miracle Worker (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church) hold services in Holy Cross College, Clonliffe.
In 2022, the Dublin Diocese offered the college buildings to the government to house refugees, and later many items from the College, were auctioned to make space to accommodate refugees from Ukraine, following the conflict there.