Iveagh Gardens, Crumlin

Sir Edward’s initial investment to establish the Iveagh Trust would represent an amount in the region of €45m in 2020. His vision was that this gift to the city of Dublin would become a nucleus for sustained growth. Rental income from unmortgaged properties would – for some decades at least – fund the growth of the Trust’s housing programme, helping to address the needs not just of this generation, but of future generations.

A return of about 3.5% annually was thought to be essential if the Trust was to undertake further building, and this financial policy did suffice. In 1909 for example, the capital of the Trust amounted to £196,945 and surplus income for the year amounted to £3,506. By 1925, capital stood at £290,464 with a net income from rents & investments of £83,000, a position in which expansion could be realistically undertaken.

Iveagh Gardens 1926 – 1936

In 1925 the Trustees resolved to build further dwellings. It was debated whether these should be cottages on the outskirts or another block of flats in the city. A suburban cottage scheme was decided on and promptly built, but this would also be followed by the building of new city flats at Kevin Street as resources allowed.

A site of about 30 acres of open land was purchased from the Guinness Brewery on the Crumlin Road in Dublin. Here, the Trust decided to build two-storied family houses of four or five rooms with small gardens, so-called ‘cottage dwellings’.

Development at Crumlin Road stretched over a decade from 1926 – 1936 and the scheme would ultimately provide 136 homes. 42 houses were built in the first phase, at a cost of £40,554. These were occupied by 1927 at which time a further 40 similar dwellings had been commissioned. By 1930, 82 houses had been erected, accommodating a total of 426 people. The scheme was completed by 1936 providing a total of 136 houses, 52 with four rooms and 84 with five, housing a total of 637 people. Rents were considerably higher than in the city centre flats, ranging from 19/- for the four roomed houses to 21/ for five roomed houses. The total cost of the development was £134,000.

The architects were O’Callaghan and Webb of Dublin and the building was carried out by H. And J. Martin, a long-established building firm active in both the north & south of Ireland.

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A number of tenants at Iveagh Gardens had expressed an interest in purchasing their properties over the years, while by the early 1970s, the Trust faced considerable financial difficulty, owing to the imposition of rent restrictions.

Trustees arranged to sell the houses at Crumlin to finance essential modernisation works at the city centre flat complexes and to fund continued expansion of its Mount Anthony estate for the elderly. At that time, 89 of the Crumlin tenants took advantage of the opportunity to purchase and seven vacant houses were sold on the open market. The sale of the remaining houses at Crumlin would continue right up to the early 1990s and all properties there are now privately owned.

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