Housing development at St Kevins psychiatric hospital is about to begin

The site has remained derelict since 2002.

Over 260 new homes are to be built on the 14-acre site in Shanakiel, which overlooks the Lee Fields.

St Kevin’s, which was once a large psychiatric hospital, first opened in 1899 and could accommodate up to 490 patients at a time. The hospital went into a period of decline in the late 1980’s following the introduction of deinstitutionalisation, and in 1999 the inspector of Mental Hospitals reported that conditions at St Kevins were “most unsatisfactory”.

The hospital closed soon after in 2002, subsequently becoming derelict, and was badly damaged in a fire in 2017. In April 2021, planning permission was granted to The Land Development agency for the redevelopment of the site to accommodate 266 new houses, and a contact worth €25m has just been sent out to tender for the first phase.


The 14-acre site is to be transformed into a mixture housing options, including affordable sale, cost rental and social housing. Phase one of the development will see the creation of 97 new homes, which will include 37 three- and four-bed terraced houses, 30 duplex ground floor apartments and 30 duplex upper townhouses.

The new neighbourhood will also incorporate ‘homezones’ (whereby streets will be prioritised to the needs of both pedestrians and vehicles), tree-planting, on-street parking, and open spaces that connect throughout the area. A 440 square metre creche along with an outdoor play area has also been granted, which is expected later in the development.


Water services, such as drainage, vast landscaping and public realm works, as well as 114 car parking spaces, 226 bicycle spaces and 13 electric vehicle charging points will also be provided in the development.

Two of the buildings on site, St Kevins Hospital and The Chapel, are considered ‘protected structures’ – the former hospital is to be renovated to provide a total of 60 apartments, while the former chapel will become a new Enterprise Office.

It is anticipated that work on the Shanakeil site will commence in the third quarter of 2022, with the first homes available as early as 2023.

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