Merrion Square Park

Printer-friendly version

Address: Merrion Square, Dublin 2.
Phone: 01-6612369
Area: Southeast
Category: Georgian and other squares
Enquiries: (01)222 5278 or


  • Oscar Wilde Sculpture
  • Performances and Events during the year
  • Floral Schemes and Tree Planting
  • Historical
  • Leisure Walks
  • Playground
  • River Pool Sea

The construction of the Georgian houses at Merrion Square began in 1762 and continued for 30 years. The earliest plan of the park shows a double line of trees around the perimeter which was later enclosed by railings in the early years of the 19th century. A 'Jardin Anglaise' approach was adopted for the layout of the park with contoured grass areas, informal tree clumps, sunken curved paths and perimeter planting.

Merrion Square soon became a fashionable address for the aristocracy and the professional classes. The park was purchased from the Pembroke Estate by the Roman Catholic Church in 1930 for 100,000 as a site for a cathedral. However, this project never materialised and in 1974 the then Archbishop, Dermot Ryan, transferred the 4.75 hectares (11.7 acres) to Dublin Corporation for use a public park.

Notable features of the park include many fine sculptures; the Rutland Memorial; a collection of old Dublin lamp posts; a central floral garden; heather garden and playground. What was once the preserve of local privileged keyholders is now a public park to match the best in Europe and a successful adaptation of a typical Georgian Square to modern intensive public usage.

Please click here to read a booklet on the Park published by Parks and Landscapes Services, Dublin City Council in 2002.

Landscape Works in Merrion Square Park

The current landscape works being implemented in Merrion Square Park have been informed by a Conservation and Management Plan for the Park which was completed in April 2014 and also a tree survey of the park undertaken in 2012.

The tree survey indicated that a large number of trees in the park were self seeded Sycamores and also poor quality trees planted too close to the crown spread or even under the crowns of the mature trees . Instead of contributing to the overall planting structure they masked and impacted negatively on the historic specimen trees eg. London Planes, Limes (Tilis sps.), Norway Maple (Acer platanoides ), Holm Oak ( Quercus ilex). Over the last 3 years a programme of selective removal of the poorest quality and inappropriately planted trees has been undertaken to enable the remaining trees to grow to their potential and also to facilitate works recommended in the Conservation Management Plan.

The Conservation and Management Plan was undertaken by Grade 1 Conservation Architects, Howley Hayes & Associates and recommends a range of works in keeping with best practice for the conservation and management of a significant Georgian Square. Implementation of these recommendations commenced with the restoration of the perimeter path which necessitated the removal of trees and undergrowth, much of which were growing on the actual line of the old footpath.

The current tree removal, by reducing competition from poorer quality trees and excessive undergrowth, will enhance the longevity and condition of the mature trees, many of which are in excess of 100 years old.

As part of the park improvements it is also proposed to undertake appropriate replacement tree planting, thus complimenting the existing mature trees and creating a sustainable tree canopy for future generations.

Prior to finalising the Conservation and Management Plan consultation was undertaken with local stakeholders including the Merrion Square Innovation Group who are supportive of the plan. The full text of the Conservation Study can be viewed on this web site.

Parks & Landscape Services Division wishes to apologise for any inconvenience caused to the public during the works. If you require any further information please contact Park Services, Dublin City Council by e-mail; or tel: 01- 2225278

Conservation Management Plan


Upgrading of Merrion Square Park Playground:

As part of Park Services works programme it is proposed to upgrade the playground in Merrion Square Park. The upgrading has now been procured and it is proposed to undertake the upgrading commencing late February/ early March 1014 with an anticipated six to eight week build period.

Park Services welcome the co-operation of the public during the construction phase of the works and apologise for any inconvenience caused during this stage.

If you have any queries please contact Park Services at e-mail:

Artwork to Commemorate Ireland’s Presidency of the EU, 2013

‘The Touring Tama’ by Artist Miriam Mc Connon, born Dublin 1977, now living in Cyprus visited Merrion Square Park for two weeks from 14th June 2013. A commemorative plaque is being placed to mark the occasion. Read more here.

For more information

Parks & Landscapes Services Division
Block 4, Ground Floor,
Civic Offices,
Fishamble Street
Dublin 2

Enquiries: (01) 222 5278