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Ulster Bank’s landmark College Green branch building acquired by leading hotelier for €17m

Number 33 College Green has potential for development of 147-bedroom hotel, according to feasibility study

Ulster Bank’s landmark premises at number 33 College Green in Dublin city centre looks set to be transformed into a new boutique hotel following its purchase by one of the city’s leading hoteliers.

The Irish Times understands that Donegal couple Brian and Sally McGill have agreed a deal to acquire the former bank-branch building for about €17 million, or some €3.5 million more than agent Cushman & Wakefield had been guiding when it offered the property to the market last September. The McGills are understood to have secured the building in the face of competition from a number of parties. The McGill family already owns and operates the Harcourt Hotel, Harrington Hall and the four-star Iveagh Garden Hotel on nearby Harcourt Street.

Number 33 College Green occupies a prominent position across the street from both Trinity College Dublin and Bank of Ireland’s high-profile branch within the former Irish houses of parliament. The property briefly comprises a six-storey over-basement office building, the majority of which was built in 1975. A part of the property’s facade fronting on to College Green is listed under Dublin City Council’s Record of Protected Structures and is described as “the Ulster Bank facade, including front-domed roof and flanking chimneys”.

The building is zoned Z5: City Centre under the terms of the Dublin City Development Plan 2022-2028. The objective of this zoning is “to consolidate and facilitate the development of the central area, and to identify, reinforce, strengthen and protect its civic design character and dignity”. There are a number of uses permitted in principle under this zoning, and these include the development of hotels, offices, residential and retail.


A feasibility study prepared by Reddy Architecture + Urbanism in advance of the property’s sale suggests there is scope for the delivery of either a 147-bedroom hotel or a 141-bedroom hotel with meeting rooms.

While retail and office use were also considered as potential options for the building, number 33′s suitability as a hotel is further enhanced by its location within a short walk of Grafton Street, Temple Bar, Trinity College and St Stephen’s Green, and by its proximity to key public transport links including the Luas green line, the Dart at Pearse Street station and numerous Dublin Bus routes.

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Property Editor of The Irish Times