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.
Merrion Square Park is really cool. I love it. It’s only recently, since we have undertaken some projects in Dublin City Centre that I have started to frequent it. I should do it more often…. With my flask of coffee and a good book – it is absolutely amazing what is sitting right on our doorsteps. One will always hear people complain about ‘we never get’ and ‘the government should give us this’…. the reality when I was growing up was, that’s what parks were there for – and we made our own fun. In that context, [we] the taxpayer pays for this. I was in lunchtime on Thursday. It was about one o’ clock. How many people did I see….? I’d say about five or six, maximum. The art inside the park is brilliant; the buildings surrounding housed so many amazing Irish people – check it out!; I love kicking autumn leaves on the ground; the sign on the gate is cool and the people are sooooo relaxed inside. It even has a playground. Go there, love it and enjoy it!