Author Joseph O'Connor in planning row with Killiney neighbours

Author Joseph O'connor In Planning Row With Killiney Neighbours
Joseph O'Connor and his wife, Anne-Marie Casey, are one of several parties to lodge an appeal against the development. Photo: Collins
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Seán McCárthaigh

Award-winning author Joseph O’Connor has become involved in a planning row with neighbours over a proposed residential development near his home in south Dublin.

The writer and his wife, Anne-Marie Casey – a screenwriter, novelist and TV producer – are one of several parties to lodge an appeal against a decision of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to grant planning permission for the construction of two flat-roofed dwellings at Shanganagh Terrace, Killiney, Co Dublin.


The couple are among seven parties to object to the development which also requires the demolition of four existing sheds on the property.

Others who have lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála against the council’s ruling include a voluntary community organisation, Ballybrack Church Lane Environmental Group and other residents in the area.

The application to build two new houses – a two-storey, three-bedroom property and a two-bedroom bungalow – is by Elaine O’Hora and Suvi Harris.

In their appeal, Mr O’Connor and Ms Casey claim the proposed development with four car parking spaces would exacerbate traffic congestion on Shanganagh Terrace which would impact on traffic safety on the narrow cul-de-sac which has no footpath.


“The current lack of parking spaces means there are frequent issues with accessibility for refuse collection vehicles and delivery trucks,” said a consultant acting for the couple.

Computer generated images of the planned development at Shanganagh Terrace, Killiney, Co Dublin

They claimed it would also affect the quality of the terrace, which predominantly contains mid-Victorian houses, as a conservation area.

The couple argue that the addition of two houses would constitute overdevelopment of a restricted site which would result “in serious injury” to the adjoining property.


Mr O’Connor and his wife pointed out that planning permission was refused in 2016 for the development of a single house on the same site because of its negative impact on the residential amenities of the area.

They claim that council planners have demonstrated inconsistency by approving the latest, larger proposed development at the same location.

The couple also expressed concern that one of the proposed houses would overshadow their property which was likely to result in a reduction in the value of their home.

Similar issues were raised by other objectors.


Joseph O’ Connor with his sister, Sinead, in 2011. Photo: James Horan/Collins

However, the council claimed the grounds of the various appeals did not raise any new matter which it believed would justify a change of attitude by the local authority to the proposed development.

Council planners ruled it would not adversely impact adjoining properties due to overshadowing or having an overbearing appearance and would not significantly detract from the character of the surrounding area.

A ruling by An Bord Pleanála on the appeals is due by the end of March 2024.

Mr O’Connor, who is the brother of singer Sinead O’Connor, who died earlier this year, has written many best-selling novels including Star of the Sea, Ghost Light and Shadowplay.

His latest book, My Father’s House, which was published earlier this year, is based on the true story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, an Irish priest in the Vatican who helped to save thousands of prisoners during the Nazi occupation of Rome.

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