Our plans for the Poetry Ireland Centre

Poetry Ireland and The Irish Heritage Trust have undertaken to establish a vibrant venue and resource centre dedicated to celebrating, supporting and promoting poetry, poets and writers at No. 11 Parnell Square, in the heart of Dublin 1. 

The vision

No. 11 Parnell Square is a four storey over basement Georgian protected structure of historical importance. An active part of the Parnell Square cultural quarter, the house will take on a new and exciting role, becoming the Poetry Ireland Centre. Works will include the careful conservation-led refurbishment of the house with the provision of universal access including a new lift to the rear, as well as internal and external alterations.

In this new vision for the house, the basement will function as an independent restaurant, and the ground floor and first floor (including the two storey 20th century extension to the rear) will house the Poetry Ireland Centre, comprising elegant performance and workshop spaces, a café and bookshop and the custom-designed Seamus Heaney Working Poetry Library. The upper two floors will be used as office space.

The house is located in an area of high conservation value due to the well preserved, surrounding streetscape which is greatly valued for its historic significance and architectural merit. The establishment of the Poetry Ireland Centre at No. 11 Parnell Square will add significantly to the regeneration of the north inner city and enable the opening up of Poetry Ireland to new communities.

No. 11 Parnell Square is set to become an integral part of a visionary project to fulfil the City’s ambitions for a cultural cluster with high public footfall in the Parnell Square area. No. 11 will proudly join the Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane and the Gate Theatre, as well as the Dublin Writers Museum, the Irish Writers Centre, The James Joyce Centre and the proposed new City Library in Dublin’s literary quarter.

In 2018, the Parnell Square Cultural Quarter project submitted a planning application which was subsequently approved in May 2019. The new City Library at Parnell Square will serve the 1.2 million population of the Greater Dublin Area, attracting an estimated 3,000 visitors a day. It will inspire and excite, welcome and include with collections, connections, places, services and programmes for learners, readers, researchers, for children and families, for all citizens. It will be a place to learn, create and participate.

Take a look at the below video, which outlines the vision for the Poetry Ireland Centre.

The journey so far

Did you know?

As one of the first townhouses on Dublin’s very first Georgian square, 11 Parnell Square is a historically significant 250-year-old building with many stories to tell.

No. 11 started life as a private residence in what was then Dublin’s most desirable residential area, and was built by Luke Gardiner, one of Georgian Dublin’s visionary “developers”. Later it housed The National Club, a members' club frequented by WB Yeats’ muse Maud Gonne and the nationalist John O’Leary, featured by Yeats in his famous poem "September 1913".

In 1900, Dublin City Council took up residence in the building and began refitting for their new council chambers, which are still intact in 11 Parnell Square. The Council remained in the building for 77 years until it moved to O’Connell Street.

Today the building is home to Poetry Ireland, Irish Heritage Trust, the Irish Landmark Trust and the Irish Museums’ Association.

Help bring the Poetry Ireland Centre to life

As the establishment of the Poetry Ireland Centre progresses over the next three years, we’d love for you to help us by donating to our fundraising campaign. Simply click below, depending on whether you’re an Individual Supporter or interested in Corporate Opportunities.

We’re also keen to build relationships with founding partners who wish to join us in bringing this extraordinary transformation to life.

Individual Supporters →

Corporate Opportunities →