Iveagh Trust, Dublin

Joseph and Smitherm
Date Built
1901 - 1906
Beside St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin
Edward Guinness, the first Earl of Iveagh and great-grandson to the founder of the Guinness brewing empire, established the Iveagh Trust to address the accommodation needs of the poor of Dublin and London.  In Dublin the Trust commissioned the architectural practice of Joseph and Smitherm to design the development which involved sweeping away the slums that the poor occupied and replacing them with:

A.  4 five-storey housing blocks, containing 250 tenaments and 26 shops on Bride Street and Patrick Street.


B.  Iveagh House - a workman's hotel - on Bride Road, which contained 516 cubicles and communal washing and dining facilities.  According to Wikipedia this building is now the Iveagh Hostel "for homeless men, providing basic accommodation, meals and such facilities as a gym and a computer room. The original ... cubicles have been converted to 195 bedrooms."


C.  A public baths on Bride Road


  D.  A park beside St. Patrick's Cathedral.


In 1911 the Trust spent £35,000 to add another buiding to the site fronting on to Bull Alley, across from the park (seen in the image above).  This was a play centre that contained 11 classrooms, three large halls and had an outdoor playground.  The architects were McDonnell and Reid and their design was for a building in a Flemish Renaissance style faced with Ballyknockan granite & Kingscourt bricks.  It was completed in 1913.

The "Liberty" website (A local newspaper for the Liberties area of Dublin) outlines the building's history.

"The Play Centre became popularly known as ‘the Bayno’ and was the centrepiece of the Guinness family Iveagh Trust renewal scheme .... The building continued to prosper until eventually it closed its doors in the early 1970’s. It would not stay shut for long though as there was a growing demand from the locals for (a) local vocational school to cater for the educational needs of their children.  ...  The school was purchased by the Department of Education in 1977 after vigorous rallying done by members of the Liberties.  The school was renovated in 1978 to modern standards and was reopened as The Liberties Vocational School in 1979.  The college continues there to this day."