THE Royal Dublin Society (RDS) has bought the former St Mary’s Church in Ballsbridge. The one-acre site at the corner of Anglesea Road and Simmonscourt Road will be known to attendees of the Dublin Horse Show as it is current use as a car park.

The Irish Times reports the RDS paid about €4 million for the property which was put on the market in January 2022 with a guide price of €3.75 million.

The site purchase adds another acre to the 42-acre RDS holding which includes offices and a hotel operated by the InterContinental Group.

It is reported the RDS plans to integrate the site into its plan for a redeveloped 20,000 capacity stadium at the venue which is home to Leinster Rugby as well as the Dublin Horse Show and multiple concerts throughout the year.

The RDS signed a new 25-year agreement with Leinster Rugby last month that will continue to see Ireland’s biggest club play their home games in the main RDS arena until 2047. The RDS received planning permission for a €26 million re-development of the Anglesea Stand, which involved a new three-tier stand with hospitality, in 2018.

A listed structure, the church was deconsecrated in July 2020 and sold by the Representative Church Body, the property arm of the Church of Ireland.