Dublin City Council has abandoned plans to buy Dartmouth Square from Athlone businessman Noel O'Gara.
The council initiated a compulsory purchase order (CPO) on the park in February 2006, to bring it into public ownership.However, the council has since been advised that continuing with the CPO could leave it open to a "substantial" award.
"We have been advised that if we proceed with the completion of the compulsory purchase process to arbitration stage we would expose the City Council to the possibility of a substantial and financially prohibitive award," it said in a statement. "Therefore, it is with regret that the City Council announces that it does not intend to proceed with the compulsory purchase order to acquire the park as originally planned."
The council has also been engaged in negotiations with Mr O'Gara, without agreement. However, in an effort to protect Dartmouth Square as a park, the council has placed a Tree Preservation Order on the park, and it has also been included as part of Dartmouth Square's Area of Architectural Conservation designation.
The council said it remains open to further negotiations with Mr O'Gara.