Royal Dublin Society (RDS) (Archive)

Royal Dublin Society (RDS)The Royal Dublin Society (RDS) was founded on 25th June 1731  "to promote and develop agriculture, arts, industry, and science in Ireland”. Today it is one of Ireland's premiere event locations hosting conferences, exhibitions and trade shows. The RDS is also home to the annual Dublin Horse Show and the Leinster Rugby team.

Located in Ballsbridge the RDS is divided into two main areas: the Main Hall and Simmonscourt, these areas are divided by Simmonscourt Road.  


The RDS is located on Merrion Road in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. 


RDS map in colour

Pilgrim's map

Download RDS map for visitors with information about where to find Congress ticket collection, pilgrim entrances to Main Arena and halls where events take place, including workshops, talks, film, concerts, the Youth Programme, Children's Programme and Prayer Spaces.

Opening Times

The RDS will open at 9am on 10th and 11th June and at 8am from 12th until 16th June. The doors will close an hour after the start of the last workshop each day. The Prayer Space will open at 8.30am each day.



All venues at the RDS are accessible to people with disabilities.



Parking during the week of the Congress

RDS parking and pedestrian access map

There will be no parking in the RDS during the week of the Congress. We recommend parking on the outer regions of the city and using public transport routes to the RDS. There will be limited paid car parking places in some sports grounds. Limited coach parking will be available to registered coaches. 

A limited number of disabled car parking spaces are available in the Simmonscourt Complex. Places are available on a first come first served basis to those with a valid Disabled Parking Badge. 

Download information about access and parking for pilgrims at the RDS. 

Coach parking at the RDS

There will be a limited coach parking in the Simmonscourt area to accommodate parking requirements for coach groups with limited mobility. Parking permits will be issued in advance on a priority basis to 70 coaches. Read more about Coach Parking during the Congress. 

Coach drop off and pick up

• Option 1: Coaches drop pilgrims along Simmonscourt Road, and then park empty buses at Dublin Port. Official IEC2012 Coach Parking Spaces are available at East Wall Road (R131) and will be signposted. Tickets will be issued in advance. If you wish to enquire about one of these spaces, please send an email on or before 31st May 2012. 

• Option 2: Coaches enter Simmonscourt from Simmonscourt Road at Gate M. Drop passengers at the designated drop off points along the avenue and exit via Gate P onto Shrewsbury Road.

To facilitate the procession assembly, there will be no coach parking at the RDS on Wednesday 13th June.

Coach parking at Dublin Port 

Date Opening time Closing time
Sunday 10th June Gates open at 8.00am gates close at 8.00pm
Monday 11th June gates open at 8.00am gates close at 8.00pm
Tuesday 12th June gates open at 8.00am gates close at 8.00pm
Wednesday 13th June gates open at 8.00am gates close at 8.00pm
Thursday 14th June gates open at 8.00am gates close at 8.00pm
Friday 15th June gates open at 8.00am gates close at 8.00pm
Saturday 16th June gates open at 8.00am gates close at 8.00pm

Car parking options

Three local sports grounds will open their parking facilities to IEC2012 pilgrims coming to the RDS. The Official IEC2012 Car Parking Grounds are: Old Belvedere Rugby Club, Pembroke Cricket Club and Wanderers Rugby Club.

In these grounds the cost for a car parking space will be €10 per day. This is a direct charge from the car park provider to the pilgrim. Tickets will be for sale in cash at the sports grounds on the day. 

Car parking in local sports clubs
Old Belvedere Rugby Club, Donnybrook, Dublin 4
Car Access gate either Ailesbury Grove or Anglesea Road (see parking location map)
Pedestrian access route to RDS: through the gate from pitch directly onto Simmonscourt Complex (including Wheelchair access) 1 minute walk, also wheelchair accessible
Pembroke Cricket Club (Monkstown FC), Park Avenue, Sandymount, Dublin 4
Car Access from Park Avenue (see parking location map)
Pedestrian access route to RDS: Wilfield Road, 10 minute walk

Please note: A park and ride shuttle service will be offered from this location to the RDS Simmonscourt – the cost of this service is included in your parking fee.
Wanderers Rugby Club, 65 Merrion Road, Donnybrook, Dublin 4
Car Access from Merrion Road (see parking location map)
Pedestrian access route to RDS: Merrion Road, 10 minute walk


Download a map with information about parking arrangements for pilgrims going to the RDS. This includes pedestrian access, drop off point for registered coaches, disabled parking, IEC2012 park and ride bus, paid parking facilities and public transport stops close to the RDS. 


Public transport to the RDS

Download a complete guide on how to get to the RDS.

Public transport to the RDS (Dublin Bus)
Merrion Road Stops: 4, 7, 8, 18, 27X, 45, 120
There are also a large numbers of routes serviced through the Donnybrook Bus Garage, a ten minute walk from the RDS. Bus routes: 7B, 7D, 25X, 39A, 41X, 46A, 46E, 66X, 67X, 84X, 116, 118, 145.
Dublin Bus accepts exact fares only for payment in cash. Find out more about bus routes in Dublin. Find out more about Dublin Bus fares. Telephone: +353 (0)1 873 4222 for more information on  Dublin Bus routes. 

The RDS is close to Sandymount DART station. DART is the network of trains in Dublin city and suburbs. 

Public transport to the RDS (DART)
The DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) is the rail line running along the coast of Dublin. Find out more about DART timetables


There is a range of catering facilities available for pilgrims in the RDS. Pilgrims can use Congress meal vouchers at the various catering outlets. 

Information services
Information Services desks will be located throughout the RDS venue and venue staff will be available to provide assistance to pilgrims.

Visit the RDS website for more information.


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