Tuesday 24 April 2018

Department of Foreign Affairs' security fears hit plans for €40m luxury hotel in Dublin

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan hosting Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at Iveagh House
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan hosting Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at Iveagh House
Loreto Hall on Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green

Gordon Deegan

A €40m plan to convert Loreto Hall on Dublin's St Stephen's Green into a luxury hotel has been put on hold after security fears were expressed by officials at the Deparment of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFA).

The DFA lodged an appeal against the decision by Dublin City Council to give Brown Table Solutions Ltd the go-ahead for the 87-bedroom hotel with restaurant and spa at 77 St Stephen's Green.

The plan would involve constructing an eight-storey block to the rear of the building.

Already, one objector, Dubliner, Philip O'Reilly has lodged an appeal against the decision and now the Department of Foreign Affairs has lodged its own appeal.

The HQ of the Department at Iveagh Houses lies beside the development.

Now, in an appeal lodged, the Department stated that the €40m plan represents a gross over-development of the site.

In the appeal, the Department point out that under the heading of 'Security of the Dept of Foreign Affairs', Iveagh House regularly hosts Heads of State, national and foreign dignitaries and political leaders for sensitive meetings and negotiations.

The appeal states: "The security and privacy of the Iveagh House premises of paramount importance."

The appeal goes on to state: "The proposal to construct a bank of hotel rooms with windows facing directly into the Iveagh House offices and ball room - its main meeting room - with inadequate separation distances, is of great concern to the DFA."

The Department states that it does not object in principle to the development of the redevelopment of Loreto Hall but has requested the appeals board to refuse planning permission.

Irish Independent

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