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Is the hotel-building boom leaving no room for culture in Dublin?

The loss of some of the capital’s favourite venues has led to protests that tourist accommodation is being prioritised over the arts and locals’ needs. John Meagher investigates whether the claim is fair

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Backlash: Protesting at plans for the redevelopment of The Cobblestones in Smithfield, Dublin. Photo by Damien Storan/PA

Backlash: Protesting at plans for the redevelopment of The Cobblestones in Smithfield, Dublin. Photo by Damien Storan/PA

People gather last weekend at Smithfield in Dublin to protest against the city council over plans to build a hotel on the site of Cobblestone pub

People gather last weekend at Smithfield in Dublin to protest against the city council over plans to build a hotel on the site of Cobblestone pub

‘Great community meeting place’: Myles O’Reilly is troubled by plans for the Cobblestone

‘Great community meeting place’: Myles O’Reilly is troubled by plans for the Cobblestone

Richard Guiney of the Dublin Town organisation

Richard Guiney of the Dublin Town organisation

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Backlash: Protesting at plans for the redevelopment of The Cobblestones in Smithfield, Dublin. Photo by Damien Storan/PA

For Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin, it was the final straw. The musician had witnessed beloved venues associated with Dublin’s rich artistic culture being levelled to make way for hotels. Now he was hearing that the Cobblestone’s future was under threat.

Plans to build a nine-storey hotel over and adjacent to the Smithfield pub, famed for its trad music sessions and as an incubator of emerging talent, were made public last month. He was determined to make his voice heard, especially when it was clear that much of the venue would be erased.


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