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‘Let’s keep the interesting parts of Dublin sacred’ – fears for character of Cobblestone pub in hotel plan

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Ispíní Na hÉireann band members Adam Holohan, Tomás Mulligan, Oisín Mulligan playing outside the Cobblestone in Smithfield in July. Photo: Mark Condren

Ispíní Na hÉireann band members Adam Holohan, Tomás Mulligan, Oisín Mulligan playing outside the Cobblestone in Smithfield in July. Photo: Mark Condren

Ispíní Na hÉireann band members Adam Holohan, Tomás Mulligan, Oisín Mulligan playing outside the Cobblestone in Smithfield in July. Photo: Mark Condren

There are fears that the historic character of one of Dublin’s best-known traditional music pubs will be lost under plans for a new hotel.

The proposed development, on the site of the Cobblestone pub in Smithfield, has prompted a strong negative reaction on social media.

According to the planning application, submitted to Dublin City Council on October 1, the Cobblestone, a protected structure, will be retained as part of the proposed development.

However, the bar would be integrated into the new hotel, prompting fears the pub’s unique character would be lost.

It is believed that the back room, often used as a live venue for up-and-coming musicians, will also be lost if the hotel proceeds as planned.

While a number of buildings and the “existing modern extensions” will be demolished, the plan provides for the “retention and alteration” of the protected structures at 77 and 80 King Street North.

This will facilitate the construction of a 5,818 sq m hotel building, between three and nine storeys in height. There will be 114 bedrooms located between the second and ninth floors.

The Cobblestone is one of Dublin’s most popular traditional Irish pubs, famous for hosting up to four music sessions per day.

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Dublin Central TD Gary Gannon (SD) expressed concern at the number of new hotel developments in the city.

“Eventually we’ll have so many hotels in Dublin that we’ll lose the parts that make it interesting and worth visiting,” he said. “The Cobblestone pub is an institution and its look is part of what makes it special.

“Smithfield already has so many large hotels so another would just add to an encroaching boringness in the city.

“Let’s just keep the interesting parts of Dublin sacred at this point and say no to more dreary hotels replacing places of heart and vibrancy.”

Social media was awash with negative reaction to the plan, with many comments questioning the need for more hotels at the expense of “Dublin’s cultural infrastructure”.

Observations on the planning application, which has been submitted by Marron Estates Ltd, can be made up to November 4.

An Uplift petition opposing the development has so far amassed more than 14,000 signatures, while separately, a petition opposing plans for a hotel along the laneway which leads to Merchant’s Arch in Temple Bar has now gathered more than 40,000 signatures, with opponents saying it will affect the character of the historic structure.


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