FOOTBALL boss Tony Fernandes has been refused permission to build a six-storey, 170-bedroom hotel on Dublin's quays.
An Bord Pleanala rejected an application to demolish the now-vacant Ormond Quay Hotel, which was featured in James Joyce's Ulysses, and build a massive hotel in its place.
In February, Dublin City Council had refused permission to knock the Ormond Quay hotel and to change two neighbouring properties to hotel use.
But applicants Monteco Holdings - owned by the Queen's Park Rangers boss - referred the decision to the appeals board.
The planning inspector in DCC recommended refusal on grounds relating to the historic and heritage value of the address from seven to 11 Ormond Quay.
The inspector said the demolition would have resulted in a serious loss to the historic street-scape and An Bord Pleanala upheld the decision.
And Dublin City councillor, Mannix Flynn, believes it is very good news.
"It would have been sacrilege to let the plan that was given to Dublin City Council (DCC) go ahead, given the fact that the council had already rejected it," the councillor said.
"You might as well have gone up to Phoenix Park and knocked down Aras an Uachtarain."
The plan included the complete demolition of the hotel, which has significant Joycean connections, after Mr Joyce set the scene, 'Sirens,' of his landmark book there.
Aside from the Ulysses link, the site's heritage goes back to the foundations of the city's first quay in the late 17th century.
Both Mr Flynn, members of the James Joyce community, various conservation groups and Failte Ireland made submissions to the planning authority about the new hotel.
"There are jobs here, there's no doubt about that but we're not saying you can't have a hotel," stated the councillor.
He said the decision protects the future of the city and stated that the six-storey plan was "inappropriate".
However, Mr Flynn believes that the owner of the site can still build a hotel there.
"I still think they can have a hotel but not when they rip it all down," he stated.
The Ormond Hotel was opened in 1900 and ceased trading in 2006.
A previous proposal for demolition of the site received permission from An Bord Pleanala in 2004 but that subsequently expired in 2009.
When DCC made their decision back in February it was rejected by city planners as "monolithic" and "unsympathetic" to the surrounding area.
In the plans for the hotel redevelopment it stated that the original fabric of the hotel no longer existed.
It also stated that the literary associations would be best preserved through the retention of the name of the hotel, the erection of a tourism plaque, and the use of the name 'Sirens' for the bar.