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Temple Bar beats McDonald's

MCDONALD'S plans to open an outlet in Temple Bar has been dealt a major blow after its planning application was rejected by Dublin City Council.

The fast food giant will now decide whether to appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanala after the council shot down its proposal on four main grounds.

The local authority said the plans had the potential to cause a "detrimental impact" within Temple Bar and that the cultural area was already adequately served by restaurants and takeaway facilities.

It also rejected the proposal on the grounds it would have a "negative impact on the internal fabric of the building" which is a 19th century property.

And the council said allowing McDonald's to open in Temple Bar would "negatively detract from the building's special character".

The company planned to locate its outlet on the site of Frankie's Steakhouse and Bar in Temple Bar Square -- a restaurant co-owned by famous horse jockey Frankie Dettori.

The building itself is a red-bricked former warehouse which dates back to the 1880s.

The company said that it would create more than 60 full-time jobs in the restaurant, as well as 18 jobs in the renovation stage.

But the application itself attracted several detailed objections from organisations such as An Taisce and The Temple Bar Cultural Trust (TBCT).

Some 19 observations were lodged with Dublin City Council -- 15 of which called for the application to be refused.

Heritage agency An Taisce stated that the opening of a McDonald's outlet "would set back the great progress seen in Temple Bar in recent years".

A number of the objections also raised concerns about the prospect of McDonald's applying for an alcohol license if granted planning application.

However this was strongly rejected by the company and did not feature as a condition for rejecting planning permission.

Meanwhile, McDonald's will not have calorie counts on display in Ireland, despite the initiative being rolled out across the UK.

However, McDonald's in Ireland have no plans to introduce the move in this country just yet but will closely monitor the situation to see how it is received in the UK.

The restaurant chair have announced the creation of 60 new jobs in North Dublin.

The new outlet will open at Gulliver's retail park in Ballymun.