Iconic Dublin beer garden facing closure due to hotel extension

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A popular beer garden on O’Connell Street in Dublin city centre is facing closure due to a new hotel extension.

Planning permission was recently approved by Dublin City Council for a large extension to the Holiday Inn Express on O’Connell Street, granting the hotel an extension that will close what has been described as a “unique cultural centre”.

The courtyard provides outdoor seating for three well-known pubs Fibber Magee’s, The Living Room and Murray’s.

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The developer had originally sought approval for a seven-storey extension, but that application was refused following concerns among council officials around loss of daylight for surrounding buildings.

Instead, the Council have now approved plans for a slightly lower six-storey extension, which is designed to provide an additional 95 guest rooms.

The proposed changes involving some internal alterations will result in the total number of guest rooms increasing from 214 to 303, an increase of 89 rooms.

Speaking to Dublin Live, Labour Cllr Darragh Moriarty said that the closure of the beer garden is “incredibly disappointing.”

He said: “This is one of the only beer garden spaces in the inner city and there are three distinct pubs in the area Fibber Magee’s, The Living Room, and Murray’s. It’s just incredibly disappointing to see more hotels being catered for, I think people are sick of hotels.

“So many venues in the last five years have been closed because of new hotels, it’s just hotel after hotel.”

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Other politicians have also slammed the approval of the large extension, with Green Party TD Neasa Hourigan describing the move as a “huge mistake”.

While the work is set to go ahead, those opposed to the move can make an objection to An Bord Pleanala.

Read more: Cobblestone pub: Developer withdraws appeal against planning decision

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