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Green Party TD to appeal decision on expansion of hotel into beer garden off O'Connell Street

Dublin City Council has sanctioned the development of a six-storey extension to the hotel which is designed to provide an additional 95 guest rooms.

GREEN PARTY TD Neasa Hourigan has said she intends to appeal the decision of Dublin City Council to approve a large extension to the Holiday Inn Express on O’Connell Street, which will result in the loss of a popular courtyard used by three well-known pubs.

Dublin City Council has sanctioned the development of a six-storey extension to the hotel 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 – a net increase of 89 rooms.

The developer had originally sought approval for a seven-storey extension which would have provided eight additional bedrooms but lowered the height of the building following concerns raised by council officials.

The plans provide for the demolition of an existing courtyard which acts as an outdoor seating area for three popular bars – Fibber Magee’s, The Living Room and Murray’s.

Most of the dozen initial objections to the project expressed concern that the proposed development would rob Dublin city of a unique cultural centre and one of the few late bar venues in the O’Connell Street area.

Since the decision, more than 4,000 people have signed a petition to save the beer garden.

Today Deputy Hourigan, who was one of the objectors to the application, said she will appeal the decision.

Speaking to The Journal, she said the decision to allow this hotel expansion to go ahead seems “very shortsighted”. 

“I think it is well worth fighting to preserve our night time economy and night time culture,” she said. It’s a very important part of the city.

“It doesn’t make a huge amount of sense to build an incredible number of hotel rooms and not have the cultural amenities there for people to visit, it’s a disservice to Dublin to do that.”

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