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Monday 4 December 2023 Dublin: 3°C
The Liberties

Dublin 8 locals protest Harry Crosbie's Vicar Street Hotel development

Dublin City Council gave the green light to the 185-bedroom hotel last month.

Vicar Street. Cónal Thomas Locals gather at Vicar Street in Dublin Cónal Thomas

DUBLIN 8 LOCALS gathered this afternoon to protest a hotel development at Dublin’s Vicar Street music venue. 

Developer Harry Crosbie’s ambitious eight-storey Vicar Street Hotel is being met with opposition from locals. They are arguing against development which doesn’t benefit the local area as well as the predominance of student accommodation and hotels in Dublin 8. 

Last month, Dublin City Council gave the green light to the 185-bedroom hotel – a  decision that People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith and Councillor Tina MacVeigh have appealed to An Bord Pleanála. 

“We want to have a conversation about the impact [of this] on the area,” says MacVeigh, who organised today’s rally. ”Everyone is starting to join the dots.”

So far this year, Dublin 8 locals have protested the demolition of community allotments and the continued vacancy of a former factory on Dublin’s South Circular Road. Most recently, Dublin City Council decided to rezone a large site on Marrowbone Lane for housing instead of sporting facilities. 

A spokesperson for developer Crosbie – synonymous with Celtic Tiger-era developments like The Point Depot and Dublin’s Docklands – has said construction on the new hotel is likely to get under way this spring and it will be open for business by 2020.

Crosbie’s new venture in Dublin will create 80 jobs if all goes to plan and “create a new way for the public to enjoy a live show,” a spokesperson has said. 

They said in mid-January: “We will create a new ‘rock and room’ concept with our exclusive promoter Peter Aiken. We will upgrade the venue to ensure its continued status as Dublin’s premier mid-size venue.”

Capture The Vicar Street Hotel

‘Priced out’

One condition of the planning permission is that the hotel firm pays Dublin City Council €487,407 towards public infrastructure for the area.

A report accompanying the planning application states that the development will contribute significantly towards the implementation of a Core Strategy of the City Development Plan in respect of regeneration, urban design and economic and tourism development.

The planning report states that the development “can provide a catalyst and dynamic for the regeneration and redevelopment of the Liberties area and will enhance the attractiveness and diversification of the city’s tourist accommodation offer”.

Seán Foy, who was born in the Liberties, took part in this afternoon’s protest and says that “areas that are purposefully let run down” are being targeted by developers at the expense of local communities. 

“People can’t afford to buy in this area. Some people can’t even afford to buy a coffee in a coffee shop. It’s ridiculous.”

Local residents from Mallin House – a flat complex behind Vicar Street – are organising a campaign against Crosbie’s proposed development, the height of which they argue will impact on daily living. 

MacVeigh says that a planning appeal to An Bord Pleanála is currently being considered for an oral hearing. 

With reporting from Gordon Deegan.

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