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'We are running out of places to dance': Appeals lodged against plans that would shut Dublin's Rí Rá and The Globe

A planned major expansion of the Central Hotel would see two popular nighttime hotspots in Dublin city shut.

The Globe is located on Dublin's George's Street.
The Globe is located on Dublin's George's Street.
Image: RollingNews.ie

PLANS FOR A new hotel development for Dublin city centre that will spell ‘last orders’ for well known Dublin night venues, Rí-Rá nightclub and The Globe bar have been put on hold.

This follows three separate appeals being lodged with An Bord Pleanala against Dublin City Council giving the green light for new plans for a major expansion of the Central Hotel on South Great George’s Street and Dame Court into a new 6,554 sq m five storey hotel with 125 bedrooms and a rooftop.

In the planned revamp, the Rí-Rá night-club space is to become a ‘speak-easy’ while the space occupied by The Globe bar is to be transformed into a retail outlet.

As part of the application by Exchequer Developments Ltd, the existing Library bar is going to be reduced to make way for additional bedrooms.

The three parties to appeal are Philip O’Reilly, Rodney Senior and Dr Colin Galligan.

In his objection against the plan, Philip O’Reilly of Grosvenor Place, Rathmines, has stated that the proposal is far too radical for such a historic structure and should not be permitted.

O’Reilly stated that the plans to expand the hotel to 125 rooms “defy logic now given the state of the world and future economic and social trends”.

O’Reilly stated that the tourism industry is now flat on the floor “and the city is awash with unoccupied hotel rooms and this scenario is not going to change anytime soon”.

The objection against the plan on behalf of Dr Colin Galligan by Hughes Planning and Consultants argue that the proposal will result in the loss of viable retail units.

The objection states that the development will result in a proliferation of non-retail and night time associated uses which will result in the further degradation of the retail core.

In an objection lodged against the plan, Cllr Claire Byrne (Green) told the council: “We have already witnessed an excessive erosion of our club culture in the city in particular over the past few years, mostly to make way for hotels and student accommodation.”

Cllr Byrne stated: “We are running out of places to dance.”

The Council planning report, which recommended planning permission, acknowledged that a number of the third party submissions highlighted the loss of night-time activity.

The report states: “The proposal retains a night-time use in the basement, retains the Library Bar and provide new night time options on the ground floor.”

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The report concluded that “the range of uses proposed will ensure a balance between shopping, leisure and cultural, and that non-retail uses will not dominate this section of South Great Georges Street”.

The report recommended a grant of permission after stating that the proposal “would not injure the amenity of property in the vicinity and accords with both the City Development Plan and the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.

A report lodged with the planning application stated that the intention of the proposal “is to create a cultural hub for the local community and offer guests an experience unique to Dublin – offering the warmth of Irish hospitality combined with the vibrancy of the local arts and music scene”.

Partners in the venture BCP Capital earlier this year stated that the overall scheme would result in a significant net increase in bar and restaurant space.

A BCP spokesman stated at the time that the current Rí-Rá nightclub space would remain as a bar/nightclub, “and the much-cherished Library Bar will also remain a core part of the hotel and its identity”.

A decision is due on the appeal in April.

About the author:

Gordon Deegan

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