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The Vicar Street venue on Thomas Street in Dublin. Alamy Stock Photo

Liberties locals file objection to planned Vicar Street hotel in Dublin

The objection says the Liberties area “is currently being saturated by hotels and luxury student accommodation development”.

PLANS BY A Harry Crosbie firm to develop a new 182-bedroom Vicar Street hotel will lead to a further saturation of hotels for Dublin’s Liberties.

That is according to the Liberties-Rialto Branch of the Community Action Tenants Union (CATU) which has lodged a hard hitting objection against the proposal.

In the two page objection, CATU also claim that the proposal “represents an intrusion of devotional privacy in regards to the Meath Street Grotto”.

In April, Crosbie’s Vicar Street Hotel Ltd lodged plans for the eight-storey hotel on Vicar Street, Dublin 8 and the hotel site is bounded by Vicar Street to the east and Molyneaux yard to the west and lies in close proximity to Crosbie’s Vicar Street entertainment venue.

Crosbie has previously secured planning permission for a hotel at the site but a planning report lodged with the new application states that the application has been lodged as “it is not practical to commence and substantially complete the hotel” in the timeframe allowed by the prior permission which expires on 25 August next.

In its objection, the CATU branch state that “we welcome development which prioritises social housing and public facilities, but we cannot support a development which further increases hotel and overpriced student accommodation”. 

The objection adds that the Liberties area “is currently being saturated by hotels and luxury student accommodation development”.

They state that “this proposal leads to further over-concentration and results in an excessively transient population in the vicinity of the site”.

The CATU state that the proposed development “constitutes overdevelopment in a sensitive historic area close to Protected Structures, and due to its scale and proximity would detract from the setting of the adjacent statutory Thomas Street & Environs Architectural Conservation Area (ACA)”.

Echoing the concerns of CATU, Cllr Maire Devine (SF) has told the council “as a Liberties local our area is being saturated by hotel developments which is displacing my family and this long established proud community”.

Cllr Devine states that the Council “must prioritise and protect the gem that is the Liberties”..

In a submission by Kieran Doyle O’Brien, he has told the council that an over-concentration of hotels “is leading to the degradation of the unique character that visitors come to the Liberties to experience”.

Dublin City Planning Officer with An Taisce, Kevin Duff has told the council that the proposed development “should take into account the history and heritage of the area including horse stables along the Vicar Street lane, and should not constitute overdevelopment of the area”.

Horse and carriage operator Kevin Keeler has operated out of Molyneaux yard for 25+ years and has made a submission asking that the Council include a management plan “to ensure my rights and my animals’ welfare is protected”.

Keeler – who leases a unit at Molyneaux yard – has told the council that “I feel the history of horse carriage tours is an important grain to our community and the longevity and success of this tourist attraction must be protected”.

The most recent accounts for the Crosbie firm that operates Vicar Street, Liberty Venues Ltd show that after sold out runs by Christy Moore and Tommy Tiernan, the firm made a strong post Covid-19 recovery to record post tax profits of €724,950 for 2022.

The post tax profits of €724,950 for 2022 follow Covid-19 related losses of  €833,310 for 2021 and losses of €1m in 2020 when the pandemic shut down the venue from March of that year.

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