Hundreds of protest plans for the hotel

Hundreds of people protested through Dublin city center on Saturday afternoon over proposals to develop hotels around the Cobblestone pub in Smithfield and at the Merchant’s Arch at Temple Bar.

The proposed development around the popular traditional music pub means demolishing the outdoor area and the back area. Meanwhile, A Bord Pleanála A plan was recently approved for the development of a four-story over-basement hotel along Merchant’s Arch, the narrow passage that connects Temple Bar Square to Ha’penny Bridge.

Protesters gathered in Smithfield Square at 1pm before heading down the Liffey river to Merchant’s Arch and then up to Dublin City Council offices in Wood Quay.

A wooden coffin that read “RIP culture” was carried by protesters, who shouted “houses not hotels”, “culture not vultures” and “save Cobblestone”. Traditional musicians also played in the plaza and outside the council offices.

‘Furious’ at the plans

Tomás Mulligan, manager of Cobblestone, said he was “furious” about the development plans, adding that his father had been renting out the pub for the last 30 years.

“They want to destroy the beer garden, the back bar and the side area … we’re going to lose 70 percent of our operating area. It’s starving us out of this building. We won’t be able to operate, ”Aniya.

“I think people are just sick of this thing. It kills Dublin, the erection of no concrete. We don’t need a hotel, we have one right across the road that you can get a room in. anytime you want.

“We have a hostel down the road, the Generator, and along the Luas line three hotels have appeared in the last year. There are enough places to stay, there’s no need for it but mindless greed.”

Mr. Mulligan said the pub has become a “home” for himself and his sisters, who have all learned music there.

“People are coming to Ireland go here They come in and they say, ‘We read about you on Aer Lingus magazine ‘, ”he added.

“There are lessons going on here, amazing musicians are coming here from all over Ireland as well as the world. Noel Hill was here last night … Steve Martin went in and played the banjo here once.

“Everyone comes here with any link to Irish music. Losing this place would be like removing mkah for musicians. It’s very important. You can’t afford to kill us. If you do, what’s it for ? “

Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin, one of the event’s organizers and a musician, said more than 25,000 people signed an online petition against plans for Cobblestone.

“We’re looking for people to get into as many protests as possible before the 4th of November at Dublin City Council. The proposals will change Cobblestone forever and suck life out of it,” he said.

“I think a lot of people are furious at the lack of democracy in how the city is planned. Obviously we have a big housing problem and we’re building hotels left, right and center, and we’re also destroying cultures. and historic sites in the process. ”

‘Completely shocked’

Singer Niamh Bury said she was “absolutely shocked” to learn of Cobblestone’s development proposal.

“I helped run a session called‘ The Night before Larry got Stretched ’, which happens once a month, and it’s been happening for 10 years and it’s really an important session for singers. who want to learn traditional songs. Really cross-generational, it’s all about sharing, and anyone can just walk in and we welcome them, ”she said.

“I never thought anything like this was possible. Cobblestone is a second home of thousands and thousands of people. It’s very important to so many people, surprisingly.

“Everybody rallied quickly, it went great. It was almost like when a family member was in trouble with a loved one, you don’t think, you just act. I feel like that was the response to this whole thing. “Cobblestone is about family and community – and people will do anything to save it.”

Alexandra Day, who recently started playing the violin, said Cobblestone “is very important for new musicians to come”.

“I haven’t played the violin in a long time myself but you have the most experienced musicians out there and really welcome newcomers like me,” he said.

“It is a very important space for learning. All the parts of Cobblestone that will be lost are where all the music and lessons really happen. “

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