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cultural vandalism Hundreds march in protest against plans for new hotel development at the Cobblestone

'There’s room to object there and where we will be continuing our fight if we have to'

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Marchers arrive at O'Connell Bridge for a colourful céilí. PHOTO: Sinead O'Shea Twitter

Marchers arrive at O'Connell Bridge for a colourful céilí. PHOTO: Sinead O'Shea Twitter

Marchers arrive at O'Connell Bridge for a colourful céilí. PHOTO: Sinead O'Shea Twitter

Trad musicians played in procession as hundreds of people marched through Dublin this afternoon in protest against plans for a new hotel development around the Cobblestone pub. 

Earlier, protesters gathered outside the iconic pub in Smithfield in the second such protest to take place in the last few weeks.

They planned to stage a céilí at O'Connell Bridge to highlight their opposition to the nine-storey development.

Manager of the Cobblestone, Tomás Mulligan, told 98FM he's overwhelmed at the support.

"It's very emotional for all of my family as well that our dad actually did something that made a difference to everyone and these people care about it and they're out here.

"They're out here because they don't want to see this happen. None of us want to see this happen. I don't see any marches for hotels.”

Separately he said that the Cobblestone is more than just a pub.

“It's a cultural centre, it's the cultural heartbeat of Dublin and putting this hotel above it, beside it, and around it will kill it."

Tomás revealed that the council had received over 100 formal objections, while over 6,000 people had signed an online petition.

“We have until November 4 to get in objections and we’ve just hit over a hundred objections which is absolutely mind blowing to us. They’re coming from all over Dublin, all over Ireland, all over the world,” he told Newstalk.

“And if Dublin City Council decide to pass this - which I don’t see why they would because it’s clearly moved a lot of people - but if they do decide to pass it, then it goes to An Bord Pleanála.

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“There’s room to object there and where we will be continuing our fight if we have to.”

Hundreds of people turned out onto the street to protest earlier this month after it emerged that that the pub could lose 70 per cent of its floor space to a new 114 bed hotel.

“We’re meeting again in Smithfield Square at 2pm and we might have a tune or two,” Tomas added.

“Musicians, any patron of the pub, anybody that the pub has meant something to over the years, they’re all invited to come along.

“And after a while we plan on heading towards O’Connell Bridge and the plan is to have a céilí on O’Connell Bridge [with] a few dancers and a lot of musicians playing music.”

Joe Costello, Deputy Dublin Mayor and a former TD for the area, described the plans as “cultural vandalism”.

He told Newstalk: "I'm very much opposed to this development, I consider it cultural vandalism, that what we're doing is destroying protected structures.

"And at the same time we're destroying a traditional music centre... this is not the way to go forward with an area as historic as the top of Smithfield.

"We don't need another hotel there - tourists don't want that type of development, they want authenticity, and there's a number of hotels in the area.

"All in all, there's no need for the development of this taking place there.”

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