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Petition launched to save beloved O’Connell Street beer garden from planned hotel extension

Over 6,000 people so far have signed a petition to save a beloved O’Connell Street beer garden from closing to make way for a new hotel extension.

The popular courtyard, which is shared by Murray’s, Fibber Magee’s on Parnell Street, and The Living Room on Cathal Brugha Street, is set to be shut down to facilitate plans for an extension to the Holiday Inn Express. Crumlin man Sean Donohoe launched the petition on Change.org yesterday to try to prevent the development from going ahead.

Read more: Iconic Dublin beer garden facing closure due to hotel extension

And speaking to Dublin Live, Sean said that he has been “overwhelmed” by the fantastic response to the petition.

He said: “It’s my first time to do anything like this, the petition went up two days ago and it has reached 6,500 signatures. It’s nice to know that no matter what happens to the beer garden, it’s not from lack of trying.

“The businesses nearby are very different, you have The Living Room, Fibber Magee’s, and Murrays, the atmosphere is always great. The courtyard is always packed on a nice, sunny day and it would be a big loss for O’Connell Street to lose it.”

Sean explained that he decided to set up the petition after getting sent a message on Twitter from comedian Kevin McMahon.

He said: “I’m kind of overwhelmed by the response, it’s fantastic to get it out there.”

The courtyard provides outdoor seating for the three pubs and is one of the few beer gardens in operation within the inner city. One of the pubs, Fibber Magees, a well-known venue for live music on weekends, has also shared the petition on their Facebook page and received support from followers.

The developer had originally sought approval for a seven-storey extension, but that application was refused following concerns among council officials around loss of daylight for surrounding buildings. Instead, Dublin City Council have now approved plans for a slightly lower six-storey extension, which is designed to provide an additional 95 guest rooms.

The proposed changes involving some internal alterations will result in the total number of guest rooms increasing from 214 to 303, an increase of 89 rooms. Speaking to Dublin Live earlier this week, Labour Councillor Darragh Moriarty said that the closure of the beer garden is “incredibly disappointing.”

He said: “This is one of the only beer garden spaces in the inner city and there are three distinct pubs in the area Fibber Magee’s, The Living Room, and Murray’s. It’s just incredibly disappointing to see more hotels being catered for, I think people are sick of hotels.

“So many venues in the last five years have been closed because of new hotels, it’s just hotel after hotel.”

To sign the petition, you can click here.

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