Words: Ellen Kenny
There’s far too many beer gardens in Dublin, isn’t there? At least, that’s what Dublin City Council must think.
A famous beer garden off O’Connell Street shared by Fibbers Magee’s, The Living Room and Murrays is set to be demolished.
Dublin City Council sanctioned the demolition after giving permission to the Holiday Inn Express to develop a six-storey extension, which will result in the outdoor space closing. The Holiday Inn Express will see an increase from 214 bedrooms to 303 following the extension.
This closure will come as another devastating blow to the Dublin nightlife scene. The large beer garden is seen as one of the best outdoor venues in Dublin- where else could you and your friend go to separate pubs only to find yourselves in the same smoking area?
The garden is especially popular due to The Living Room and Fibber Magee’s status as late bars, currently closing at 2.30am most nights. Some fear that the closure of the beer garden could mean the end of this late closing time.
Objectors to the demolition have argued that to remove the beer garden is to “remove a vibrant social gathering area from the heart of the city with the clear-cut, knock-on effects on the businesses they run.”
Each venue sharing the beer garden holds a special place in Dublin’s cultural scene: Fibbers Magee’s has been an iconic rock bar since 1979, hosting guests such as Foo Fighters and Aslan. Murray’s offers traditional Irish music and dancing to tourists and locals alike, and The Living Room is widely regarded as one of the best venues in Dublin to watch sporting events.
While all are disappointed, few are surprised. More and more of Dublin’s iconic communal areas are being demolished, such as the closure of independent businesses in Merchant’s Arch to build a four-storey hotel in Temple Bar.
Those against the Holiday Inn’s extension into the outdoor venue can lodge an appeal with An Bord Pleanála. The planning application number is 3200/22 and applications to object cost twenty euros.
Elsewhere on District: Just Chubbys, a new food truck, opened in Clontarf this weekend