Local bid to save D4 landmark pub from wrecking ball

by Sylvia Pownall

Around a dozen appeals have been lodged against plans to demolish the iconic D4 pub Kiely’s in Donnybrook to make way for a high-rise co-living complex.

An Bord Pleanala has received appeals on behalf of third party objectors against the Dublin City Council decision giving the contentious project the go-ahead.

DCC granted planning for a scaled down proposal last month despite around 115 objections being lodged against the proposal.

Those opposed included Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Hazel Chu (Green), Senator Ivana Bacik (Lab) and Chris Andrews TD (SF).

The pub, just a stones throw from Old Wesley rugby ground, is a popular watering hole for rugby fans and has long been associated with author Paul Howard’s fictional character, Ross O’Carroll Kelly.

It was acquired by Westridge Real Estate for a figure in excess of e5m last year. Plans sought permission for a scheme with shared facilities including communal kitchens on each floor, a large lounge, a wet bar and a co-working space.

Herbert Park Residents’ Association and the Donnybrook Residents’ Association lodged objections as well as Jeff Martin, the Hanley O’Reilly Partnership, Jim Coady, John and Mary Maher, Marie Kelly and others, Louise Supple and others and Rosemary Cullen Owens and others.

One objector remarked that “the ghosts of many former Kiely’s patrons – not least its rugby regulars – will turn in their graves” over what is proposed.

Others point to the height and density of the scheme which will be out of character with the area – in one case warning it will become a “Covid hotspot”.

ABP confirmed that applicant, Domhnach Ltd, has also lodged a first party appeal against conditions attached to the permission after the council granted permission for a scaled down proposal.

The original plans lodged with the city council reached to seven storeys and was made up of 100 shared living units – though revised plans reduced this to six storeys and 91 units.

In its decision however, the council ordered that the number of shared living units be reduced by a further six and that all rooms have a minimum width of three metres.

A decision by the appeals board is due on the case in June.

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