Wetherspoons hotel to feature 'confession cubicles' when it opens in Dublin next month

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Wetherspoons Hotel To Feature 'Confession Cubicles' When It Opens In Dublin Next Month
Court told the 89-bed development will preserve the ambiance of the chapel of the former Convent with snugs in the bar designed to resemble confessions cubicles
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Ray Managh

A €50 million hotel, developed on the site of a convent and a terrace of late-Georgian city dwellings, is set to open next month to coincide with the anticipated lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

Constance Cassidy SC, counsel for Wetherspoons which was granted a hotel and pub licence by Judge Sinead Ni Chulachain, told the court that to preserve the ambiance of the chapel of the former Convent, snugs in the bar element of the development had been designed to resemble confessions cubicles.

Judge Ni Chulachain was told the 89-bed development by the Wetherspoons hotel, restaurant and pub chain, had been designed on Dublin’s Camden Street to include the conservation of a 19th century circular stained-glass window considered to be the work of John Earley who had a studio on the site.

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The licenses were granted after architect Frank Kenny told the court the €50 million development had been carried out in accordance with the planning permission granted by Dublin City Council. He said Wetherspoons had been granted a Declaratory Order to this effect nearly four years ago.

Although conservation of the historic stained-glass window had not been included in the original plans, Wetherspoons had later assured the city council it would be restored and preserved. John Earley was son of the founder of Earley and Company, one of the largest and most prestigious ecclesiastical decorators in Ireland and the UK. The Earley studios on the site closed in 1975.

Dilapidation

Ms Cassidy, who appeared with Kenneth Morgan of William Fry Solicitors, said the Georgian houses had been in a state of semi-dilapidation prior to having been purchased by Wetherspoons.

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As they say in the best reported court proceedings a titter went round the room when Mr Kenny told Ms Cassidy the dwellings had initially been the residences of barristers attached to Dublin Castle who he described as probably some of the very few who could have afforded them at the time.

Ms Cassidy told the court that J.D Wetherspoon had a presence in Ireland since 2014 with a number of premises in Dublin, one in Cork and another under development in Waterford. The Camden Street hotel would be known as Keavan’s Port Hotel.

Judge Ni Chulachain said she was satisfied the hotel, restaurant and pub had been completed in accordance with planning and full compliance with fire regulations and granted both certificates.

Ms Cassidy said that in order for the court to grant a full pub licence to Wetherspoons, the public house licence of Mary Eames, Woodview Bar, Loughrea, Co Galway, had been extinguished.

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