Residents reach agreement after objection to PantiBar pub licence

ireland
Residents Reach Agreement After Objection To Pantibar Pub Licence Residents Reach Agreement After Objection To Pantibar Pub Licence
PantiBar on Capel Street in Dublin city. Photo: Collins
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Tom Tuite

Neighbours of PantiBar have dropped an objection to its pub licence after reaching an agreement over outdoor serving.

The bar – run by gay rights activist and drag performer Rory O'Neill, also known as Panti Bliss – on Dublin’s Capel Street has become iconic among the LGBTQ+ community.

However, in September a group of five local women, calling themselves Jervis Place Residents, lodged an objection at Dublin District Court's annual pub licensing list.

The complaint was based on noise and crowding around the pub, which was forced to serve outdoors last summer due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dublin City Council allowed premises on Capel Street and Parliament Street to facilitate outdoor dining, creating 1,300 square metres of extra public space.

In another move, cars were banned from the two streets, connected over the river Liffey at Grattan Bridge, from 6.30pm-11.30pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from June 11th to facilitate outdoor dining. The pilot pedestrianisation was extended and ran for 17 weeks before ending on October 3rd.

Successful conclusion

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The locals' objection was set to go to a full hearing before Judge Marie Quirke on Wednesday, however, Niki Andrews BL, for PantiBar, told the court that following talks with the residents, there had been a successful conclusion, which Judge Quirke said was better than a court-imposed solution.

A representative of the Jervis Place Residents, Elaine Herbert, told the court she had lived in the area for a long time and never had a problem with the bar before.

"But last summer was unprecedented, and I acknowledged it was a combination of members of the public and a significant influence of takeaway pints drawing crowds to the area,” she said.

She said the other women "could not sleep at night, could not get into their own homes", adding they had to bring the objection to obtain an agreement from the bar.

Judge Quirke remarked that they were “unprecedented times” and “certain things happened that never happened before and may never happen again”.

Store Street Garda station was a notice party to the proceedings and Garda Sergeant Niall Godfrey agreed it was unprecedented, adding there had never been a problem with PantiBar, which he described as a very good establishment.

Mr O'Neill gave an undertaking in court not to apply for street furniture at PantiBar, or the Penny Lane bar on Strand Street which he also runs.

He told the court he had never intended to operate outdoors, explaining: "We were forced to serve outside." He also acknowledged the bar became very busy last summer.

Mr O'Neill added he was delighted an agreement had been reached.

Judge Quirke noted the undertaking and said the bar was an orderly establishment, run in accordance with its licence and laws, and said the matter was concluded, wishing them all good fortune in the future as neighbours.

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