U2 stars fight for their ‘skycatcher’

City council refused to extend permission for Clarence Hotel revamp

The proposed new design for the Clarence Hotel by  British “starchitect” Norman Foster

The proposed new design for the Clarence Hotel by British “starchitect” Norman Foster


U2 bandmates Bono and The Edge are fighting back against a Dublin City Council decision that blocked their plans for a flying saucer-style roof for the Clarence Hotel.

The Clarence Partnership, which includes the rock stars and developer Paddy McKillen, is taking High Court action against the council for refusing to extend planning permission for a €150 million revamp of the Dublin riverside hotel.

The redevelopment, designed by British “starchitect” Norman Foster, involved demolition of most of the hotel and some adjoining buildings on the quays retaining just their facades, and constructing a much larger hotel around a dramatic atrium and topped by a flying saucer-style roof, called the “skycatcher”. The plan was granted permission by the council in 2007 and was appealed to An Bord Pleanála, which approved the council’s decision in 2008. But the economic crisis intervened and the scheme was never built.

Earlier this year the partnership applied to the council to extend its planning permission. However, the council refused the extension under the new Dublin City Development Plan.

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