Green light for 'bespoke high-end' Temple Bar whiskey emporium

Planning board grants permission but overrules recommendation of its own inspector

An objector to the proposal said he has “been appalled by the conversion of Dublin’s cultural quarter into Dublin’s ‘drinking and public urination quarter’ ”. File photograph: The Irish Times

An objector to the proposal said he has “been appalled by the conversion of Dublin’s cultural quarter into Dublin’s ‘drinking and public urination quarter’ ”. File photograph: The Irish Times

 

An Bord Pleanála has granted permission to the company behind the Temple Bar pub for a “new bespoke high-end” whiskey emporium that is to house the country’s largest collection.

The decision by the appeals board overturns Dublin City Council’s refusal last year.The board has also overruled the recommendation of its inspector, Colin McBride, to refuse planning.

Mr McBride recommended refusal after concluding that Temple Inns Ltd had made no compelling case for the proposed additional off-licence/whiskey shop having regard to the number of off-licence and part off-licence uses in the area. However, the board has given Temple Bar owner Tom Cleary’s plan the green light after concluding the proposal “is not an off-licence in the ordinary sense of the word but rather a bespoke high end retail, cultural and tourist experience”.  The board added that “a compelling case had been demonstrated in this particular instance”. It stated that the proposal would not conflict with the policies and objectives of the Dublin City Development Plan 2016-2022.

The board has made its findings despite opposition from former environment editor of The Irish Times and Temple Bar resident Frank McDonald, in addition to two others – Declan O’Brien and Conal O’Sullivan.

In their submission to the appeals board, the three noted an overconcentration of licensed premises and off-licences in the area. They also expressed concern about another licensed premises and the possibility it would serve to expand the Temple Bar premises. But Temple Inns Ltd has said visitors to the emporium could relax in the seating area, listen to a pianist and taste the product within the shop. The company has commissioned Drinksology to design the “bespoke whiskey experience with the experiential concept”.

Planning documents state that Drinksology has delivered the best bar in the world on two continents and best cocktail bar in America.

In his objection against the proposal, Conal O’Sullivan told the council as a resident of Temple Bar for 25 years, “I have been appalled by the conversion of Dublin’s cultural quarter into Dublin’s ‘drinking and public urination quarter’ ”. He claimed that the planning application is not only unwarranted, but also unnecessary. 

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