€20m redevelopment of Dublin’s Ormond Hotel gets go-ahead

Monteco Holdings can develop hotel linked with James Joyce’s Ulysses, despite opposition

Monteco Holdings, a company co-owned by AirAsia boss and Queens Park Rangers owner Tony Fernandes, was previously granted permission to demolish and redevelop the Ormond Hotel (above). This was in spite of opposition from the Save Joycean Dublin Committee and local residents. File photograph: Dave Meehan

Monteco Holdings, a company co-owned by AirAsia boss and Queens Park Rangers owner Tony Fernandes, was previously granted permission to demolish and redevelop the Ormond Hotel (above). This was in spite of opposition from the Save Joycean Dublin Committee and local residents. File photograph: Dave Meehan

 

Dublin City Council has given the go-ahead for a €20 million redevelopment of a Dublin hotel immortalised in James Joyce’s Ulysses.

Monteco Holdings, a company co-owned by AirAsia boss and Queens Park Rangers owner Tony Fernandes, was previously granted permission to demolish and redevelop the Ormond Hotel. This was in spite of opposition from the Save Joycean Dublin Committee and local residents.

A spokesperson for Monteco Holdings said it was “pleased that our planning request has been successful” after the company submitted a response to a request from the planning authorities for further information “which included modifications to the main facade, windows and materials used”.

“Our revised scheme has taken extensive steps to address objections raised to the previous application, including reducing the numbers of bedrooms from 170 to 121 and lowering the height of the building from six to five storeys,” he said, adding that the project also acknowledged the site’s connection with Ulysses.

Monteco Holdings said the buildings contain “none of the physical structures referred to in Ulysses’ famous Sirens episode” but that the original location of the Ormond Hotel and “the setting for Ulysses be marked out using text from the book embedded into the floor and courtyard with bronze plaques or lettering”.

The spokesman said 250 people would be employed in the construction of the hotel, which is due to begin next year, with a view to opening it by the end of 2018. There would be 80 jobs in the business when it opened.

On market

The hotel was bought by developer Bernard McNamara in 2006 for €17 million, a year after it closed. He put it on the market in 2009 for €7 million, but it was bought by Monteco Holdings for less than €2.5 million.

The plan is being opposed by local residents and local councillor Mannix Flynn (Ind). In his objection to the plan Mr Flynn claimed the proposed hotel development “presents a monolithic, sprawling expanse to Ormond Quay…and is, in effect, architectural wallpaper, designed to be as inoffensive as possible, and, as a result, fails to contribute in an intelligent and creative manner demanded of this critical site in the heart of the city”.

James Moore, of the Save Joycean Dublin Committee, said the proposed hotel facade was unoriginal and characterless, and would be a travesty if it replaced the current facade which has a genuine place in the city’s literary and historical fabric.