‘The debate on Dublin’s future reignites’


A chara, – In Mark Paul’s feature article “Hotels vs culture: The debate on Dublin’s future reignites” (October 16th), Pat McCann of Dalata, the “country’s biggest hotel operator and a major developer in Dublin in recent years”, is quoted as saying that it is “amazing” what can happen in an inner-city area such as Smithfield when a hotel is put into it.

Let me assure Mr McCann as to what will happen if such a hotel is to be built, engulfing the Cobblestone Bar in Dublin’s Smithfield.

First, the traditional musicians will slowly leave, followed by the singers, dancers, rhymers, reciters, poets and raconteurs who presently frequent the Cobblestone, making it the unique “local, national and international venue” that it has become. Then, in its place, there will instead be yet another sterile, soulless, hotel-style bar, where foreign tourists will scratch their heads and wonder “where oh where” has the old-style Cobblestone Bar, once bursting to the seams with warmth, wit and conviviality, where the cream of Irish traditional musicians and singers performed seven days a week, vanished to?

Alas, they may consult their guide books in vain. For that Cobblestone will have vanished forever, as will have one of the main reasons why they decided to visit Dublin in the first place! – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.