Petition to save Merchant's Arch from hotel hits 17,000 signatures 2 weeks ago

Petition to save Merchant's Arch from hotel hits 17,000 signatures

The Temple Bar Residents Association said it is "something Temple Bar needs like a hole in the head".

There has been widespread calls to save Merchant's Arch in Temple Bar after a hotel development was approved in the area.

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As well as outrage online over the development, an online petition is also calling for the hotel to be scrapped, reaching almost 17,000 signatures as of Wednesday morning.

"We can’t have another part of historic Dublin succumb to 'development!' Merchant’s Arch is there since 1821 and is part of Dublin’s culture, history and personality," the petition reads.

"Merchant’s Arch is beautiful, full of character and should be left alone. It’s part of the very essence of Dublin," it continues.

It comes as Frank McDonald, chair of the Temple Bar Residents Association, said on Tuesday that the hotel is "something Temple Bar needs like a hole in the head".

McDonald added that he believes the hotel would be a "Trojan horse" for another pub in the area.

"That laneway, which is kind of Dublin's own little version of a souk, that you'd find in a Middle Eastern city," he told Newstalk's The Hard Shoulder.

"We regard it as being particularly important that that character of Merchant's Arch should be maintained.

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"Also, this year marks the bicentenary of the creation of Merchant's Arch - so it's a very, very historic route in the city and that is part of its charm.

"The building of a four-storey hotel, with a so-called restaurant at ground floor and basement levels, is just going to fundamentally change the whole character and appearance and feel of Merchant's Arch."

McDonald said that Temple Bar doesn't need another restaurant, noting the massive increase in pubs and food establishments in the area over recent years.

"Nobody could argue that Temple Bar needs another restaurant, there was only about 11 restaurants in the area before 1990 and now there's about 87 restaurants," he said.