The owner of a popular LGBTQ bar in Dublin has criticised the City Council for the “insane” decision to install a bike rack outside its premises.
Street 66’s Siobhán Connolly said she had hoped to use the area for outdoor dining once again this summer but her hopes were dashed last week.
“I got a refusal letter with no explanation,” she told Lunchtime Live.
“I was a little bit frustrated over the weekend and I wasn’t in Dublin on Monday morning.
“A customer was walking by and took a photo of a bike rack being installed on the loading bay.”
Ms Connolly said she was “very confused” by the decision and has still had “no explanation” from the council.
The bike rack now means there is now no space for their deliveries and the past few days have been “mayhem” for staff.
Complicating matters further, June is Street 66’s busiest time of the year.
“It’s one week until Dublin Pride - which [means it] will be completely full for the weekend,” Ms Connolly said.
“It’s a fire hazard, it’s health and safety and it’s very upsetting for me.”
Let us have the street all Weekend trading 15 hrs not sustainable. PRIDE weekend we need Parliament Street Pedestrianised all weekend @hazechu @DubCityCouncil @DublinPride @IrishTimes @DublinLive @CByrneGreen @DannyByrneFG @Rubberbandits pic.twitter.com/ee9fpCxy19
— Street 66 Dublin (@st66dublin) June 21, 2021
The decision not to renew the bar’s outdoor dining licence came as a surprise, given it was the fourth summer the bar had applied for one.
“We had permission for 10 tables and 20 seats,” Ms Connolly said.
“We’ve been using that since COVID when there was only outdoor dining allowed.”
— Street 66 Dublin (@st66dublin) June 12, 2023
Dublin City Council have no yet responded to Street 66’s request for an explanation but Labour Councillor Declan Meenagh said the decision was “really not good enough”.
Green Party Councillor Claire Byrne described herself as “obviously very pro-bike parking” but that the bike rack was in the wrong place.
"There's just no joined up thinking or coherent strategy around pedestrianisation, outdoor seating, the future of the city," she said.
"We're about to appoint a night-time advisor, which is all about ensuring that we have daytime and night-time activities.
"It's critical to the survival of the city, it's critical to the survival of these businesses.”
Dublin City Council has been contacted for comment.
Main image: Street 66 bike rack.