Is Dublin becoming a cultural wasteland?
Complaints about the steep cost of housing in the city are nothing new - the city has long featured on lists of the most expensive cities in the world to rent in.
But the high cost of housing has caused many locals to feel that Dublin’s culture has become a casualty - with fewer and fewer cultural amenities able to afford a space to work in town.
“As someone who has worked in town since I was 15, I have watched the changes that have come about and how difficult it is to run a business and also to just be in town,” Andrea Horan, the owner of a nail bar, told Lunchtime Live.
“Like how expensive it is to live, how expensive it is to run a business, how hard it is to get staff now because to travel in is impossible.
“You just feel like you’re running up against a wall all the time with difficulties just to be in town and it seems like we’re being priced out in terms of what the city is becoming.
“Obviously with all the hotels, with student accommodation and all the tech businesses, it feels that we’re building a very transient city for people who aren’t from here.”
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'Eradicated by hotels'
And she’s certainly not alone; last year proposals were submitted to replace part of the Cobblestone pub - famed the world over for its trad sessions - with a hotel, hundreds of Dubliners took to the streets to protest the plan.
Similarly, a decision to fence off a section of Portobello Plaza to help with the construction of a hotel was condemned as “very disheartening” by a local parent:
“It’s one of the very few places you can bring them [children] safely. It’s an outdoor space and a lot of people enjoy it,” she said wearily.
For Ms Horan, it is a trend she finds truly upsetting.
“It feels like the culture is being drained out, all our venues are going,” she continued.
“If you just look at the number of nightclubs we have left, they’ve been completely eradicated by hotels, student accommodation etc.
“We started a club night called ‘No More Hotels’ because there were no spaces to dance anymore and the importance of culture that comes from those meeting points on the dancefloor are the fashion, the music.
“There’s no studio spaces for artists - they’ve been priced out of the city.
“So you can’t live in the city, you can barely work in the city.
“It’s getting impossible to run a business in this city.
“And for someone who loves the city so much, it’s just really upsetting to see what we’re allowing to be created.”
Main image: Protesters with Meabh Mulligan with a placard outside one o f the best known traditional Irish music pub, the Cobblestown pub in Dublin during a protest to save the pub. Picture by: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie