Belfast Telegraph

Wetherspoon to create 300 jobs in new Dublin pub and hotel complex

By Ellie Donnelly

Wetherspoon is to create 300 jobs at a new pub and hotel development in Dublin city centre.

The UK pub chain, which has five pubs in Northern Ireland and another five in the Republic, is to start development work on its new pub and hotel located in Camden Street Upper and Camden Street Lower on May 8.

The pub and 92-room hotel, which is set to open in the summer of 2019, is being developed in a row of derelict properties at a cost of €18.5m (£16.07m).

"We are looking forward to developing the site into a fantastic pub and hotel," Tim Martin, Wetherspoon chairman, said.

"Our pubs in the Republic of Ireland are thriving and we are confident that the pub and hotel will be a great asset to Dublin and act as a catalyst for other businesses to invest in the city."

The development is set to be the biggest single investment undertaken by Wetherspoon, and will result in its largest hotel alongside a pub.

The pub will be set over two levels and feature a courtyard beer garden, while a number of original features of the derelict buildings will be retained and restored.

This includes the circular stained glass window which was crafted by church decorators, stained glass manufacturers and stone carvers Earley & Company, who were based at the site.

The window on the facade of 5 Upper Camden Street is considered to be the work of John Earley, son of the founder of the company.

Meanwhile, part of the terrace was also a convent of the Little Sisters of Assumption from 1890 until the 1940s, and their former chapel will also be preserved and form part of the new pub and hotel, a statement from Wetherspoon said.

And a name for the pub and hotel has already been chosen.

It will be called Keavan's Port Hotel, which is based on evidence from a series of historic maps and records dating back to 1673, showing that the original name of Camden Street Upper and Lower is Keavans Port.

Earlier this month, Mr Martin, who lived in Northern Ireland during his childhood, said there was still no movement on two proposed Belfast bars because of "arduous licensing procedures".

Mr Martin said the sites - at a former JJB Sports store on Royal Avenue, which had previously been refused a licence because of a "technical issue" and a church building on University Road - were being held back because of taxing licensing application procedures here.

He purchased both sites more than two years ago.

"It's a worry because it's slowing down investment in an important sector and therefore slowing down job creation," he said.

"It certainly is quite a difficult process and it's like the UK was 25 years ago. It's more arduous than Dublin or Britain. I think we'll have a pub, or two, opened in Dublin before Belfast and we acquired the Republic of Ireland sites long after the Belfast ones," said Mr Martin.

The businessman also said he was pleased the company was granted planning permission for the former Methodist Church site on University Road - a project that could potentially create 100 jobs.

He said: "It's a similar story to our site on Royal Avenue. We eventually got planning permission, for which we are grateful, but we really can't start work until the licence is granted."

Wetherspoon made the headlines yesterday when Mr Martin deactivated all of its social media accounts.

Belfast Telegraph

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