Is the city of Dublin losing its cultural soul?

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It’s been a busy week in Dublin.

Protesters gathered outside a house on Preußenstrasse in Stoneybatter last Wednesday after a group of men entered the building to evict squatters.

It was announced on Thursday that the Science Gallery at Trinity College was due to close, ostensibly due to its financial sustainability.

News spread on Friday that another popular Dublin cultural venue – Ireland’s largest independent bookstore, Chapters Bookstore on Parnell Street – is about to close after nearly 40 years in business.

And then on Saturday, more than 400 protesters gathered outside the Cobblestone Pub in Smithfield Square before marching through town to O’Connell Street playing music. It was the second such demonstration in less than a month of the proposed and planned development of hotels at the Cobblestone Pub and Merchant’s Arch in Temple Bar.

But all of these incidents seem unique and different. Why draw links between an occupied eviction, bookstore closure, and Temple Bar hotel development?

Or do they actually provide a broader narrative of the direction the city of Dublin is headed and the lack of support for cultural spaces in the Irish capital?

On today’s podcast, In the News, Sorcha Pollak talks to Irish Times columnist Una Mullally about the growing frustration and anger of some Dubliners over the development of hotels and purpose-built student residences and the lack of consideration for the city’s character and culture.

Also in today’s podcast, Irish Times Dublin editor Olivia Kelly demystifies the planning process of hotel developers in the capital and shows the steps people should take if they want to effectively contradict developments in the city.

In the News is presented by reporters Sorcha Pollak and Conor Pope.

You can listen to the podcast here:

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