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Image / Editorial

Dublin loses another creative hub, this time it’s the Tara Building


by Hannah Hillyer
24th Sep 2019
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Another day in Dublin, another day a building is demolished for a hotel. This time it’s the Tara Building on Tara Street


Dublin’s Tara Building will soon be no more.

The announcement came on Monday night as permission was granted for a 116-bedroom hotel to be built on George’s Quay. Greybirch, the company who has acquired the area, will be demolishing buildings on Poolbeg Street as well as Tara Street to make way for the eight-story building which will sit directly across from Liberty Hall on the other side of the quays.

Instantly recognisable for its colourfully painted exterior (by artist Maser no less), the Tara Building has become a hub for creatives in recent years. Describing itself as a “creative workspace and community in the heart of Dublin City Centre”, it has been a haven for anyone looking to start a new venture or business.

As well as a co-working and private office space, it has the capacity to play host to events which many up-and-coming entrepreneurs have used.

 

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*APPRECIATION POST FOR @thetarabuilding AND ALL THE PEOPLE WHO WORK INSIDE ITS COLOURFUL WALLS* ??? When we first started SFD we knew what we wanted to do but didn’t have a clue how to go about it. We needed a space where we could ask for advice, meet like minded people and a space to host our events; no easy task in today’s current climate… We were SO incredibly lucky that the kind souls at @thetarabuilding were willing to take a chance on our whimsical ideas and give us a dream location to host everything from swapshops and podcast clubs to rooftop workshops and composting talks. ?? But even MORE than the gorgeous, colourful, bright and airy space itself, @thetarabuilding has introduced us to a community of incredible, kind individuals who never fail to put a smile on our faces when we’re feeling overwhelmed or lend a word of wisdom when we’re feeling stressed. ? With this just wanted to take a moment to show our appreciation for the opportunities and friendships this special place has provided us with. ? SFD started in December of last year with us two enthusiastic fairies leading a group of 12 willing sustainable fashionistas around Dublin’s charity shops, since that rainy day we have hosted over 60 events and more importantly helped grow this sustainable community of over 16k, all of which would not have been possible without the haven that is @thetarabuilding ?????

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‘Devastated’

One such example is Sustainable Fashion Dublin, which has frequently used the Tara Building as a place to host fashion swap-shops, panel discussions and up-cycling workshops. When speaking to Geraldine Carton of SFD, she was both upset and furious to hear this news.

“The Tara Building has been absolutely critical to the success of our business (Sustainable Fashion Dublin), so we are devastated to hear of its demolish. This is just another example of the depressing switch taking place in Dublin right now, with independent, community-driven, widely-loved spaces being trampled on by faceless hotels.

“It’s this switch that is making it near-impossible for local collectives to facilitate the quirky and collaborative events that this city loves so much,” Geraldine added, “and it is a real shame for the future of Dublin culture.

“The Tara Building took a chance on SFD when we were only starting up and gave us the most beautiful, bright and welcoming surroundings to host countless of Sustainable Fashion Dublin events over the last year (without which we would never have been able to grow to where we are today).

“We are so thankful to all the fantastic people who work within its walls, and we just wish this dreamy experience didn’t have to be cut short because of yet another hotel stomping in and sucking this city of all its colour and character,” she said.

 

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You can fuck right off if you think you’ll get away with this.

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Disappearing culture

This news comes in the wake of the announcement that the Bernard Shaw pub will be closing its doors after 13 years. It really feels like a vital piece of our city is being lost.

Tourism is such a huge driver for the Irish economy, but since boom times, this is at the expense of those living in our capital city.

These spaces are vital for young creatives to flourish. Without them, there is a decided lack of places for gigs, swap-shops, stand-up, markets, restaurant pop-ups and workshops in our city.

No surprise

When chatting about this in the IMAGE offices, rather than being met with the rage that came after The Bernard Shaw announcement, it was fatigue. People were disappointed, but not surprised. It seems that, in 2019, we expect these places to be shut down to make way for yet another hotel, and it is exhausting.

This is the attitude online too. It’s just more of the same. It is frustrating to feel so helpless at this news, as what can we do to stop the destruction of Dublin’s creative scene?

Read more: The death of Dublin: what can we do to save it?

The Green Party, Social Democrats and Labour each have councillors who, in recent weeks, have been speaking out about the destruction of Dublin’s culture. They have also voted in favour of attempting to put a cap on the number of hotels being built in Dublin as it is having a severe effect on both the nightlife and the cultural life of the city.

For now, all we can do is use our voices to speak up, as well as supporting any spaces like this around the city that are still here.

Also, when it’s time for the next election, use your vote to choose those taking this seriously and support our creative industries.


Read more: Dublin, I love you but we need to turn things around

Read more: A love letter to Dublin, from a Kerry girl born and bred

Read more: ‘Too difficult to live’: This is a bleak reminder that Dublin renting is at its worst