OVER TWENTY HOMELESS families being accommodated in The Bonnington Hotel – formerly the Regency Hotel – are being moved as Dublin City Council is ending its use of the hotel for “operational reasons” at the end of the month.
Private hotels and commercial providers in Dublin have been used regularly for homeless accommodation in recent years by the council.
The former Regency Hotel (which became infamous in 2016 as the site of a gangland shooting) has been used since at least 2014 for housing homeless families.
The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) has confirmed to TheJournal.ie that it is ceasing the use of the hotel with effect from 31 October for “operational reasons”.
There are 24 families in the hotel at present and DRHE has said two staff members are working directly with them to “arrange alternative emergency accommodation, provide housing advice and assist with other move on options”.
“We are aware that moving from emergency accommodation for some of the families may be difficult, but it is not possible for their placement in the Bonnington to continue,” DRHE said.
“We will continue to work with each individual family and try to address any concerns they may have,” it said.
This development comes as An Bord Pleanála earlier this week gave the green light to 124 ‘build-to-rent’ apartments on lands over the Dublin Port Tunnel on the grounds of the former Regency Hotel.
The appeals board has granted planning permission for the five to six-storey apartment block on the Swords Road, Whitehall to Roseberry Investments Ltd in spite of opposition from local residents.
The appeals board received 33 submissions from local residents’ associations, businesses and locals.
Locals claimed the proposal will make the current traffic situation even worse. They also claimed the public health consequences, such as the impact of pandemics, have not been assessed.
The majority of councillors for the area opposed the plan and recommend its rejection as they argued it is based on a short-term build-to-rent model which is based on a transient community and is not sustainable in the long-term.
However, city council planners recommend that planning permission be granted for the proposal.
The hotel has not confirmed to TheJournal.ie whether the plans would result in the closure of the hotel or whether the new apartments were being built in space on the existing grounds.
While the hotel has not provided a response to queries from TheJournal.ie, it is still currently possible to book rooms in the hotel well into 2021.
With reporting by Gordon Deegan