- 07 Oct 21
"Musicians bring yisser instruments, singers bring yisser voices, dancers bring yisser feet," says John Francis Flynn. Photo: @CobblestoneDub
Protestors are set to march in Dublin this Saturday, October 9, in support of The Cobblestone and Merchant's Arch – following news this week of plans to demolish and build hotels around the iconic spaces.
The 'Dublin Is Dying' march will kick off at Smithfield Square at 1pm, before heading to Dublin City Council offices.
In a statement, shared on his Instagram, Dublin folk artist John Francis Flynn encourages all to "come out and show your support for The Cobblestone and Merchant's Arch."
"Musicians bring yisser instruments, singers bring yisser voices, dancers bring yisser feet," he adds.
A poster for the march – depicting Dublin being eaten by a man in a suit – was designed by Cobblestone regular Sinéad Kennedy, an acclaimed visual artist and musician.
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Yesterday, several musicians publicly denounced plans to demolish part of The Cobblestone on North King Street, Dublin 7, in order to build a new 114-bedroom hotel.
Although the original building is a Protected Structure, John Francis Flynn, who has played at the iconic pub regularly over the years, noted that the demolition will involve "the backroom venue, the smoking area, and the rooms upstairs where music and Irish language classes were held, leaving only the main bar swallowed up by a 9 story hotel... essentially turning the leftovers into a residents bar."
"The Cobblestone is far more than just a pub," he stated. "It is a bastion of Irish culture. People come from all over the world to share and learn Irish music, song, dance, language and storytelling.
"It is at the centre of this 'folk revival' we're seeing in Ireland," he continued. "The scene developed within those walls. Any fans of Lankum, Landless, Skipper's Alley, Lisa O'Neill, Ye Vagabonds, The Bonny Men, need to know how important The Cobblestone is for this community.
"Beyond that, and more importantly, The Cobblestone is the main hub for the broader traditional Irish Music community in the country. I have played with and learned from some of the very best musicians in the sessions. I have listened to some amazing music at The Night Before Larry Got Stretched sessions and Pipers Clubs gigs from musicians and singers you otherwise might never get a chance to hear. I have watched younger musicians develop into great musicians. I've watched dancers dance, singers sing, story tellers recite stories. There is nowhere else that can match The Cobblestone for any of this and theres no place that promotes Irish culture to the same level as The Cobblestone. This is an attack on our culture in a city that's getting swallowed up by blind greed. We need as many people to oppose this as possible."
An online petition to 'Save The Cobblestone' has already received 18,370 signatures.