Future of hotel where Collins stayed remains up in the air
MICHAEL COLLINS stayed in the La Touche Hotel in Greystones the night before he went to London to sign the Treaty.
The Victorian site is of national architectural importance, say some campaigners, concerned for the future over the hotel which could be about to lose its protected structure status.
The issue is contained in the draft local area plan which can be viewed in Greystones Library, Greystones Town Council and Wicklow County Council. Submissions on the plan can be made up until February 8.
La Touche Legacy Chairman Cllr. George Jones, whose wedding reception was held in the hotel, said that the building has fallen in to decay and no longer serves any purpose.
It is claimed that the county council is planning to remove the protection order, to make the site more appealing to any potential investors.
Currently any development on the site would face extensive planning restrictions.
Dr. Ciara Kelly said that the building is an iconic landmark readily identified with Greystones. She said that a reduction in the price of the building for sale would be as effective as taking away the protection order.
‘ The La Touche was seminal to the development of the town. Are we going to completely destroy the seafront at Greystones?'
Cllr. Jones said that the hotel closed because nobody was using it. ‘It wasn't doing any business. People weren't staying there, drinking there. They weren't even using the disco in the end,' he said, adding that nobody was talking about demolishing the structure. He suggested that it become an architectural conservation area similar to the Burnaby area.
Mayor of Greystones Kathleen Kelleher said that while she is not in favour of the destruction of the La Touche, the state of the structure cannot be denied.
‘ There is a hole in the roof. The inside is completely gone,' she said, adding that a protected staircase is gone. ‘We are protecting something that is no longer there.
‘Gutting our town is not the way for progress,' insisted Dr. Kelly.
The La Touche Hotel on the seafront.