Irish Museum expansion to go ahead

The Irish Jewish museum, in Dublin is to go ahead with its £9 million expansion after an appeal against the plan failed.

An Bord Pleanala, the Irish body responsible for ruling in planning disputes, upheld the museum’s original planning permission, rejecting objections from residents who were concerned about its effect on the local neighbourhood.

Museum treasurer Edwin Alkin welcomed the decision.

“We 're very pleased. We operate with a mission to be an educational centre and beacon for tolerance and co-existence in our society.”

The museum, currently located in two terraced houses in the residential area of Portobello, will now be able to expand into three neighbouring terraced properties to form one big building.

The extension, first proposed in 2011, is expected to be completed within three years.The new building will be named after Raphael Siev, who bequeathed the adjoining houses to the museum.

Maurice McConnell was one of a group of residents who appealed when planning permission was originally granted to the scheme. He said locals were worried that “a large commercial venture will dominate the long established character of the residential street”.

Mr Alkin said he was aware of the concerns, but “hoped that following this decision everyone will be able to renew and maintain good relations”.

Maurice Cohen, chair of the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland, welcomed the decision by the ABP. He said: "The museum, has an enormously important role to play in the wider Irish community.

"Its role is not only to keep the history of the Irish Jewish community alive, but also to educate the population in general to Judaism, Jews and Jewish h istory and to be a centre of tolerance.

The museum received advice on dealing with the appeal from Israel-based legal firm Asserson Law Offices.

ALO partner Daniel Drukarz offered his services after visiting the museum and noticing how cramped it was.

Last updated: 7:02pm, January 19 2014