JD Wetherspoon purchase former church in central Dublin

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British pub chain JD Wetherspoon has bought a new site in Dublin's city centre, it paid close to €1.5m for a former church on Lower Abbey Street - the property had a guide price of €400,000.

The former Baptist church has been used over the last decade as a rehearsal space for the near by Abbey Theatre.

More than 12 parties expressed an interest in the Office of Public Works property which was sold at auction yesterday

The Irish Times reports that the company is expected to run a gastropub between the site and the former TSB bank building at 12B Lower Abbey Street, which it previously purchased for €1.5m.

The company currently has no locations in Dublin's city centre although it is developing a hotel and bar on the site of a former homeless hostel on Dublin's Camden St.

JD Wetherspoon has previously expressed its frustration after failed attempts to secure sites in central-Dublin as property prices continue to rise in the city.

The company currently operates five pubs in the Republic of Ireland - and it plans to open 30 outlets across the country.

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