The development of more than 160 housing units on GAA club grounds in Dolphin’s Barn, Dublin has been given the green light despite local objections.
Templeogue Synge Street GAA welcomed An Bord Pleanála’s decision to overturn a Dublin City Council decision to refuse permission to build 153 apartments, seven townhouses and one house on its lands.
Around 15pc of the pitch at Dolphin Park will be used for the development, but objectors believe that up to 30pc of the park will be lost.
The build will fund a €3m development for the club including floodlights, a new all-weather training pitch, a new gym and dressing rooms. The club said the investment would allow an extra 400 hours of training a year for its 46 teams.
Club chairman Alan O’Brien said that once completed the development would also greatly benefit local schools and the rest of the community.
“We are delighted to have finally received approval from An Bord Pleanála for this ambitious redevelopment of our club,” he said in a statement.
“We are going to create a modern GAA facility that will service the needs of the GAA community in this part of Dublin for generations to come.
“The growth in our playing numbers is down to the dedication and passion of our volunteers and the pride we have instilled in this club.
“Once the development is completed, Templeogue Synge Street will be among the best GAA grounds in the area and will secure our club’s future at Dolphin Park,” he said.
However, not everyone was happy with An Bord Pleanála’s decision.
St Kevin’s hurling and camogie club, which also trains at Dolphin’s Park, believe that the development will see them lose "vital" training terrain for younger members
The chairman of St Kevin’s GAA Club, Vincent Hennessey, described the news as a "very disappointing day" for the club and south inner city.
“We haven’t seen the details of the plan, but we’re obviously very disappointed with the decision,” he told Independent.ie.
“Despite the claims, this is not in the best interest of the community. Losing close to 30pc of the park to build this development doesn’t make sense.
“Our club is growing all the time and with the amount of building works taking place in the south inner city we need to protect our green spaces as much as possible,” he said.
Mr Hennessey added that he doesn’t believe that An Bord Pleanála’s decision will stop the club’s campaign against the homes.
“We’re not going to have a knee-jerk reaction over this. We need time to fully read through and digest the details so we can plan our next step,” he said.
Earlier this year, hundreds of members of St Kevin’s descended onto St Patrick’s Park near St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin to highlight the lack of green space available to them.
This article was first seen on https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/dublin-gaa-club-gets-green-light-to-build-161-homes-at-its-ground-38736706.html