Soccer club must vacate pitch of 40 years for construction of Aldi store, court rules
AN amateur soccer club must had over possession of a playing pitch it has used for more than 40 years in order to make way for a new Aldi supermarket, the High Court ruled.
Ballybofey Utd have played and trained at Finn View Park, Chestnut Road, in the Co Donegal town since 1971.
The owners of the grounds, the Butt Hall Trust, are in the process of finalising a sale of the lands to German supermarket chain Aldi who intend to construct a new store on the site.
Planning permission to develop the land had been granted by Donegal Co Council in 2012, and the trust asked the club to vacate the site so it can complete the sale. However the club claimed it has a sporting lease over the lands.
In his judgement today, Mr Justice Paul Gilligan said the trust is entitled to an injunction compelling the soccer club to vacate and hand over possession of the lands.
The Butt Hall Trust launched legal proceedings after the club failed to vacate the lands.
The 250-member club urged the court not to grant the injunction saying the loss of the playing field would be catastrophic for it and the people of Ballybofey and Stranorlar.
The trust disputed the clubs claim, and did not accept the club has used the grounds on a continuous basis since 1971 as it had claimed.
The judge put a stay on his order for a week.