Wednesday 19 September 2018

Revealed: Temporary school to be the first built on Harold's Cross Stadium site after controversial sale

Harold's Cross Greyhound Stadium. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Harold's Cross Greyhound Stadium. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

A temporary school is to be the first built on the former Harold’s Cross Greyhound Stadium following the controversial sale of the grounds to the Department of Education.

The stadium - sold for €23m - was sold to the department for an undisclosed sum following it’s sudden closure last February.

The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) closed the facility as it struggled with large debts related to the construction of Limerick Greyhound Stadium.

The sale kicked off a protest in Dublin from some greyhound owners, which saw no greyhound racing in the capital’s other racing stadium, Shelbourne Park, for a number of months.

The IGB was forced to answer questions in front of the Dail’s Public Accounts Committee on the sale and the semi-state’s financial position.

TDs questioned the value of the site and whether the taxpayer was getting value for money.

Greyhound owners and trainers protesting at the Dáil over the closure of Harold’s Cross stadium. Photo: Tom Burke
Greyhound owners and trainers protesting at the Dáil over the closure of Harold’s Cross stadium. Photo: Tom Burke

The sale was stalled pending the approval of a ‘change of use’ zoning application for the land which was approved by Dublin City Councillors last September.

The Department of Education has now invited contractors to bid for the job of building a 12-classroom temporary school on the site.

The school will be made up of pre-fab buildings and the road access and other works will have to be carried out to make it viable as a school site.

Prior to closing the sale of the six-acre site the department said the site would be used for  a number of school buildings in order to meet the growing demand for school places in the south Dublin area.

A review was due to be carried out to determine the exact configuration of the schools however that review has not yet been made publicly available.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Education said the acquisition of this site is in the final stages of conveyancing but the school is expected to open in time for the coming school year. 

An analysis of the site is "highly suitable for the provision of school accommodation" but a demographic review to determine the make-up of the schools is ongoing.

Meanwhile, the IGB said aspects of the transfer are still being finalised.

"Bord na gCon is working with the Department of Education & Skills to complete all aspects associated with this transfer. Bord na gCon is satisfied that significant progress has and is being made towards concluding the overall transaction," Bord na gCon said in a statement.

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