School frantically trying to stop sale of sports pitches to house-builder
The principal of south Dublin secondary school Clonkeen College is promising its supporters will do everything in their power to prevent the sale of its sports pitches to a developer.
It emerged last week that the religious order of Christian Brothers has decided to sell off 7.5 acres of sports land used by the Deansgrange-based school.
The order said "binding contracts" have been entered into with a local house-builder for the land.
The order has planned to pay €10m from the sale - estimated to be in the region of €16m - to the State redress scheme.
The brothers have told the school that the Government will only accept cash in payment to the scheme, for the historical sexual abuse of children by its members.
"The school is going to do everything in its power to stop this," Clonkeen principal Edward Melly told the Irish Independent yesterday.
"We need to stop the sale going ahead."
Mr Melly said the school was previously promised that as long as Clonkeen remained a school, it would have the use of the land.
One avenue the objectors may pursue is a legal challenge on this basis, given that more than €450,000 was invested to drain the land on the back of this promise.
Mr Melly also said it was important to point out that the school was non-fee paying.
An agreement between the Christian Brothers and the Edmund Rice Schools Trust, which runs Clonkeen College, means 3.5 acres will be retained by the school.
The move has caused outrage with the local community, students and the alumni of the school, which has a strong reputation for sports, especially in GAA and soccer.
Mr Melly said the community was also contributing ideas to try to stop the sale.