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Friday 16 November 2018

Losing metro stop a small price if we keep pitches, say GAA club members

Aileen McDowell, Lisa Martin and Kay O'Sullivan, all from Glasnevin, watching the Na Fianna minors in action. Photo: Damien Eagers/INM
Aileen McDowell, Lisa Martin and Kay O'Sullivan, all from Glasnevin, watching the Na Fianna minors in action. Photo: Damien Eagers/INM

Ian Begley

Members of Na Fianna GAA club have said losing a metro stop is a small price to pay if it means keeping their playing pitches.

The Irish Independent revealed the pitches in Glasnevin, north Dublin, are no longer being considered as a tunnelling site for the proposed MetroLink.

Na Fianna GAA, one of the largest clubs in Ireland, would have lost its main pitch on Mobhi Road and two all-weather pitches for up to six years under the original plans.

But following widespread opposition, a new draft proposal will see a stop constructed beneath nearby soccer club Home Farm's ground, which will take 18-months to build.

The Irish Independent talked to a number of spectators and club members yesterday at Na Fianna GAA.

"It's obviously great news for the club and surrounding area," said Glasnevin resident Derek Walsh.

Kim Hayes watching the Na Fianna minors at their home grounds on Mobhi Road, Dublin yesterday. Photo: Damien Eagers/INM
Kim Hayes watching the Na Fianna minors at their home grounds on Mobhi Road, Dublin yesterday. Photo: Damien Eagers/INM

"Hundreds if not thousands of kids avail of these pitches and it would have been a terrible shame to lose them. Although nothing is officially confirmed, it seems like the National Transport Authority is finally starting to take our concerns on board.

"Losing a station is nothing compared to the damage that would have been caused during the construction phase of the metro."

Kim Hayes, who was supporting her son at yesterday's under 18s match between Na Fianna and Cuala, said the news came as a massive relief: "These pitches are really the heart of so many communities in north Dublin.

"It wasn't a surprise that there was so much opposition because the very idea of a tunnel boring machine would mean that our pitch would be out of use for a very long time."

Aileen McDowell from Glasnevin said: "I'm optimistic, but we haven't been given any official confirmation yet.

"We're one of the biggest clubs in the country so we're all hoping they take another direction."

Na Fianna public relations officer Cormac O'Sullivan told the Irish Independent he would not comment until the club received formal notice of the new proposal.

Irish Independent

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