Friday 16 November 2018

'We're homeless' - Dublin football club object to planned housing development

St Paul’s College, Raheny, where the club currently play their games
St Paul’s College, Raheny, where the club currently play their games

Ryan Nugent

A Dublin football club have objected to a planned housing development in a popular Dublin park, claiming they will have no home pitch from next month.

Clontarf FC – who have 30 teams – lodged the submission surrounding the development of more than 500 units at St Paul’s College, Raheny, at the end of last week.

The club say that while they have been aware of the plans for around two years, they had expected replacement facilities to be made available to them.

Club chairman John O’Neill said that only one 4G all-weather pitch will replace three soccer fields, two rugby and one GAA as part of the Z15 land-use zoning objective.

Within the submission made to An Bord Pleanala, the club say the 4G pitch only caters for rugby and GAA.

Mr O’Neill explained that with more than 400 children playing for the club between the ages of eight to 17, it would be impossible to cater for so many matches with the use of just one pitch.

The club has said that, as it currently stands, they will have no pitches for their teams from February.

They are understood to be applying to use the nearby St Anne’s Park.

“Clontarf FC has been ejected from the grounds by the developer and has no home for the forthcoming season commencing in February 2018,” they said in the objection submission.

“While the club has actively engaged with Dublin City Council to secure alternative pitch facilities in the area, the club was advised that it should wait until its use of the pitches at St Paul’s College was definitively terminated,” it added.

Within their revision requests, Clontarf are looking for upgrades to facilities at St Anne’s Park, which would include drainage for a number of pitches along with changing rooms and other infrastructural work.

The total cost of this has been estimated at €1.8m.

They have also said a portion of the residential development adjacent to the 4G pitch could be omitted in order to add an additional full-size all-weather pitch.

“Our only chance now is to go back into St Anne’s. At the moment we’re homeless,” Mr O’Neill said.

The development will consist of 104 houses and 432 apartments along with a creche, private open space and access to lands to the east of St Paul’s College.

The developer could not be contacted for comment at the time of publication.

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