'There's nothing in the area' - Backlash from fans after decision to build homes instead of 12,000-seater soccer stadium
The decision to build 500 homes on a site in Inchicore, Dublin, as opposed to a stadium development by a League of Ireland football club has been met with a backlash from sections of the community.
A proposal by St Patrick's Athletic to build a state-of-the-art 12,000-seater stadium that would incorporate a town centre at St Michael's Estate was quashed in favour of building homes on the site instead.
St Pat's had intended offering their current ground, Richmond Park, to the council for housing instead.
Yesterday, the Irish Independent revealed that the Department of Housing had decided against this and will opt for a majority cost-rental scheme in their regeneration of St Michael's Estate. The plan will see the lands and homes remain in council ownership.
Despite it being the favoured option of the department, Dublin City Council and the St Michael's regeneration team, there has been some backlash to the decision.
St Pat's president Tom O'Mahony told the Irish Independent the club were still waiting for an announcement from the Government and Dublin City Council (DCC) on the issue.
"We will be very disappointed if our proposal is being disregarded," Mr O'Mahony said. "It [Inchicore] needs houses, but not only houses. It needs regeneration and that is what our plan is offering."
There are fears the proposal chosen by the department will not offer enough amenities to an area that is in desperate need of regeneration.
In posts online, St Pat's director of football Ger O'Brien pointed to a number of problems.
"Regardless of a stadium or not, to lump more houses into an area that has nothing in it is another nightmare waiting to happen," he said.
"No bank in Inchicore, one bank link in the whole village, one playground for kids. Pubs, off-licences, bookies, fast food is what Inchicore has to offer."
Local resident Paul Maguire said that even without the stadium, the Pat's proposal was the best idea.
He said there needed to be serious investment in amenities for people living in the area.