Saturday 24 March 2018

Henchy calls for resolution of all-weather facility saga

John Manning

A LOCAL councillor has called for the county chief executive to get personally involved in an almost three-year-old saga that has left a €1.2 million all-weather facility in Donabate closed to the public and unused.

When the ironically titled 'all-weather' pitch in Donabate was flooded almost three years ago, few could have predicted it would still be closed today as insurers, the DDLETB (formerly the County Dublin VEC), contractors and the council argue over who picks up the tab.

There has been countless reports on the issue over the years, and now Cllr Adrian Henchy (FF) has had his first opportunity to raise the matter at the council table after his recent election.

For this councillor, the matter is personal as he has a long association with Portrane Hockey Club who stood to gain the most from the facility, that would have provided the club a home for the first time since 1995.

Without the ability to play a home game for almost 20 years, it is 'amazing the club survived' he told a meeting of the local area committee.

He said the issue needs urgent attention and paid tribute to predecessors on the council like Cllr Gerry McGuire (Lab) who had fought long and hard to restore the pitch to use.

Cllr Henchy said it was time the chief executive of the council, Paul Reid got personally involved in the long-running dispute.

The councillor would be disappointed with the report on the issue from the council though, which was similar to previous reports, stating that the council had a plan to restore the pitch to a usable state and that plan was before the DDLETB.

But the former VEC are reluctant to do anything that might prejudice legal proceedings they are involved in over the debacle and so the impasse continues and the pitch remains under lock and key, denied to a host of sporting clubs and several schools in the area.

Senior council official, Shay Barker was frustrated too and wanted to see it back in use but had to be careful not to do anything that might prejudice the ongoing legal proceedings over the affair.

Fingal Independent