Field of broken dreams

ANGER: Children devastated as soccer pitch hopes dashed

Maeve Galvin

CHILDREN at a Dublin soccer club have been left disappointed by the broken promises of Dublin City Council, it has been claimed.

Two years ago, Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni thrilled the kids of St Teresa's Gardens when he officially opened their all-weather pitch.

St Teresa's club had previously been promised a new football pitch and a multi-purpose all-weather pitch on their grounds as part of Dublin City Council's regeneration plan for the area.

The club, which caters for children aged between eight and 17 years and has close to 100 members, were looking ahead to the establishment of a football pitch to accompany their all-weather pitch.

As a condition of the proposal, residents were asked to leave the pitch unused to allow for the building work.

However five years later the field has been neglected and is in poor condition while the club is out of pocket from having to rent training and playing grounds.

Treasurer James Berkeley says that the club have contacted the council and the regeneration board many times, but they have been left without answers.


"We went off the pitch in good faith because we were promised all sorts. They aren't answering questions. It is like we don't exist. Nobody will engage with us."

The redevelopment of the site was shelved when disgraced developer Bernard McNamara pulled out of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) he agreed with Dublin City Council.

The site, which was once visited by Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni and officially opened as a community facility by then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in 2001, now lies unused.

The club is forced to hire training pitches and pay for transport to its replacement grounds in Stanaway Park, about 5km away, out of the club's funding.

"They mugged us as a club," Mr Berkeley told the Herald.

Labour councillor Rebecca Moynihan told the Herald: "I would be happy to see the pitches opened but there needs to be consultation with residents."

She said 300 residents signed a petition wishing to see the site used for housing. "The land was meant to be redeveloped into houses for people in the area but the money has since been pulled."