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Families' fury as Croker roof tours go-ahead

CROKE Park residents have reacted angrily to the decision to give the green light to rooftop tours at the stadium.

The GAA will soon be hosting tours along the roof of the iconic stadium in north Dublin.

Visitors will be able to walk the majority of the stadium rooftop for views across the city.

But locals are worried that the tourists will get a bird's eye view of their back gardens.

The GAA said that the plan will provide for an additional 10 jobs and an extra €150,000 in a revenue boost for the stadium.

The €1m development was delayed by several months after objections were raised on the basis of privacy.

Eamon O'Brien, Chairman of the Croke Park Streets Committees, said that they were not happy with the decision by An Bord Pleanala to give the go ahead.

"There is no gain for the community in this," he said.

"We didn't go to the oral hearing -- we asked to be excused from this. We never got to discuss any of that with the board. Any of our concerns that were set out in writing," he added.

"We sent in a long letter, pointing out the reasons as to why we were concerned but they just went ahead. The community has little confidence in An Bord Pleanala."

Mr O'Brien said that the tours will just cause further disruption to the lives of those living in the vicinity of the stadium.

"The area is locked down whenever there is a big match, it's like martial law," he said. "There are huge movement restrictions."

Visitors will be able to take a tour of the roof of the stadium, which is hoped will attract visitors in a way similar to the Sydney Harbour Bridge tour.

Brave walkers will be tied to a harness for safety reasons while they survey Dublin city surroundings from the height of a 14-storey building.

There are plans for five viewing platforms -- at the Cusack Stand facing east, the Cusack Stand facing south-east, the Davin Stand facing south, the Hogan Stand facing south-west, and the Hogan Stand facing west, as well as a pitch-viewing cabin.

Croke Park stadium director Peter McKenna earlier said that there had been some opposition to the plan but argued that the stadium was investing money and creating jobs.

Mr O'Brien said that the Committees are now taking legal advice as to their next move.

"The process still enables us to a judicial review," he added.

A representative for Croke Park was unavailable for comment at the time of going to print.