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Families' fury over handball complex

FAMILIES near Croke Park are angry after planners gave the GAA the green light to demolish and rebuild a handball centre next to the stadium.

An Bord Pleanala (ABP) last week granted permission for the €9m development which is almost three times the size of the old centre and also includes some 500sqm of office space.

And while locals are stunned at the decision, they say they are still holding out in the hope that the GAA will reach a compromise and allow them to retain some sort of club and bar facility in the new complex.

Eamon O'Brien said: "We were stunned because ABP's inspector failed the plan on five or six different issues. Our understanding would be that the inspector's report is rarely overturned by the board.

"Some of the residents committees have already issued emails saying that the decision showed a total disregard for the community."

But he added: "At the moment, the GAA is trying to negotiate with the community for a better relationship. We'll see how the negotiations go and we do have eight weeks to seek a judicial review."