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  • Northside West

MetroLink blow for Kickhams

Monday, 18th March, 2019 8:00am
MetroLink blow for Kickhams

MetroLink plans could derail plans to relocate the GAA club.

MetroLink blow for Kickhams

MetroLink plans could derail plans to relocate the GAA club.

Orla Dwyer

PLANS to relocate Ballymun Kickhams GAA club closer to the community have been halted until MetroLink proposals are finalised. 

The club was recently informed that plans for the relocation from Collinstown Lane near Dublin Airport had been paused until final proposals are put through for the MetroLink.

The club is to be moved closer to the main area of Ballymun at a site near IKEA. 

PRO for Ballymun Kickhams, Paul Roche, claimed that a city councillor told them the move had been halted. 

“If we were moved closer to the community, it would make a huge difference to the club,” said Roche. “By foot, it’s practically impossible to get to. It’s just not feasible.”

The club’s current location is difficult to reach for those who don’t have a car as it is across the M50. 

Plans for the move started five years ago and the new site was identified by Dublin City Council in 2017 in its Local Area Plan for the area.

The relocation hasn’t been officially granted, but Roche said plans had been moving forward until the halt.  

“We can’t really complain because the new site wasn’t our land or anything,” said Roche.

“But we are not going to take this lying down.

“We would be horrendously disappointed with no move at this point.”

The club has requested two pitches and a clubhouse with changing rooms, showers and meeting areas. 

Roche said the club’s marginal location may be reducing membership and impacting on support for the teams. 

“When we reached the Club All Ireland finals in 2013, my brother and I were putting flags up around Ballymun,” he said. 

“Somebody asked us why we were putting up Mayo flags around the place. They didn’t know who the club were.”

A spokesperson for the National Transport Authority (NTA) said the organisation has engaged in a public consultation process on MetroLink. 

“Following consideration of the issues raised at various locations along the route, we intend to publish revised proposals in the coming weeks,” said the spokesperson. 

“Those amended plans will be subject to a further round of public consultation.”

The new Kickhams facility is expected to cost over €3 million, funded by Dublin City Council with help from the club.

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council said the Ballymun LAP identifies the area around the chosen site for residential, employment and the GAA facility.

“The City Council has commissioned consultants to carry out a study to ascertain how these uses can best be accommodated on this site, given its proximity to the proposed Metrolink,” said the spokesperson. “It is anticipated that the metro will run underground at this site.”

Independent Councillor Noeleen Reilly said there should be no delay in relocating the club. 

“I put a motion during the local area plan for Ballymun for Kickhams to move closer to Ballymun,” said Cllr Reilly. 

“I believe it is vital for the club to develop and the community as a whole for them to move closer. Sports clubs have a huge role in taking children off the streets and helping shape their future lives.

“The NTA had the opportunity to engage with the Ballymun Local Area Plan, I think it is really unfair for them to now try and stop our plans for land in Ballymun.”

The Ballymun Local Area Plan is a guide for the future development of roughly 34 hectares of vacant land in the area. 

The MetroLink route is planned to run from Sandyford to Swords and through the main road in Ballymun. 

Labour councillor Andrew Montague (LAB) said it would be “devastating” if plans to relocate were hindered by the MetroLink. 

“It would bring top-class sporting facilities into our community and new opportunities for young people from the area,” he said. 

“We can see what a positive impact Kickhams have had on Ballymuners like Philly McMahon. Let’s do nothing to stop that impact on the next generation of young players.

“I will continue to lobby and argue the case with the NTA that Kickhams should not be kicked out.”

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