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  • Southside

Hundreds join flash mob in battle over Dublin park

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019 8:00am

Story by Neil Fetherstonhaugh
Hundreds join flash mob in battle over Dublin park

Hundreds gathered at Patrick Park for the flash mob last week.

Hundreds join flash mob in battle over Dublin park

Hundreds gathered at Patrick Park for the flash mob last week.

HUNDREDS of locals staged a hurling and camogie flash mob in St Patrick’s Park last week to highlight the lack of green space and sporting facilities in the area.

People of all ages descended on the popular Patrick Street amenity where they performed a 10-minute display of their sporting prowess.

The demonstration was organised by Kevin’s Hurling and Camogie Club to highlight their opposition to Templeogue Synge Street Gaelic Football Club’s proposed redevelopment of Dolphin Park.

Critics of the plans claim the redevelopment will see over 30 per cent of Dolphin Park going under concrete. 

Vincent Hennessy, Chairperson of Kevin’s Hurling and Camogie Club, said: “Dublin 8 has one of the lowest proportions of space under grass in Dublin or in any city in Europe. The green space in Dublin 8 actually includes the Luas line green grass verge and the bank of the Grand Canal.

“Every week over 300 local children use the Dolphin Park sports facility for hurling and camogie, many of whom have no access to transport to alternative playing fields. We are amongst the top-10 fastest growing clubs in Dublin. 

“While we recognise the need to upgrade the facilities at Dolphin Park, we are completely opposed to the plans by Templeogue Synge Street Gaelic Football Club which will see 30 per cent of our playing space going under concrete,” Mr Hennesy added.

“This flash mob is an opportunity for our club members, supporters, and locals alike to voice our opposition and to call for a reversal of this decision. We strongly believe there is a better way to achieve a modern sports facility for the local community, without restricting the community’s access to green space, and adversely impacting the locality and environment.”

In February of this year Templeogue Synge Street Gaelic Football Club announced plans for a major upgrade of their facilities at Dolphin Park.

A spokesperson for the club directed Southside People to their website which details the club’s vison for the park.

On the website the club states that the new development will include floodlights, an all-weather pitch, a new gym, dressing rooms, new meeting rooms and modest catering facilities as part of plans to build a sustainable and competitive Gaelic football club to serve the Dublin 6, 8 and 12 areas “for years to come”.

The site points out that subject to planning permission being granted, the investment level in improving the facilities available is expected to be almost €3 million. It adds that Dolphin Park pitches are owned by Templeogue Synge Street GFC but are also used by a number of local schools and Kevin’s Hurling Club.

“The development, should it be completed as planned, will mean far more capacity in terms of pitches, training hours and playing hours than currently is the case for all teams who use it,” it is stated.

“The club estimates it will increase the training time available to teams by over 400 hours per year.

The funding for the investment will be raised through the sale of 15 per cent of the site for the purposes of developing housing in the area. This consists of 153 apartments, seven townhouses and one detached house.

“The dressing room facilities have not been upgraded since they were built in the 1970s. Girl’s and ladies’ football teams regularly change at the side of the pitch, while the generator for the training lights regularly breaks down.”

Commenting on the announcement Club Chairman Alan O’Brien, added: “We want to create a modern GAA facility that will service the needs of the GAA community in this part of Dublin for generations to come. The growth in our playing numbers is down to the dedication and passion of our volunteers and the pride we have instilled in this club. However, we need to take our club to the next level in order to achieve our real potential and that means having modern facilities.

“We plan to enhance the pitches we do have and have juvenile pitches running cross-field. We will be investing in new floodlights and an all-weather training pitch, which will significantly increase the training time available for all the teams that use the facility currently. Importantly we will be retaining two full sized adult pitches as part of this proposal, so it will greatly enhance the playing time available for all pitch users.”

Mr O’Brien goes on to say on the website: “We plan to build a modern clubhouse with six dressing rooms and shower facilities for ladies’ and men’s teams, as well as a gym.We will be raising our own finances and not relying on taxpayers to fund this facility.”

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