Concerns for protected geese at Clonkeen College in Deansgrange

by Rebecca Ryan
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The designated pitches for development at Clonkeen College have been frequented by Brent Geese

Concern has been expressed over a protected species that has been spotted at a site set for development at Clonkeen College.

A row over the Deansgrange school grounds was previously shrouded in controversy over plans by the Christian Brothers to sell part of the secondary school’s playing grounds.

In June of last year, the row over the €18 million grounds sale was settled when the two sides agreed that the proportion of land being given to the school will be increased by half an acre which would enable the school to maintain a full-size playing pitch on the site.

However, the saga has taken another twist this week as Meadow Vale Residents Association has informed Dublin Gazette that Brent Geese have now been spotted at Clonkeen College.

Committee member Kevin Polley said it has been brought to their attention that the site has been frequented by Brent Geese.

“They’re planning apartments. While our Residents Association and other associations have been actively resisting this development, we are resigned to the fact that it will probably proceed anyway.

“However, for the last couple of years, the designated pitches for development at Clonkeen College have been frequented by Brent Geese during the months of October through to January/February.

“[They] appear to be using these lands at Clonkeen College as a habitat. We understand the Brent Goose is fully protected by Wildlife & Countryside Act, 1981.”

On the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council’s website, the council call on the public to notify them of sightings of Brent Geese, expressing the need for “protection of this wonderful species”.

“We are asking for the help of the public to establish inland areas of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown where Brent Geese have been seen or noted in the area of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown,” said the post.

Mr Polley said: “It’s not an issue to try and stop the building, it’s just to say this is land clearly identified [that Brent Geese] are landing there and not to let this slide away without people realising that it is frequented by wildlife that is protected.”

When asked about the planning permission and the Brent geese siting’s, the council said: “Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has not received any planning applications for this site.

“Further queries on the development of the site should be directed to the Edmund Rice Schools Trust.”

A spokesperson from The Edmund Rice Schools Trust said: “We have no information about the development at Clonkeen, and therefore, unfortunately, we are not in a position to assist you with your queries.

“Edmund Rice Schools Trust is not involved in any way with the sale or the development of the land in question. That was a matter solely between the Congregation of Christian Brothers and the developer.”

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