Joy as first horses enter new €500k equine centre

by Sylvia Pownall
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THE long-awaited Clondalkin Equine Club took in its first horses at the weekend and will be officially opened today (Thursday).
The new facility is located in the environs of Ballyowen Park off the Fonthill Road and Agriculture Minister Michael Creed will perform the opening assisted by Mayor Guss O’Connell.
The centre – first mooted almost a decade ago – was financed by the Department of Agriculture and South Dublin County Council and will provide a base for kids from the area who can’t afford a private stables to care for their horses.
Deputy Gino Kenny, who is a founding member of Clondalkin Equine Club, said witnessing the project come to fruition had been one of the highlights of his political career since being elected.
He said: “This is truly a great day not only for the Clondalkin Equine Club but for the community as a whole. Members of the club went well above and beyond in making this a reality.
“It will give young horse owners a place of their own to stable and mind their horses in a safe and local environment. It’s a very positive, pro-social and good equine story for a change.”
The facility has the capacity for up to 20 stables and an exercise paddock.
One of its aims is to educate young people on all things equine in the hope it might act as a stepping stone for members who want to pursue a career in the industry.
Plans for the facility were passed unanimously by South Dublin County Council following a public consultation process in December 2015.
Deputy Kenny said: “This promotes good equine educational practise not only in theory but in practise. The input by South Dublin County Council in terms of resources and commitment has been significant over the past number of years.”
He also thanked Bawnogue community worker Michelle Kearns for her support and guidance.
Deputy Kenny added: “Like the club I have dedicated an enormous amount of time over the past eight years in trying to make this a reality.
“Through lobbying the council and championing the cause of responsible urban horse ownership a social horse project in Clondalkin has now been realised.
“This is the end of a lifetime fulfilment but the beginning of a lifetime of enjoyment for many people.”

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