Clondalkin convent development gets go ahead from Council

by Padraig Conlon

Controversial plans to build on an historic Clondalkin site have been given the green light.

South Dublin County Council last week gave Bartra Healthcare the go ahead to build a four story 155 bed nursing home and a smaller 14-bed unit on the grounds of the Presentation Convent in Clondalkin village.

Despite 50 objections to various aspects of the original proposal being lodged, the council granted the developers planning permission last Wednesday (22nd May.)

The decision can be appealed to An Bord Pleanala but it must be done within four weeks.

Newly elected Councillor, and Clondalkin Tidy Towns committee member, Eoin O Broin told Dublin Gazette there is no support in the community for the Council’s decision.

“We are very disappointed that South Dublin County Council have given no consideration for the residents of Clondalkin with this decision,” he said.

“Objections were lodged over many issues with this planned development.

“Some of these were the loss of the antique stone wall on Convent Rd, the planned brick finish on the nursing home, the height of the proposed building and potential traffic and parking problems because of the loss of the parking facility in the church yard for the schools adjacent to the site.

“Also there is a threat to biodiversity due to a colony of Swift birds living in the cloisters of the church that would be threatened by the development.

“Clondalkin Tidy Towns will be appealing this decision to An Bord Pleanala and discussing it with other elected members of the Council.

“We had a meeting on Wednesday evening and decided to postpone a public meeting until Wednesday or Thursday 12th or 13th June.

“This is to allow time to prepare the submission.

“All politics aside, everyone in Clondalkin thinks this development is a disgraceful idea.

“I haven’t met a single person who is in favour of it.”

Patrick Ging, chairman of Clondalkin History Society, told Dublin Gazette why he opposes the convent development.

“This is the last remaining historic site in Clondalkin,” he said.

“If this is allowed to go ahead we will have lost all that’s left of our heritage.

“I’m old enough to remember all the historic sites around here that have been let go.

“The local community built that convent and while we’re sorry to see the community of nuns no longer live there the church should give the building back to the community if they no longer need it.

“Fr John Moore purchased a 12-acre site on New Road from the Caldweck family in 1855 who themselves initiated education of girls in the parish in 1809.

“Fr Moore entrusted three acres to have a convent built, and the first nuns arrived from the Presentation Order in December 1857, with 210 kids registered the next day.

“The history of that building goes back a long way.

“Once you touch that building you lose a story.

“Clondalkin has already lost so much heritage due to inadequate planning and supervision from South Dublin County Council.

“The convent is a very significant building which must be protected.”

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