Cabra GAA club furious over pitch not finished

by Rachel Darcy
Protesting at the gates of Dail Eireann

A GAA club in Cabra have slammed the Department of Education for failing to complete work on a new all-weather pitch for the club.

Naomh Fionnbarra GAA club were promised the pitch in exchange for a portion of their land in 2015

The land was used to build a new gaelscoil for the Cabra area, Gaelscoil Bharra, which opened its doors last September.

Seamas Mac Reachtain, press relations officer for Naomh Fionnbarra, told Dublin Gazette that work on the pitch began late last year, and was moving steadily until January when all building totally stopped.

“The pitch is about a week, two weeks maximum, off from being totally finished. There has been no building work on the pitch for the last six weeks, but the Department of Education keep telling us everything is ok,” Seamas said.

The club are now struggling to find both pitches to train on and the finances to rent out other pitches.

The club have been given no set time-frame in place for when building will resume on the pitch or when it will be finished.

Seamas said: “Money is becoming a struggle – we’re in complete limbo. We have 16 teams that need somewhere to train.

“We don’t have a set time for how long we will be renting pitches, and we don’t know where to get finance from to indefinitely rent these pitches.

“We’re training out of a hall at the minute, and that’s okay in the short term, but ultimately we need to be training on a pitch”.

Seamas also told Dublin Gazette that they were previously receiving assistance from the Department of Education to fund the pitch when they were building, but they have not received this funding since October.

The team have protested four times outside the Dail since January in the hopes of getting some answers, and last week delivered a letter to the Minister of Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, but have yet to receive a response.

More than 100 people are reported to have attended the march in support of the Cabra club.

A spokesperson from the Department of Education and Skills have confirmed that building has temporarily stopped on the pitch.

They have said that while “some site works remain to be completed” on the pitch, they are hoping to have the works completed “as quickly as possible”.

“Some site works remain to be completed in respect of the Gaelscoil Bharra project, including in respect of the pitch.

“The Department is fully aware of the issues and is working to have these site works completed as quickly as possible.

“However, as of March 13, there remain some site works to be completed including completion of the pitch and reinstatement work to the car park of the adjacent GAA club.

“The value of the work outstanding on this phase of the project is €117,751.55,” a spokesperson told Dublin Gazette.

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