Dublin GAA chief calls for green spaces to be saved

by Rachel Darcy

John Costello, the Dublin GAA chief executive, has said that the difficulties in procuring facilities in Dublin for the GAA has become “enormous”, calling for any green space to remain as such.

Costello made the points in the Dublin GAA Annual Report, published last Thursday. He has called on local councils and the Government to ensure that any existing amenity space is kept as such, saying that not all green space should be used for housing and industry.

“I think the very least that can be done in this regard is that the Government and city councils should ensure that any existing amenity space is kept as amenity space.

“We should surely at least hold on to the little we have.

“This could be enshrined in law or a bye-law and this would then prevent the type of development speculation that goes on when any such land comes on the market. This speculation and intention or expectation to build drives prices to exorbitant levels.

“The prices are affordable only to developers who seek to develop high-density housing and apartments on the land,” Costello wrote.

He refers in particular to the playing pitches near St Anne’s Park, which are at threat at being developed into housing under developer plans.

A submission has been lodged with An Bord Pleanala for 650 apartments on the former playing fields of St Paul’s College, which is adjacent to the park.

Costello further wrote: “St Anne’s Park is an iconic Dublin amenity. The last thing a growing club like Clontarf needs is to lose playing pitches.

“The last thing the community needs is to lose more green space to apartments which will bring more people to an area that would now have reduced amenity space.

Legal intervention … would stop the [site] speculation and safeguard the precious facilities we have. What we have we should hold! I can also assure the Government that any investment in GAA facilities will produce a massive return.”

To read the full report, see DublinGAA.ie.

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