Green light for sports pavilion

by Ian Begley

AFTER months of controversy over the rejection of proposals for a sports pavilion in Lucan, funding for a facility in Griffeen Valley Park has recently been approved by the Department of Sport.
In October 2014 the council accepted a proposal to begin building pavilions around local parks within the county including Griffeen Valley Park. These were to provide purpose-built changing rooms, meeting rooms and storage space which would ultimately see the elimination of containers from local parks.
The proposal was voted against at the November 6 annual budget meeting by Sinn Fein and independent councillors to offset/subsidise a planned increase in rent for social housing tenants.
At the May South Dublin County Council corporate policy group meeting it was finally agreed that Griffeen Valley Park would get a new sports pavilion in Phase One. It will likely be built to the rear of Arthur Griffith housing estate to serve pitches in this area on which 98 teams currently play. Planning and procurement begins this year with construction likely in 2016.
Welcoming the announcement, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, who lives in the area, expressed her delight that funding had been approved to develop the pavilion.
She said: “I am pleased that Sports Minister Michael Ring approved the funding… The purpose-built space will replace the unsightly containers currently in use by a number of local clubs. I understand the planning and procurement for the project will begin this year, and it is hoped that construction will commence in 2016.
“We are very lucky to have such a great sporting culture in our area and it is important that we provide adequate facilities for our sports clubs. It is imperative that we continue to encourage children and young people to take up sports and physical activities and make facilities available for them.
“I look forward to this much-needed sports pavilion.”
Also welcoming the announcement, Cllr William Lavelle (FG) said: “I have initiated and championed the provision of sports pavilion in our parks and I am delighted that Griffeen Valley Park will get a new sports pavilion.
“This project hit a hurdle last year when the majority on South Dublin County Council voted to remove €600,000 from the 2015 council budget for two new pavilions at Griffeen Valley Park and Dodder Valley Park.”
Lucan’s Cllr Paul Gogarty (Ind) told The Gazette that most of his colleagues initially had to vote against the pavilions to cover the allowances for the rent increase.
“The council officials were budgeting to increase the rent, but they didn’t have the [funding] so the money for the pavilions had to be temporarily taken off the tables until it became available again.”

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