Ireland’s largest mosque gets approval from An Bord Pleanála

Mosque complex in Clongriffin north Dublin will cover more than 5,500 square metres

An artist’s impression of the proposed Islamic Cultural Centre including a large mosque at Clongriffin in the north of Dublin city.

An artist’s impression of the proposed Islamic Cultural Centre including a large mosque at Clongriffin in the north of Dublin city.

Thu, Aug 29, 2013, 15:34

Plans for Ireland’s largest mosque at Clongriffin in north Dublin have been given the green light by An Bord Pleanála.

The three-story mosque will be located on a six acre site in North Dublin on land owned by developer Gerry Gannon.

The €40 million development will include two minarets, a cultural centre, prayer hall, offices, crèche, bookshop, library, mortuary, a six-hundred seat conference centre, restaurant, primary school, secondary school, a two-story fitness centre with an indoor swimming pool, gym, sauna and steam room and blocks of apartments.

The complex will cater for up to 3,000 people during festivals and up to 550 for Friday prayers. The whole complex is 5,573sqm in size.

An Bord Pleanala granted permission subject to a number of revised conditions including that there should be no call to prayer broadcast from the minarets as is the tradition with mosques.

It also ruled that there should be an archaeological assessment of the site prior to development starting and it called for a proposed brick wall around part of the site boundary to be replaced with a railing. It also wants nine fewer car parking spaces.

Dublin City Council granted planning permission for the mosque at Clongriffin in North Dublin last March.

Local Labour TD Tommy Broughan lodged an appeal against the decision with An Bord Pleanala.

Mr Broughan’s objections related to the size of the development and possible traffic concerns.

He said the size of the development does not comply with the objectives of the county development plan or the local area plan.

Clongriffin mosque will be the third purpose-built mosque in Ireland. The other two are in Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo and at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland in Clonskeagh in Dublin.

There is also a purpose built Shia Islamic Centre at Milltown in Dublin. There are over 50,000 Muslims living in Ireland. Many worship in makeshift mosques in residential houses or in warehouses in industrial estates.

The Dublin Welfare Society, who are developing the project, are made up of a group of Muslims from different backgrounds and nationalities living in Ireland.

The Society is currently involved in managing makeshift mosques in Swords and Clondalkin. Both of these mosques are located in industrial estates.

Abdul Haseeb, project co-ordinator for the Clongriffin Mosque Project has said they were delighted with An Bord Pleanala’s decision. “At the same time”, he added “we are very humbled because of the scale of the project. It is so big and there is so much to do.

“It gives a sense of positivity for the Muslim community in Ireland especially when there’s so much negativity going on, particularly in the Middle East, and there’s so much tension everywhere. It gives us a sense of belonging too.”

Mr Haseeb said the next step in the development will be to build a community around it which would include non-Muslims.

He added: “We will try and make room for everyone. We are aware that there will be challenges ahead but because we got planning it gives us a good reason now to invite the local community leaders and members to come and sit down and talk to us. So far we’ve mainly introduced the project to the Muslim community but now we will start inviting and sitting down with the local community.”

Clongriffin is a newly developed area in North Dublin just north of Donaghmede. Much of the land in the locality, including the site for the mosque, is owned by developer Gerry Gannon. The site of the mosque is currently derelict.

Development in Clongriffin came to a halt with the collapse of the property market and some roads in the area were left unfinished.

Its centre square is surrounded by modern retail units but many of the units have remained vacant since construction was completed.

Local Labour TD Sean Kenny welcomed the An Bord Pleanala decision.

“The mosque would be welcomed generally by people in the area,” Mr Kenny said. “It would generate employment and lead to the completion of Clongriffin estate and some of the roads as well as completion of access to the dart station. It could also lead to greater occupancy of the vacant units.”