Application to have `Real Tennis' court preserved


The High Court has begun hearing an application to have what was described as a court for "Real Tennis" preserved so it may be reopened to the public.

"Real tennis" is played indoors and is claimed to be the game as it was played originally.

Yesterday's application was brought by the secretary of the Irish Real Tennis Association, Mr Ted Neville, of Carrigaline Road, Douglas Road, Cork, and relates to a site near the National Concert Hall and Iveagh House in Dublin. The proceedings are against An Bord Pleanala, while the Commissioners of Public Works, the Irish Real Tennis Association and Dublin Corporation are also represented.

Mr Neville is seeking leave to bring judicial review proceedings to overturn a decision of An Bord Pleanala in June 1999. This upheld an earlier ruling of the Corporation in respect of the site which was part of an area given to the State by Lord Iveagh in 1939. It has been used for several years as a laboratory and gymnasium and the OPW is planning to develop it as a recital facility for the National Concert Hall.

Under conditions attaching to the decision of An Bord Pleanala, much of the interior of the building is to be preserved so that at some later time it could revert to its original use.

Mr Colm MacEochaidh, for Mr Neville, argued the building or structure was described in the Dublin City Development plan 1999 as a "Real Tennis Court."