Locals object to primary care centre on site of unlicensed bingo
North Dublin residents oppose plans for new health development on the site of youth club
Dublin City Council has said it considers the youth club’s bingo night a ‘serious contravention of the lease’. Photograph: Aidan Crawley
Residents living opposite a north Dublin youth centre that has been operating an unlicensed bingo hall are opposing the development of a primary care centre on the same site.
St Monica’s Youth Resource Centre in Raheny has been operating on a council-owned site on Tonlegee Road for 30 years and has been running a bingo night on Wednesdays, attracting up to 500 players spending €10-€15 each.
Dublin City Council last Friday said it had not been aware of the bingo night and considered it a “serious contravention of the lease” on its site.
Local residents said the planned development of a primary care centre on the site would also be in conflict with the lease, and would worsen traffic problems already caused by the youth club’s bingo activities.
The youth centre holds the lease from the council for the entire site, but in agreement with the council is facilitating the development of the primary care centre, which is being built by Woodbine Primary Care Ltd on behalf of the HSE, on a portion of the site. In return essential repairs to the roof of the youth club and other modernisations to the building will be carried out.
The primary care centre was originally granted planning permission in 2012 but was never built. Last June the city council approved revised plans for the centre.
A number of local residents have appealed these plans to An Bord Pleanála. In their appeal Gavin McGowan and Cliona Collins say the entire site was designated under a 99-year lease to provide youth services for Raheny. The lease allowed the site to be used a “youth centre and for no other purpose”, they said. They contend that even if the primary care centre had a separate lease it would be using the entrance, which was covered by the youth centre lease.
More than 100 cars and “two large buses” already attended the bingo night, causing parking and traffic problems in the area, they said. Several residents said the 70 planned parking spaces would be insufficient and that patients would block local roads and park on grass verges.
One Tonlegee Road resident, Kenneth McKnight, submitted that he had put his house up for sale because of the “annoyance” that would come with the primary care centre.
An Bord Pleanála is due to make a decision on the development next month.
Dublin City Council has said it considers the youth club’s bingo night a “serious contravention of the lease and will contact the lessee in this regard”. The youth club recently applied to the District Court for a licence for the bingo night.