Na Fianna meets NTA to discuss implications of metro link

Protection of sports grounds ‘critical for future of community’, says chairman

 Aaron Doyle (8) was among Glasnevin Na Fianna members who visited  en mass the public information session hosted by Transport Infrastructure Ireland about the proposed Metrolink project. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Aaron Doyle (8) was among Glasnevin Na Fianna members who visited en mass the public information session hosted by Transport Infrastructure Ireland about the proposed Metrolink project. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Members of Na Fianna GAA club in Glasnevin have met representatives from the National Transport Authority (NTA) to discuss the potential implications of the development of Dublin’s new MetroLink through the club grounds.

The meeting followed a public consultation in DCU on Monday during which hundreds of local community members met with staff from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to discuss the new link. The metro service has been proposed to run directly under Na Fianna’s north Dublin grounds, with a station named Griffith Park at the site.

The club will be required to relocate to another location for “at least six years” if the construction of the line goes ahead, while the site will also have implications for students at the Scoil Mobhí primary school and Scoil Chaitríona secondary school, which sit alongside the sports grounds.

Parents have raised concerns around the safety and well-being of students during the construction period while Na Fianna members have warned the site could prevent a generation of children from playing sport. TII has also proposed placing a boring tunnel underneath the grounds.

Na Fianna chairman Cormac Ó Donnchú said Tuesday’s meeting with the NTA had allowed the club to relay its concerns and “engage fully” with the public consultation. One of the largest GAA clubs in the country, Na Fianna has more than 3,000 members with 169 competitive teams.

“After 18 months of engineers preparing for this we have very short period of time for the community to assess the implications for ourselves,” Mr Ó Donnchú told The Irish Times.

“It’s absolutely critical for the future of our community and future generations within our community that the resolution is appropriate and well-balanced and that it’s not solely a driver on economic or engineering matters.”

Mr Ó Donnchú said he was overwhelmed by the turnout of local community members at Monday’s consultation meeting which saw queues of parents and children out the door of the Helix theatre.

“You couldn’t but be proud of the conduct and the level of engagement that our members showed and their behaviour, their demeanour and the trouble they went to express their concerns.”

The next step for Na Fianna will be to prepare a public submission ahead of the May 11th deadline, said Mr Ó Donnchú.

An NTA spokesperson confirmed the authority had met with representatives of Na Fianna and described the meeting as “informative” with “positive engagement”.

Construction of the proposed MetroLink is to begin in 2021, and will take an estimated six years to complete. The line will cover a 26-kilometre stretch from Swords to Sandyford with 12km running underground.