Proposed Dublin 15 mosque will ‘help all the community’

Dr Taufiq al-Sattar admits he should have met locals concerned over four-storey centre

A view of the proposed mosque and community facility from Blanchardstown Road North, Dublin.

A view of the proposed mosque and community facility from Blanchardstown Road North, Dublin.

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A Dublin-based neurosurgeon who has received planning permission to build one of the largest mosques in the State has acknowledged there was a lack of public consultation about the project ahead of an appeal by local residents.

An Bord Pleanala has said the Shuhada Foundation of Ireland can build a four-storey mosque, community centre and primary school on the site of Warrenstown House, a former HSE facility in Blanchardstown, in west Dublin.

Dr Taufiq al-Sattar of Beaumont Hospital pledged to build the mosque in memory of his late wife, Shehnila Taufiq, and their three children who were killed in an arson attack in Leicester, England in September 2013.

Darragh Kelehan, a local resident who submitted objections to the project, said there would be an appeal against the planning decision and he criticised those behind the project for not attending community meetings.

“It’s the sheer size of what they’re trying to build,” he said. “Not only that, but they didn’t consult with the community and that’s where we feel we were let down. Nobody came over to talk to us.

“We had many a public meeting, and we invited the doctor [Taufiq al-Sattar] and anybody to do with the Shuhada Foundation to come down to talk to us and they never did. We will be appealing. We can’t just sit down and accept it.”

Holidays

Dr Taufiq told The Irish Times he had been away on holidays since the application was approved but that he would soon be meeting locals to get their reaction. He said he was not expecting to be met with any criticism.

“I know there were some objections initially,” he said. “There was a mistake from my side when I was so busy and could not meet with local people, but we are going to meet them now. I’m going to explain to them that this project is not against anybody.

“This project is going to help all the community in different ways. It will help children also. It will help families and secondary schools as part of their religious projects. This project will also bring a lot of employment.”

He said work would begin on the project in the coming months.

Lorna Nolan, an independent councillor who lives nearby, said existing facilities in the area, which include a mosque and a school, ought to be sufficient to cater for the needs of the community.

“I am not against the mosque,” she said. “There is already a mosque and a school there. I don’t agree with the scale of the project, and the huge congestion that it’s going to bring. I’m not sure this was fully thought through,” she said.

“There are enough amenities and services in the community. It could have been done on a much smaller scale...People are saying the community has objected to the mosque. Absolutely not. It’s the scale of it.”

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