Clondalkin residents protest construction of nursing home on nuns’ land

Locals say development would occupy playing field and ‘eradicate’ habitat of birds

Eddie Murphy and Monica McGill, (front right) with, from left, Lile Frost, Bernie Cronin, Cllr William Carey, Patrick Ging and Cllr Eoin Ó Broin, all Save Clondalkin Convent campaign members. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill /The Irish Times

Eddie Murphy and Monica McGill, (front right) with, from left, Lile Frost, Bernie Cronin, Cllr William Carey, Patrick Ging and Cllr Eoin Ó Broin, all Save Clondalkin Convent campaign members. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill /The Irish Times

 

Residents of Clondalkin in Dublin have delivered a petition with more than 3,000 signatures to the Presentation Sisters in an attempt to prevent the construction of a nursing home on lands owned by the religious congregation.

South Dublin County Council granted permission last May for developer Bartra Capital to build a 155-bed, four-storey nursing home and a 14-bed retirement home on the grounds of the Presentation Sisters’ convent in Clondalkin Village. The decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála and a decision is expected later this month.

The Save Clondalkin Convent Campaign said locals are “angry, frustrated and sad” that they are not being listened to, and that the demolition of the convent would result in part of Clondalkin’s built heritage being “lost from sight forever”.

The 1857 convent and surrounding lands. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
The 1857 convent and surrounding lands. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

The group says the proposed development would occupy a playing field used by children, “seriously overshadow” nearby schools, and “eradicate” the habitats of bats and swifts.

It says heavy industrial traffic during the building process and increased traffic afterwards are a cause of concern for parents of school-going children and the people living close to the convent.

“We want to see if we can come to some alternative arrangement that suits both the nuns and the village,” said the group’s spokesman Eddie Murphy.

“We’re not opposed to the nursing home, per se, it’s just where it is. It’s smack bang in the middle of the surrounds of this neo-gothic convent that dates back to 1857. If it was relocated it would be fine. They have other land they could build it on.”

Mr Murphy said that despite the group’s efforts, “the nuns are not engaging” on the matter. More than 400 people attended a rally in opposition to the development last month.

A spokesman for Bartra capital said the company does “not comment on active planning applications”. The Presentation Sisters did not respond to requests for comment.