Permission granted for controversial mosque in Kilkenny
Council gives green light to two-storey religious and cultural centre in industrial estate
About 40 objections were lodged with Kilkenny County Council to plans for the mosque and cultural centre at Hebron industrial estate on the edge of Kilkenny city. Photograph: Jamal Saidi/Reuters
Planning permission has been granted for the construction of a new mosque in Kilkenny city which attracted more than 1,000 signatures in opposition to the development when it was first proposed.
Kilkenny County Council has given the go-ahead to the trustees of the Kilkenny Islamic Centre for a two-storey religious and cultural centre at Hebron industrial estate on the edge of the city which is expected to cost about €3 million to build, when ancillary features are included.
About 40 objections were lodged with the council to plans for the mosque and cultural centre in the weeks after the application was received from the trustees.
One of the objectors, former election candidate Eugene McGuinness, who is a brother of Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness, collected 1,035 signatures from people living in the vicinity of the site.
He said plans were already being made by a committee he established, Kilkenny Community Network, to appeal the council’s decision to An Bord Pleanála.
Mr McGuinness said earlier this year that “99 percent of people in the area don’t want that development” and that there were already major traffic issues in the area, with people driving through the industrial estate to get to residential areas, particularly on the days of big hurling matches in nearby Nowlan Park.
Mr McGuinness said his opposition to the plan had nothing to do with religion.
Green Party councillor Malcolm Noonan welcomed news of the grant of planning permission. “Matters unrelated to the planning process have been stressful and hurtful for our local Islamic community, but I’m hopeful now that is all in the past. This development will benefit the whole community, representing a €3 million construction investment in the local economy as well as the ancillary benefits to local business, and it is reflective of a modern Kilkenny, inclusive, welcoming and diverse.”