Na Fianna GAA club will not lose their playing pitches to accommodate the construction of the new €3 billion MetroLink system following a campaign of opposition by the club and residents of the area.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland has instead proposed using lands owned by nearby Home Farm Football Club, who will receive €5 million in compensation as a result of losing their playing pitches.
The Northside station, which is set to be named Griffith Park, was originally due to be built on school pitches on Mobhi Road and lands owned by Na Fianna GAA club. It was also to be used as a construction compound for up to six years.
However, the club, along with residents of the area undertook a campaign of opposition against the proposal, stating that the move would result in a generation of young players being lost to the sport.
The campaign also welcomed contributions from noteworthy people such as celebrity architect Dermot Bannon, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Dublin GAA star Jonny Cooper.
Local resident Catriona McKeown says that the people of the area are delighted with the development, despite losing the Metro stop.
“The locals are delighted with the outcome. The fields around Na Fianna and Mobhi Road have so much history and facilitate sport for so many, it would have been silly to locate a stop there.
“The proposed Home Farm stop is a win-win situation as it will take less time to build and is still close enough to facilitate people in the Na Fianna area,” said McKeown.
Dublin North West TD Noel Rock welcomed the changes outlined in the latest report on the new MetroLink as good developments while also mentioning that all concerned would be keeping a close eye on proceedings as Home Farm FC have been an important part of Irish sport for decades and this must continue to be the case.
“Under this draft proposal, there will be a stop constructed underneath Home Farm’s pitch with an 18-month build. Practically, instead of a six-year construction project involving all of the space at Na Fianna, there will instead be an 18 month construction period on a much smaller site beneath Home Farm FC.
“It’s important we make sure Home Farm are looked after during these 18 months of construction. Everyone knows of Home Farm’s historic contribution to Irish soccer and how many underage players they have catered for. They are an intrinsic part of Irish sport and long may this continue,” said Rock.
Upon completion, MetroLink will connect Sandyford in South Dublin to Swords Estuary on the Northside with an estimated travel time of 50 minutes.
Image Credit: Róise McGagh