Res­i­dents ob­ject to mosque over call to prayer

Is­lamic cen­tre granted per­mis­sion last month by Fin­gal County Coun­cil

The Irish Times - - Home News - OLIVIA KELLY Dublin Cor­re­spon­dent

Plans for a large-scale mosque in west Dublin, in­clud­ing a 29 me­tre (95ft) tall minaret, have been ap­pealed to An Bord Pleanála over fears the call to prayer would cause “noise pol­lu­tion” in the area.

The Shuhada Foun­da­tion of Ire­land was last month granted plan­ning per­mis­sion by Fin­gal County Coun­cil for the mosque, com­mu­nity cen­tre and pri­mary school on the site of War­ren­stown House, a for­mer HSE fa­cil­ity in Blan­chard­stown.

Dr Tau­fiq al-Sat­tar, a Dublin-based neu­ro­sur­geon, pledged to build the mosque in mem­ory of his late wife Shehnila Tau­fiq who died with their daugh­ter Zainab (19), and sons Bi­lal (17) and Ja­mal (15) in an ar­son at­tack in Le­ices­ter, Eng­land, in Septem­ber 2013.

Plans for the de­vel­op­ment, which would be one of the largest mosques in Ire­land, were first lodged with the coun­cil just over a year ago. They were sub­stan­tially re­vised ear­lier this year after the coun­cil raised con­cerns about the scale of the de­vel­op­ment.

Pro­pos­als for a se­condary school were omit­ted from the fi­nal plans and a mul­ti­pur­pose events hall was re­duced in size.

No in­ter­ac­tion

Patrick Re­gan, for­merly a lo­cal res­i­dent now liv­ing in Ash­bourne Co Meath, has ap­pealed the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion say­ing there had been “no in­ter­ac­tion” with lo­cal res­i­dents in re­la­tion to the project.

Dublin 15 was “one of the largest and most wel­com­ing mul­ti­cul­tural com­mu­ni­ties in the coun­try” Mr Re­gan said. “How­ever the large scale and size of this project rep­re­sents a ma­jor re­gional re­li­gious and cul­tural cen­tre which will serve a huge area,” he said. The cen­tre would gen­er­ate “huge po­ten­tial traf­fic con­ges­tion” and park­ing is­sues, as well as noise pol­lu­tion.

“The call to pray can of­ten start as early as 5.30am and the last call to pray at 9pm caus­ing noise pol­lu­tion with up to 150 wor­shipers at­tend­ing at any one time dur­ing nor­mal day prayers with­out the cel­e­bra­tion of Ra­madan and other so­cial events.”


As part of the con­di­tions for grant­ing per­mis­sion, the coun­cil had or­dered that the call to prayer “shall not be au­di­ble from out­side of the site bound­aries” and that no other mu­sic or “am­pli­fied sound” could be broad­cast.

Dr Tau­fiq said the de­vel­op­ment would “com­ply with all of the con­di­tions” set down by the coun­cil.

“We are not go­ing to have any mu­sic, and we told the coun­cil that in the first place.”

He added that the foun­da­tion would be fund­ing road widen­ing as part of the de­vel­op­ment to ad­dress traf­fic is­sues.

The foun­da­tion has also sub­mit­ted an ap­peal to the plan­ning board against a con­di­tion set by the coun­cil pro­hibit­ing a new halal food shop as part of the de­vel­op­ment.

The new pur­pose-built mosque will be fi­nanced from Dr al-Sat­tar’s fam­ily fund, his life sav­ings, and do­na­tions from the Mus­lim com­mu­nity in Le­ices­ter.

He also has plans to fundraise among the med­i­cal com­mu­nity in Saudi Ara­bia and Pak­istan.

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