Na Fianna on track to avoid MetroLink dis­rup­tion

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - FRONT PAGE - DER­MOT CROWE

HOPES that Na Fianna GAA club in Dublin may es­cape ma­jor dis­rup­tion due to plans for the con­struc­tion of a ma­jor new rail link have in­creased, it emerged yes­ter­day. The threat of par­tial clo­sure of Na Fianna’s grounds in Glas­nevin, with the main pitch the in­tended lo­ca­tion for the project’s main tun­nel sta­tion, cre­ated a huge re­sis­tance from the lo­cal com­mu­nity. The club’s main pitch would have been out of bounds dur­ing the con­struc­tion pe­riod, re­quir­ing the club to find al­ter­na­tive play­ing ar­eas.

The plans also threat­ened to cause se­ri­ous po­ten­tial dis­rup­tion and noise in­ter­fer­ence with two schools lo­cated on the site.

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to Fine Gael TD Noel Rock, a sus­tained cam­paign to pre­vent the pro­posed MetroLink us­ing the GAA pitches of Na Fianna at Mobhi Road as a tun­nelling site looks set to re­sult in a hard-earned win.

Deputy Rock said that un­der the lat­est draft re­vi­sion to the MetroLink plans, to be pub­lished in the New Year, it is un­der­stood the use of Na Fianna’s pitches as a tun­nelling site will not pro­ceed.

The Dublin North-West TD, who ar­ranged Oireach­tas hear­ings on the is­sue, wel­comed the news but added all con­cerned would be keep­ing a close eye on pro­ceed­ings.

A source for Na Fianna told the Sun­day

In­de­pen­dent yes­ter­day that the club has not had for­mal con­fir­ma­tion of the change and that it was con­tin­u­ing to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion.

How­ever, it ap­pears that a nearby pitch used by Home Farm will be af­fected.

“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,” said Deputy Rock.

He added: “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.”

The TD said schools will be able to op­er­ate as nor­mal.

“I am sat­is­fied we are mov­ing on from the idea of clos­ing off this area of Glas­nevin for the best part of a decade, am happy the cam­paign­ing was suc­cess­ful, and look for­ward to these re­vised drafts be­ing fully pub­lished in the New Year,” he said.

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