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A Big And Unwanted Change Could Be On The Way For Dublin's Dream Metrolink

By Darragh Berry

May 1, 2018 at 6:58pm

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Dublin's new €3bn Metrolink was unveiled just over a month ago with plans for 15 brand new stations. 

The project - which was expected to open in 2027 and run from Sandyford to Swords - could be facing a delay if the proposed route is to be changed.

Traveling from the city centre to the airport on the Metro was expected to take 20 minutes with the system carrying 15,000 passengers per hour in each direction but the Taoiseach's latest decision on it could mean that a new route is set up entirely. 

Speaking in the Dáil, Leo Varadkar has asked the Transport Infrastructure Ireland to look at a new construction site for the Metrolink. 

A number of schools and sports clubs are saying that the current plans for Dublin's first underground rail line would impact negatively on them .

"My message would be to find an alternative option to digging up this important club which is just the heart and soul of that community and that part of Dublin".

“In relation to Na Fianna and Scoil Chaitríona and Home Farm as well, I have to say I am very concerned and I share the concerns of leaders and other deputies - not least the Minister for Finance about this particular emerging preferred route.

“I think it would do enormous damage to that club, to Na Fianna, to Home Farm as well, and also to Scoil Chaitríona.

This comes just a couples of days after Dublin's dream Dart underground was also hit with a crushing blow.

The proposed 26km link - as shown here - would require the use of Na Fianna GAA club's pitches as well as Home Farm's pitch and two schools. 

In a statement released on the club's website after the announcement last month, chairman Cormac Ó Donnchú outlined the tough times that lie ahead for the club if they lose their grounds.

"A Chairde,

"To follow on from yesterday’s communication, you may have seen that the new Metro Link’s Emerging Preferred Route (EPR) was made public at today’s media launch.

"At a meeting in Mobhi Road on Tuesday night 20th March, members of the Na Fianna Club Executive were advised by representatives from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) that the construction programme for the proposed Metro Link (formerly known as Metro North and due to commence in 2020), would involve the requisition of the front pitch and both all-weather pitches on Mobhi Road as well as Home Farm soccer pitch. The front pitch and both all-weather pitches as we currently now know them would become a Tunnel Boring Depot  for the duration of the Metro Link construction project, with a permanent underground station being situated under Mobhi Road upon completion.

"The first contact that the Club had with TII was through a phone call received at approximately 4.30pm on Friday 16th March, bank holiday weekend. This was the first time the Club was alerted that the new Metro Project would have any implication for the Club. TII requested the meeting, mentioned above, where we were informed of the severe impact the proposed project would have on Na Fianna’s home.

"The Club is naturally very concerned and alarmed with this news. We are also deeply disappointed by the lack of respect afforded that a decision of this magnitude was advised to CLG Na Fianna, less than 48 hours prior to the formal Government announcement.

"The physical impact of this proposal on Na Fianna as we currently understand it will be;

Loss of main Mobhi road pitch for a minimum of 3 years, potentially 6 or more years
Loss of both All-Weather pitches for a minimum of 3 years, potentially 6 or more years.
Significant loss of revenue from clubhouse activities

"Though significant, this pales in comparison to the potential irreparable damage to a generation of young Na Fianna members through having the heart and soul of our Club ripped out. Not to mention the inevitable fall-off in playing numbers among all age groups, through being deprived of suitable training and playing facilities.

"The Executive Committee are fully aware that this development has huge implications for CLG Na Fianna and its members. CLG Na Fianna is currently examining the plans in detail, engaging with important stakeholders and exploring a range of possible actions. We would encourage all members to access the website (www.metrolink.ie), view the documents and to inform themselves as much as possible. A Members’ Information evening will be arranged in the coming weeks subject to the full facts of the proposal being examined and a suitable venue sourced, and out of this a strong unified approach will be adopted. Ní neart go cur le chéile.

"The GAA family, including Croke Park and Dublin GAA have committed to full support for Na Fianna and its members.

"We have been through tough times together before. From our founding members’ first struggles to establish the Club in the face of overwhelming adversity, from the rebuilding of our clubhouse after its destruction, and the struggles we have overcome to build a state of the art facility, and not only sustain it, but have it as the beating heart of the community. We have been through tough times before, we will rise to this challenge and come through this together. 

"Please be assured that members will be kept up to date on progress and further communications will be issued as appropriate.

"In the meantime normal service continues on Mobhi Road. le mór meas, Cormac Ó Donnchú, Cathaoirleach, CLG Na Fianna"

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