Council slammed over lack of changing facilities for club

By Aideen O'Flaherty

THE CHAIRMAN of St Kevin’s/Killian’s GAA Club is calling on South Dublin County Council to provide changing facilities for the club, which has grown significantly in recent years, as there are no toilets or changing facilities for the club’s juvenile players, reports Aideen O’Flaherty.

The Echo previously covered the club’s need for changing facilities almost three years ago, in June 2016, when the club stated that they had been trying to secure facilities from the council for the club for over 30 years, but to no avail.

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St Kevin’s/Killian’s GAA Club players and mentors

The club, which is based in Kilnamanagh and Kingswood, stated that “there has been absolutely no progress on the provision of any services despite the greatest efforts of our Executive Committee” since the previous article was published, and juvenile players are still changing pitchside and dealing with a lack of toilet facilities.

Derek Guilfoyle, chairman of St Kevin’s/Killian’s GAA Club, told The Echo: “Ultimately we want to fundraise to build a clubhouse, but in the interim we need a Portacabin with running water and electricity, so the players can change and use the toilet.

“It’s 2019, and the club has been around for over 30 years, but we’re still asking kids to use a bush to go to the toilet and to change pitchside.

“We have had a jump in members – we’re the fastest growing club in Dublin over the past five years.

“The club has grown by 230 per cent.”

The club’s adult team and older juvenile teams train in Kingswood, where they have access to a shared changing room and limited toilet facilities. However, the club’s younger juvenile players are based in Kilnamanagh, where 90 per cent of the juvenile members live, and where there is a lack of facilities.

The club has predicted that due to the increase in numbers – which means the club’s membership currently stands at 250 – the facilities in Kingswood will not meet the club’s requirements, while the only facilities for the club in Kilnamanagh is a single container for equipment storage.

Mr Guilfoyle added: “The lack of facilities prevents us from running any kind of competitions or summer or Easter camps.

“We have a great bunch of volunteers – they’re brilliant, but sometimes we question how they can keep going.

“Some people do get demoralised, but we’re trying so hard to do something good for the community.”

When asked about the provision of toilet and changing facilities for St Kevin’s/Killian’s in Kilnamanagh, a spokesperson for South Dublin County Council said: “South Dublin County Council provides over 1,750 ha of parks and open spaces throughout the county.

“The larger parks, in particular, provide space for a wide range of active and passive recreation facilities including circa 165 playing pitches/sport facilities for various sporting clubs such as gaelic football, hurling, soccer, rugby, cricket, baseball, athletics and so on.

“While it is not possible to provide toilet and changing room facilities at all 165 locations, South Dublin County Council has developed a Pavilion Construction Programme which provides for construction of seven pavilions over the lifetime of the Programme.

“These pavilions will provide permanent toilet and dressing room facilities for clubs located in the administrative area of South Dublin.”

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