Football club ‘totally’ opposed to development

By Aideen O'Flaherty 

THE MEMBERS of Knocklyon United Football Club are “totally opposed” to any development at Ballycullen Park which would result in the loss of two pitches, according to the club’s chairman Donal Skelly.

South Dublin County Council announced plans for the development of 42 social housing units on land which is currently used as pitches by Knocklyon United FC, at last February’s Rathfarnham/Templeogue-Terenure Area Committee meeting.

Knocklyon05

FAI CEO John Delaney met with members of Knocklyon United this week. 

FAI chief executive John Delaney met with club officials this week to discuss the future of the club’s pitches.

The club is run by a team of 100 volunteers who cater to the nearly 600 players who are involved in the club, and there are expectations that the number of young people involved in the club will grow exponentially in the years to come as more housing is built in the area.

Mr Skelly said: “The club is currently experiencing rapid growth due to the explosion of housing developments within the local area and needs to increase the facilities we already have to meet the growing demand.

“We are currently growing at a rate of 20 per cent per annum, which means that within four years we could potentially be meeting the sporting needs of 1,000 girls and boys of all ages.”

South Dublin County Council owns the land that the two pitches are on, and while the pitches have at present been allocated to Knocklyon United FC, that allocation ends next month and it is not known if the allocation will be renewed.

The two pitches in question are used by younger members of the football club, from ages seven to 12-years-old, while older members of the club play on pitches in Delaford Park, Kennedy Park and Tymon Park, which are unaffected by the proposed housing development.

Mr Skelly told The Echo: “It’s all very up in the air at the moment, and the members of the club are very unhappy.

“To lose the pitches at Ballycullen Park will have a devastating impact on Knocklyon United FC and the greater community at large.

“The removal of the pitches will result in the immediate lack of facilities for 450 of our youngest players and their opponents, who travel to play them week in, week out due to no available alternative site in the area.”

A spokesperson from South Dublin County Council told The Echo: “SDCC is preparing plans for social housing units [at] land adjacent to Knocklyon Utd pitch.

“The club will not lose their pitch or dressing rooms. This proposal when finalised will go through the Part 8 planning and a consultation period is part of this process.

“The council will not be in a position to deal with any further queries outside the planning process.

“I also wish to add that the council’s staff have and will continue to discuss the matter directly with the club officials.”

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