Park development will have ‘devastating impact on club’

By Hayden Moore

KNOCKLYON United alumni Dane Massey and Brian Gartland have shown their support for the #SaveOurClub movement.

The Dundalk double-champions attended an information meeting about the proposed development of 42 social housing units in Ballycullen Park.

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The meeting took place in St Colmcille’s Junior School on Thursday, November 8, with an estimated attendance of 800.

To date the #SaveOurClub movement also has over 1,200 signatures on a petition against the proposed development.

South Dublin County Council has proposed to build 42 social-housing units at Ballycullen Park, where Knocklyon United field over 500 children between the age of seven and 12 every weekend for club matches.

Some 720 players currently play for the club that was established in 1984, and officials worry that they could lose their club in its entirety if the construction of the 42 houses go ahead.

Knocklyon United chairman, Donal Skelly said: “It will have a devastating affect on our club, we have over 500 of our smallest kids playing on those pitches every weekend.

“We are able to have five, six, seven matches simultaneously playing on our pitches in Ballycullen so losing that could be catastrophic – we could lose our club.

 “The area is growing, we are not against social housing – we would want the kids moving into the social houses coming to our club, so that’s not the issue.

Donal added, “We hear everyday about the importance of physical and mental health, and we see the huge obesity problem in our country too so why take away a facility that is positively affecting those problems?

“There are so many other areas around that could be used for housing, this is not wasteland we are talking about, they are pitches used every single weekend.”

According to Donal, over 800 people where in attendance on the night including a plethora of councillors and TD’s including Fine Gael’s Colm Brophy, Fianna Fail’s John Lahart and Sinn Fein’s Sean Crowe.

Although this is a troubling time for the club, Donal said they are getting great support, “we have had so much support from people and organisations from all around the country, we will be fighting this side by side because it’s something that affects us all.”

Knocklyon United also have released a single online to raise awareness for their cause entitled “Save Our Club”.

Young members of the club formed a choir and made a rendition of ABBA’s “S.O.S.” - lyrics have been swapped with one line now saying, “so if you hear us council, please hear us, save our club!”

Watch the video on Youtube 

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