Athletics club welcomes plans for development of facilities in park

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A LOCAL athletics club has welcomed South Dublin County Council’s plans to shortly begin developing a running track and, at a later date, a clubhouse, at the Firhouse end of Dodder Valley Park.

The contentious plans have drawn a mixed reaction in the community, with local environmental groups Dodder Action and Dodder Valley Litter Mugs staging a protest against the plans for the development of a football pitch and a running track in the park over the weekend.

Brothers Pearse 1 compressor

Members of Brother Pearse AC

The Brothers Pearse Athletic Club in Knocklyon, which was founded in 1956, has welcomed the council’s plans to develop a 400m grass track and, near the car park, a clubhouse for the club, whose members are mainly based in Firhouse and Knocklyon.

Niamh Honer, from Brothers Pearse AC, said: “Finally, we will have a home. This will mean so much to our members and provides a safe environment for our 200+ children to train and enjoy athletics.

“As a club, Brothers Pearse AC are delighted that work has commenced to develop the facilities in Dodder Valley.

“When finished, this development will reap huge benefits to the large and growing membership of the club.

“It is also a significant development for the wider community in Knocklyon and Firhouse as the ancillary works will mean that others will now have easier access to a part of Dodder Valley that has up to now been used sparingly by the public.”

The plans went to the Part 8 public consultation stage back in July 2017, and were later passed by councillors. Work on the facilities is expected to commence this month.

Ms Honer added: “We appreciate the decision of the councillors in supporting this in 2017 and the subsequent hard work done by SDCC in getting the project this far.”

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