Over 300 Kingswood residents call on council to shelve ‘courts’ plans

By Aideen O'Flaherty

OVER 300 Kingswood residents have signed petitions calling on South Dublin County Council to shelve their plans to fix four tennis courts that have fallen into disrepair in the area, and instead develop a sports facility hub at that location so all sports can be played in the locality.

The local authority has been planning to undertake the work on the tennis courts, which are in Tynan Hall Park, to relay the surface of them with tarmac and put up nets.

Kingswood Tennis Courts compressor

Kingswood tennis courts

 

However locals have said the tennis courts are rarely used, and there is a lack of sports facilities in the area.

Sharlene Kennedy, the chairperson of Kingswood Castle Football Club, started an online petition on Sunday against the tennis court plans, and called for the development of a sports hub.

 

She has also been collecting signatures on a paper petition.

Hundreds of residents have signed the petitions, with many pointing out that they have four tennis courts and yet there is no tennis club in the area, while there are a number of active sports teams in the area that need facilities.

Ms Kennedy told The Echo: “It seems like South Dublin County Council is planning to give us something that we didn’t ask for.

“The tennis courts have fallen into disrepair. They’re an eyesore, and no one uses them.

“We appreciate that the council is trying to do something about it, but repairing the tennis courts is not what we need.

“It doesn’t make sense to keep them as tennis courts, when they’re perfectly situated and they could be the perfect opportunity to be something that would be so well-used by the community.

“We want the council to put a pause on this work – a community sports hub is what we’re looking for.”

There are currently 13 different sports teams in the Kingswood area, however none of the teams have permanent facilities, and last May, The Echo reported on the lack of toilet and changing facilities for players from the local GAA club, St Kevin’s/Killian’s GAA Club.

“You can see players from the GAA club training beside the abandoned tennis courts,” said Ms Kennedy. “Parents are driving past the tennis courts to drop their kids off to train with local teams at different pitches.

“The whole community really needs, wants and will use a sports hub, and we want to get rid of the abandoned space [where the tennis courts are].”

A spokesperson for South Dublin County Council told The Echo: “The council was approached and asked to refurbish the Kingswood tennis courts by the local residents’ association at a deputations meeting in 2018 and it was included in the 2019 improvement works programme.

“If it is the case that the residents are no longer in favour of the tennis court refurbishment proceeding the council can put this project on hold and consult further on the matter.

“€20K was allocated in the budget for this project, there are no additional monies.

South Dublin County Council provide recreational facilities that provide for both passive and active recreation throughout the county.”

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