Newlands Farm: GAA and soccer clubs would benefit from €6 million facility

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THREE local sports clubs have joined forces to start up a new committee – the Newlands Farm Kingswood Heights Sports Committee – in advance of plans for extensive new sports facilities at the Hibernia REIT site.

Kingswood Castle FC, Kingswood FC and St Kevin’s Kilian’s GAA Club formed the committee last week, to outline their proposals for the sports facility aspect of the developer’s plans.

Tynan Sports clubs 01 1

Ciaran Long and Adam Long from St Kevin’s/Kilian’s GAA with soccer club members Stephen Kennedy, Marguerite Kennedy, Kayleigh Kennedy, Austin O'Sullivan, Keelan Brunell and Sharlene Kennedy have formed a sports committee

Hibernia plans to develop a €6 million multi-purpose sporting hub, which they stated will serve as an “iconic focal point” that will “blur the division between outdoor and indoor spaces”, with both outdoor and indoor facilities with a mix of for-rent and free-to-use options.

The outdoor facilities available to rent are to include GAA, rugby, soccer, hockey and five-a-side pitches.

The free, publicly accessible outdoor facilities are to include a handball wall, a hurling wall, a basketball court, a skatepark, outdoor gym stations, a running track, a walking loop, a cycling loop, playgrounds and picnic areas.

Indoor facilities to rent are to include studios for martial arts, dancing, Pilates, volleyball, basketball, netball, badminton, futsal and indoor boules, while auxiliary uses are to consist of a café, a creche, a play area, meeting rooms, changing rooms and a community group hall.

A spokesperson for the Newlands Farm Kingswood Heights Sports Committee told The Echo: “The three sports clubs involved have reviewed the proposals and have agreed to conditionally support the proposed sports development, however further discussions are required between the parties to ensure any proposed sports development meets the requirements of all clubs. 

“To better represent their own clubs’ requirements, and those of the wider community, the three clubs have come together to form one holding committee in relation to all issues pertaining to the proposed development of sporting facilities at Newlands Farm Kingswood Heights only.

“[We] now plan to meet with Kingswood Heights Residents’ Association in relation to this proposed development. 

“The group also now plans to hold further discussions with Hibernia REIT to explore further their proposals for the sports development.”

As previously reported in The Echo, a lack of changing room and toilet facilities was having a detrimental impact on sports teams in the area.

Local sports clubs and community groups have for many years called for the development of a sports hub in the locality.

The committee spokesperson added: “All clubs involved feel it is necessary to progress with this strategy of conditional support of the sport development, as the local area has suffered from severe lack of investment over the last number of decades. 

“Despite years of campaigning for improved facilities for the clubs it is disappointing that no progress was ever made in this regard, so this proposal is welcome to secure the future prosperity for all involved in sports in the local community.”

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