Dublin club Na Fianna on Mobhi Road in Glasnevin are to lose the use of their pitches for a minimum of three years with the potential of that extending to six years after it was revealed that they are to be requisitioned due to plans for the new Metrolink project.
The government today unveiled their preferred route for the Metrolink which is a train system that will run from north to south across the city between Swords and Sandyford.
The system will run overground from Sandyford to Charlemont and run underground from there. When the train system is opened to passengers in 2027 it’s expected that travel time between Dublin Airport to the city centre will be 20 minutes.
Part of the construction will include an underground station at Mobhi Road which will impinge greatly on the Na Fianna Club and will see the requisition of their main pitch and also their two all-weather pitches and they will become a Tunnel Boring Depot for the duration of the construction project.
The club released a statement saying they are ‘alarmed and concerned’ by the impact this will have on the club not just in terms of a ‘significant’ loss of revenue but more importantly “to the potentially irreparable damage to a generation of young Na Fianna members through having the heart and soul of our Club ripped out. Not to mention the inevitable fall-off in playing numbers among all age groups, through being deprived of suitable training and playing facilities”.
The club also expressed their anger at the complete lack of communication prior to today’s announcement stating they were only informed at 4.30pm last Friday.
The first contact that the Club had with TII was through a phone call received at approximately 4.30pm on Friday 16th March, bank holiday weekend. This was the first time the Club was alerted that the new Metro Project would have any implication for the Club. TII requested the meeting, mentioned above, where we were informed of the severe impact the proposed project would have on Na Fianna’s home.
The Club is naturally very concerned and alarmed with this news. We are also deeply disappointed by the lack of respect afforded that a decision of this magnitude was advised to CLG Na Fianna, less than 48 hours prior to the formal Government announcement.
The National Transport Authority today assured that this would be a “temporary” interruption for Na Fianna, and the facilities would be restored to an “immaculate” standard.
That’s scant consolation for the club which is the heart of the community in Glasnevin and caters for 3,500 members and 125 teams. What do those players from nursery level to senior level across four codes do for up to the next six years now that their facilities have been ripped away from them.
One of Na Finna’s most famous sons Dublin All-Star defender, Johnny Cooper, took to Twitter to voice his anger at the proposed plan.
The NTA are forgetting to mention they are TAKING our main GAA pitch and 2 all weather pitches from @clgNaFianna. We cater for 125 teams & have over 3,500 people from the community ENGAGED. This project is supposed to bring people together not force US apart. @Shane_RossTD ?? https://t.co/aROdnaW7c5
— Jonny Cooper (@jcoops) March 22, 2018
Are they serious? Where are we all supposed to go before we get them back ‘in an immaculate position’? https://t.co/aCvwGqkD9S
— Jonny Cooper (@jcoops) March 22, 2018
It’s not the first time the club has faced tough times and their statement was ended with a defiant message that for now its business as usual on Mobhi Road.
A Members’ Information evening will be arranged in the coming weeks subject to the full facts of the proposal being examined and a suitable venue sourced, and out of this a strong unified approach will be adopted. Ní neart go cur le chéile.
The GAA family, including Croke Park and Dublin GAA have committed to full support for Na Fianna and its members.
We have been through tough times together before. From our founding members’ first struggles to establish the Club in the face of overwhelming adversity, from the rebuilding of our clubhouse after its destruction, and the struggles we have overcome to build a state of the art facility, and not only sustain it, but have it as the beating heart of the community. We have been through tough times before, we will rise to this challenge and come through this together.
Please be assured that members will be kept up to date on progress and further communications will be issued as appropriate.
In the meantime normal service continues on Mobhi Road.
Glaine ár gcroí, neart ár ngéag, beart de réir ár mbriathar.
Purity of our hearts, strength of our limbs, action according to our words.