herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Church making €30k in 'illegal' Croker car park

The GAA attracted criticism last August when the hosting of University of Central Florida and Penn State (pictured) forced the Kerry-Mayo All-Ireland semi-final replay on the road to the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE
The GAA attracted criticism last August when the hosting of University of Central Florida and Penn State (pictured) forced the Kerry-Mayo All-Ireland semi-final replay on the road to the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

The Archdiocese of Dublin has said it will continue to operate a car park in the grounds of the college for events in Croke Park despite a recent decision by An Bord Pleanala that it is not exempt from planning permission.

The spaces in the grounds of Clonliffe College are used by the public on match days.

A resident who raised the issue with the board, criticised Dublin City Council for its failure to tackle what he claims is an illegal car park.

Misery

The resident said that the traffic generated by cars using the car park, which can take up to 3,100 vehicles, caused misery for residents and was the single biggest nuisance in the area on match and concert days.

The local accepted that parking had taken place in Clonliffe over many decades, but insisted that there had been an intensification in recent years, which radically changed the situation under planning legislation.

The car park, which is operated by Park Rite on behalf of the archdiocese, can make more than €30,000 when big events are staged in Croke Park.

In its submission to the planning board and the council, Stephen Little & Associates on behalf of the archdiocese, stated that the use of the college as an occasional car park had been established since the early 1960s and that no material change arose out of its continuing use.

It noted that the use of the college grounds for parking was a benefit to the wider community.

The submission also pointed to the locational and historical context of the site.

There has been a historical link between the college and Croke Park.

The gardai have flagged the car park for big match days on its website for patrons travelling to Croke Park, noting that it is a supervised car park in the vicinity of the stadium, and it includes 100 special needs places.

The Clonliffe College cark park is about a five minute walk from the stadium.

Dublin City Council said that it is "envisaged that agents for Croke Park will contact the planning authority to discuss it".

Meanwhile, for its part, the archdiocese said that the college would probably go on being used as a car park while the matter was clarified.

The GAA is understood to be taking advice on the matter.

The Croke Park stadium has a capacity of nearly 83,000 and on big match days, fans travel from all over the country to attend the games.

Restrictions

For those who don't park in car parks, and fail to observe parking restrictions, it can be a costly exercise.

At least 21 cars fell foul of the clampers last September around Croke Park on All Ireland football final day.

Dublin City Council had warned GAA fans ahead of the game that parking was limited in the residential area of Croke Park and that illegally parked cars may be clamped or towed away.

fdillon@herald.ie

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