Knocklyon FC ramps up opposition to housing plan
Members of a Dublin football club fear they have only months left to save their pitches and their future as the local council prepares to vote on plans to build social housing.
Knocklyon United said preliminary plans to build 42 social homes on their pitches in Ballycullen Park could lead to the club closing down.
Chairman Donal Skelly said they had around 500 children using the pitches every weekend, and the number was rising.
In an attempt to ramp up public support to save the pitches, the club will host a public meeting on the issue tonight.
Among those due to speak will be former Knocklyon player and current Dundalk star Brian Gartland.
A tender went out in recent months for the construction of the social housing units on the land, and a decision will have to be voted on by South Dublin County Council.
"We can't afford to lose any pitches, even short-term," Mr Skelly said.
"We don't know where we stand in terms of numbers at the moment, but we've got to get the councillors on board, we've got to get people on board to start lobbying and save our pitches."
He said they were not against social housing, but added that the answer was not to get rid of pitches being used by hundreds of children.
"Our smallest children use the Ballycullen pitches, and we've 500 kids between the ages of seven and 11 using it week-in, week-out," he said.
"If we had the room, there wouldn't be a problem - we just think there's a better place to build the houses.
"We're in favour of social housing."
The Save Our Pitches meeting will take place at St Colmcille's Junior National School, Knocklyon, at 8pm tonight.