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Dublin: 19 °C Tuesday 21 August, 2018
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Five acres of Dublin school grounds to be sold by religious order

“It feels like the school’s being stripped back,” one parent said.

PARENTS HAVE RAISED concerns after it emerged that school grounds used for children’s activities are to be put up for sale by the religious order that owns them.

A primary school, secondary school, Montessori and daycare centre are located at the land on Goatstown Road, Dublin 14, owned by the Order of Jesus and Mary.

This would sell almost all of the school’s ‘green area’ pitches, with just tarmac and indoor hockey facilities remaining.

Parents say that this development would create road safety problems, congestion issues, as well as limit further development at the school, where places at the primary school are reportedly in demand.

Land Source: School's petition

The religious order are to sell the land for a reported €10 million.

In 2009 they sold other parts of the land that was zoned for housing, and the funds of which went towards a retirement fund for members of the Order.

Lisa Ryan, a mother who has two children at Our Lady’s Grove primary school, and one in the Montessori, says that although she wasn’t involved in the school at that time, there wasn’t much outrage when that happened.

“Many people thought that after the first tranche of land was sold and developed that the last piece of land would be left to the school,” she told TheJournal.ie.

A lot of people are very loyal to the order – they built the secondary school in the 1950s, the primary school was built by the state – but it will come to nothing if this land goes on the market.

As the Order are the private owners and they’re entitled to sell the land, Lisa and other parents think the government should consider buying the land, renting out facilities to clubs to make the money back.

She and other parents have written to the Department of Education to ask them to get involved and so far have been told that the government are ‘looking into the issue’.

Other developments

Last week it emerged that over seven acres of playing fields at Clonkeen College are to be sold by the Christian Brothers for €18 million.

“There seems to be a trend that religious orders are selling off assets that are valuable to the community,” Lisa says. “Notre Dame in Churchtown last year, St Paul’s in Raheny, Oatlands school have all sold land recently.”

“It does feel like the school’s being stripped back for the future,” she said.

Parents at Our Lady’s Grove are to meet next Tuesday at 8pm to discuss the issue in more detail.

Read: Parents outraged at Christian Brothers’ decision to sell Dublin school’s playing pitches

Read: School pitches that are to be sold by Christian Brothers are zoned for housing

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